2018 AAD Annual Meeting

The field of dermatology is quite vast and encompasses diseases and conditions of the hair (both body and head), nails, scalp and skin. Nevertheless, at the annual meetings of all the major dermatological organizations around the world, there are always many interesting presentations related to head hair, which most concerns us.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) was founded in 1938 and currently counts virtually all practicing dermatologists in the United States as members. I wrote a post on the 2016 AAD annual meeting, but did not do so in 2017 (when instead I covered the annual meeting of SID). Interestingly, SID was founded in 1937, just one year before AAD.

This year’s upcoming 2018 AAD annual meeting will be hosted in San Diego and run from February 16-20. See program overview here. A detailed pdf of all the presentations can be found here. Below are some of the interesting things that I noticed after a cursory glance through the program:

  • I was very surprised to see so many renowned hair loss researchers disclosing their affiliation with Aclaris Therapeutics (probably via research finding or grants). I am hoping that at least several of these researchers are testing JAK inhibitors on androgenetic alopecia patients for Aclaris and not just testing them on alopecia areata patients. According to this page, among the researchers disclosing an affiliation with Aclaris include: 1) Dr. Elise Olsen; 2) Dr. Jerry Shapiro; 3) Dr. Rodney Sinclair; 4) Dr. Antonella Tosti;  and 5) Dr. Ken Washenik. The latter three of these are affiliated with an unbelievable number of companies that are working on a hair loss cure or treatment. Dr. Washenik’s presentation is titled: “Emerging treatments of androgenetic alopecia” and I would not be surprised in the least if he made a presentation by the exact same title 20 years ago (alongside the also ancient Dr. George Cotsarelis).
  • A significant number of presentations entail hair loss, hair disorders, hair care and hair styling in African Americans and other people of color, especially women. One of the presentation abstracts even suggests that hair loss in African American women is under-reported, under researched and currently an epidemic.
  • Related to the above, a majority of the hair related presentations seem to be led by women. Earlier conference presentations were dominated by men, but this has been changing rapidly in recent years as I have mentioned several times on this blog in the past. I guess men have been taking too long to bring about a hair loss cure, and, in the words of Mr. Bannon: “The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history“.
  • The highly regarded researcher Dr. Rox Anderson (covered here) is presenting on low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and hair growth alongside Dr. Maria Hordinsky and Dr. Ronda Farah. I have neglected LLLT (photobiomodulation) during the past year, but am glad to see that Dr. Anderson is still a believer in the technology. Usually, companies or people who are selling laser devices are the biggest proponents of LLLT, leaving much room for skepticism.

22 thoughts on “2018 AAD Annual Meeting”

  1. I’m curious curious what Ken washenik has to say about jak. Plus I’m sure he will mention Kerastem. It’s good to see there is quite a large focus on AGA. Maybe we will see some before after pics from aclaris or SM.

  2. I wonder if that is the same Dr Rodney Sinclair from Sinclair Dermatology in Melbourne Australia? My doc told me he is now using low dose oral Minoxidil for his hair-loss, after attending a presentation from Dr Sinclair who treats patients with compounded oral Minoxidil or Finasteride or a combination of the two. Like me, my doc had sides with Finasteride so discontinued a quite awhile ago and is now just three months into this treatment with Minoxidil and believes he has had no further hair-loss so far. Dr Sinclair’s presentation apparently showed male patients as old as 60+ maintaining and even growing back hair with only 1-2 mg of oral Minoxidil!!! I’m quite sceptical, but I’m considering it as an option?

  3. Admin,

    As we have both mentioned last year, Aclaris has mentioned during one conference presentation that Jak trials for Aga shall commence during Q1 2018. Now we’re already mid February, and most propably this is the right time for Neil Walker to announce the phase 2 trials.

    However, let’s not forget that Aclaris is about to market their first flagship product Eskata, and their focus would definitely revolve around this product.

    Nevertheless, these are indeed interesting times to keep a watchful eye on any progress related to our condition. And I’m positive that Aclaris wouldn’t even consider a trial for Aga unless they know that there is more than just a slight potential for Jak inhibitors to tackle this condition.

