— I have covered Samumed and its SM04554 product a few times on this blog in the recent past. The drug is likely not going to be a miracle hair loss cure. I was therefore impressed that the company’s poker whiz CEO Osman Kibar still managed to recently get profiled on a Forbes magazine cover page. In any case, a few days ago Samumed completed its Phase 2 clinical trials. Now we can only hope that they choose to continue with Phase 3 trials.
— Seems like South Korea’s Dong-A ST updated the Phase 1 clinical trials page for its DA-4001 topical finasteride product.
— If you live near Austin, Texas, Dermresearch has an ongoing hair loss drug related study in which you might be able to enroll. Some confusion about the exact drug being tested per this HLT forum thread (see second page).
— HairCell, yet another new startup in the hair loss world. This one wants to use a “bioelectric stimulator combined with a micro infusion pump”. Even if the vast majority of these new entrants end up as outright failures or even frauds, I have never seen such frenetic activity in the hair loss world as witnessed in the past several years. HairCell’s phase 1 clinical trials have not yet commenced.
— HLT forum member “antydhtor” started an extremely interesting thread with a great title in March, and he updates it regularly. I only noticed the thread in June. Also, HLT forum member “jgray201” has a very interesting thread that he started in 2012, but updates every so often including several week s ago.
— A 2015 presentation on Kerastem by Dr. David Perez-Meza (who is located in Spain) was posted on an Italian hair loss site last month. Results in 6 patients showed an improvement in all, with an average 14 percent increase in hair count at 6 months. Not that great for the price people pay for this treatment unless results last for years I would think.
— The huge increase in men wanting to become women (MTF transsexuals) in the UK will lead to many interesting before and after transition photos of scalp hair regrowth via medication and/or transplants and/or castration. The huge increase in women wanting to become men (FTM transsexuals) is not so useful for our purposes.
— El Chapo going bald, although the link between stress and permanent hair loss is tenuous at best in my opinion.
— Recently, I read an article that referred to an interesting freely available online 3D Human Blastocyst Viewer. You have to click on the bottom left options first and then on all the options on the right side. Way above my head, but there are probably at least three blog commentators on here who will understand this. Also reminds me of Dr. Michael Rendl’s Hair-GEL (gene expression library) site and Dr. Owen Rakham’s Mogrify, both of which I have mentioned on this blog in the past.
There have been a huge amount of hair loss related news items of interest in the past month. Several of them probably deserved their own blog posts.
— I did not realize that GSK was launching Dutasteride in Japan via the brand name Zagallo (to treat male pattern hair loss) and that this plan was delayed in late 2015. I did, however, cover the favorable Japanese clinical trial results last year that are mentioned in that first link. Now comes word that Catalent’s French plant has been cleared to restart production. So there is a very high chance that Dutasteride will finally be approved to treat hair loss in 2016 (one year later than I was hoping), 14 years after being approved to treat enlarged prostates in men. (Edit: in fact the drug was already approved for hair loss treatment in Japan on September 28th 2015, and even approved in South Korea around 2010! Hopefully the US and EU will finally follow suit in 2016.). It would be the third ever drug to be approved to treat hair loss, almost 20 years after the second one (Finasteride/Propecia) was approved and almost 30 years after the first one (Minoxidil/Rogaine) was approved. Make sure to read the Dutasteride testimonials post and related comments. FYI — If you are worried about Finasteride (Propecia) side effects, do not even consider taking Dutasteride. The side effects from the latter are guaranteed to be worse for most people.
— Since quite a few of the reader comments to my past few posts have mentioned Kerastem, I am giving high importance to Christopher1’s thread on hairsite regarding his Kerastem treatment in Switzerland. He had the treatment in early February of this year for $8,000. Unlike his well covered failed experiment with topical JAK inhibitor tofactinib, this time he went to a professional clinic (more reliable in my opinion) to get the Kerastem treatment. Per his latest post from three days ago (which has surprisingly still not received any replies), he has good news to share and I quote: “After having brought you some bad news about my Jak inhibitor trial, I finally have some good news for you. It’s not great, but it’s very good. My hair has stopped falling out. It stopped about three weeks ago, which was a bit over 2 months after my Kerastem treatment.” Note that this is only one data point and there has been no regrowth and we do not know how long this cessation in hair loss will last. The rest of his post indicates that this is the first time in 15 years that his hair has stopped falling out. I find Chrisopher1 to be a highly reliable and sincere person, or else I would not mention him to start off a blog post.
— A new paper from China titled “Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activates melanocyte stem cells in vitro and in vivo.” Research was done in mice.
— An update on research at Japan’s Yokohama University under the leadership of Dr. Junji Fukuda. Translation required, and yes, it is in mice only for now. Short interview with Dr. Fukuda in there that is partially lost in translation. Thanks yet again to our wonderful Japanese blog reader and commentator “nosyu” who updates me regularly about developments in Japan that are not covered by the English media. The Fukuda Lab lists hair regrowth as one of its key areas of research.
— Topical methyl vanillate (a plant derived natural ingredient) increases hair count and hair mass index by inducing Wnt10b mRNA expression in the scalp. According to the study, methyl vanillate has recently been shown to activate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which has become a key target in the treatment of androgenic alopecia by numerous researchers in recent years.
— New drug BMD-2341 to target androgenic alopecia being developed by US-based BiologicsMD. Although the company had a press release about this in July 2015, it was only brought to my attention via this recent summary by the Follicle Thought blog. Yet again, we see a product that is targeting the beta-catenin pathway.
— I am always impressed by hair loss sufferers who go through impressive regimens and post regular updates. The latest example is “westonci” on HLT who is supposedly going through the whole of SwissTemple’s prostaglandin protocol that I have mentioned on this blog several times before.
— Japan OK’s gene editing of eggs. As long-time blog readers know, the Japanese have already fast tracked clinical trials for newer regenerative medicine and stem cell treatments, and earlier in this post I mentioned that Japan could be the first country to approve Dutasteride for hair loss treatment. Everything is moving along fast over there and I am glad that we have both Shiseido and Dr. Takashi Tsuji based in that country.
— As expected, the first ever penis transplant in the US got widespread global news coverage yesterday. I first heard about it via the radio in my car yesterday, then via a text message from a friend (wonder why?), and then again today via my yahoo homepage. Bill Gates must be horrified at global priorities.
— Now just imagine if this really happens in 2017? I doubt it, but it would be absolutely ridiculous if that came to fruition before a hair loss cure.