  4. Yo Admin,

    little typo

    “Related to the above, a majority of the hair related presentations seem to be led MY women” I think you meant BY.


  5. Hopefully one of these researchers will end up being my valentine when they make a major announcement. Yes, I will fall for them. Jk;)

  6. Admin, thanks again for all your coverage of this issue so important to all of us! I actually live in San Diego; I wonder if laypeople can attend this conference? Probably not.

    1. I think you can, but there is a fee and the cheaper online advanced registration is now over. You can try contacting them via phone or via Twitter.

      Or just hang around outside the venue and see if you can get a hold of any of the Aclaris affiliated researchers! Maybe they are all planning to eat or drink together somewhere every night.

      1. Some people stalk their exes on Valentine’s, I stalk hair loss research scientists. Haha. Jk, not a bad idea though. I will def check out presentations online when they become available tho!

        1. Lol…I would have seriously done it if residing in SD. Then I would have written a post titled “The night I bought Ken Washenik a beer”.

  7. Regarding the mention of LLLT, I bought my own laser cap 3 years ago. After months of usage; nothing. It is good as a scalp warmer but for hair regrowth it is useless.

    Further reading into LLLT reveals it was discovered in the late 1960s by Endre Mester, a Hungarian physician, following an experiment on mice. But given that this was 50 years ago shows there is nothing really in it. There is more scientific evidence to prove faith healing, which is also a lot cheaper!

    I am much more optimistic about the Aclaris and Shiseido products though :-)

  8. Aclaris has to have something they know could work! Even now at 40 and me pretty much being a Nw6 , i still have terrible ittching and inflammation of my scalp . For awhile Paul Mitchell tea tree shampoo and conditioner helped but recently it doesn’t seem to work ! At this point i would be happy if JAK just fixed that .

  9. News from Aclaris.
    AGA data is expected in Q1/Q2 2019.
    This time they talk much more about the difference between the oral jak and topical jak inhibitors. They also clearly mention AGA this time and why they are using the topical form. I’ve also heard something like we have very interesting data. I will listen to thr webcast later again. I just switched to the question and answer session but its good news that they mentioned that they expect AGA data in Q1/Q2 2019. Maybe some of you guys could listen to the webcast and give a more detailed overview.

    1. Do you know what phase of data they are going to release in early 2019? Hoping its not phase 1, i think they were going directly to phase 2 if i recall.
      Can you clarify please if you know?

      Either way its over a year from now and we dont even know if its effective at all so i wont get to excited…yet

    2. Hey Royaume they have talked about AGA and the difference between topical and oral many times in the recent past presentations FYI. Hopefully you are correct and this time it is different.

      If AGA data is expected in early 2019, that means they must be starting trials at the end of first quarter 2018 as they announced last year. I only listened to the first 10 mins or so of the presentation and then had to do some urgent work. Will try to listen to the rest later today.

      Also guys, Royaume is not a native English speaker so if you have time please listen to the whole thing before analyzing!


      I am really hoping they said Phase 2 trial results in 2019 and not Phase 1 trial results:-)

      1. Admin,

        Aclaris spokes person clearly mentioned phase 2 AGA trials.
        Just check slide 47, and it’s clear evidence.

        Moreover, there was a statement that soft jaks are being developed.

  10. Quention, sorry for the off topic question but has anyones minoxidil every crystalized in the solution? This has happened to me teice, both during summer which makes me wonder if it is to do with the weather

    1. Hi Quentin. I have never had this happen to me when using Rogaine foam or Rogaine luquid. If you are using compound minoxidil with tretinoin and finasterude mixed in then those minoxidil formulation may crystallize if not used before their expiration date. I believe those last lIke 5 months. I always shake my Rogaine bottle everyday to be sure that doesn’t happen and I store it in a dark cool space in my house. How’s your hair coming along? I bought some collagen with hydraulic acid. It’s collegen 2 though. Should have the same amino acids.

  11. Interesting quote from a (financial) article:

    “Although Aclaris finished last September with a $229 million cash balance, without a significant source of revenue, the company also lost $46 million in the first nine months of 2017. If Aclaris’ hydrogen peroxide pen doesn’t start generating significant sales soon, funding development of Rigel’s JAK inhibitors could be next to impossible.”


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