Alexey Terskikh and Stemson Therapeutics

I first covered the groundbreaking work of Sanford Burnham’s Dr. Alexey Terskikh in 2015. Two years later, I interviewed Dr. Terskikh with the help of reader questions. It was a lengthy and highly interesting question and answer session. The doctor’s main issue at the time was funding.

A few months ago, Dr. Teskikh provided an excellent update on his hair loss research. Key quote from that interview:

“Instead of embryonic stem cells, which are difficult to obtain, our method now uses induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which are derived from a simple blood draw or skin sample. iPSCs allow us to create an unlimited supply of cells to grow hair. Not having enough hair is one reason current transplants don’t work, so this is a critical advance….We’ve found a solution—3D biodegradable scaffolds—and partnered with leading scientists in the field to advance our project. The scaffold allows us to control the number of cells transplanted, their direction and where they are placed.”

Dr. Terskikh also said that as of 2018, he had formed a company to move this research and technology forward. He did not name the company or the “great team” of experts that he had assembled.

Stemson Therapeutics

Earlier today, a reader by the name of “Gabriel” sent me the below that was posted on Twitter three weeks ago, but missed by most.

No mention of Dr. Alexey Terskikh in there, but….

It seems like Stemson Therapeutics LLC was registered in California in 2017 by Dr. Terskikh! Also, Dr. T is based in La Jolla (San Diego), and the Tweet above also mentions La Jolla.

Note that there is also a Stemson Therapeutics Corporation that is involved in the hair growth sector.

This looks like excellent news, even if it may take a few years before fruition.

Unless Trump issues an executive order that Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials are unnecessary :-)

Although, in this case, if the biological material and lab processes are entirely autologous… maybe portions of human trials can be rushed or skipped?

PolarityTE Fights Back

PolarityTE is an interesting new skin (and potentially hair) regeneration company that I have covered on this blog several times during the past year. My main reason for taking the company seriously has been due to its highly experienced staff (including doctors, surgeons and research scientists).

Moreover, a few months ago, they even showed an image of a balding scalp regrowing some hair on their website. This has since been removed, but I discussed it in the bottom half of this post.

PolarityTE’s main product is known as SkinTE, which supposedly grows new hair-bearing skin. According to the company:

“SkinTE has resulted in regenerative full-thickness healing of skin with all its layers (epidermis, dermis and hypodermis) and its appendages (hair follicles, glands, etc.).”

PolarityTE Responds to Citron Research

On September 18th, PolarityTE’s stock market ticker symbol was changed from “COOL” to “PTE”.

Earlier this week, Citron Research published a highly critical article about PTE on its home page. This article remains there as of today, and is described as being “what might (be) our shortest but most damaging report to date”.

Several of the conclusions are pretty wild, with the below being being the most striking:

“And we believe the stock is a ZERO.”

Although the title of the Citron article is:

“PolarityTE: This Game Is Over! Price Target — $2”

So maybe not ZERO?

Several days ago, PolarityTE decided to respond to all these allegations on their website. They accuse Citron Research of being a tool used by “notorious short sellers”. They also criticize the founder of Citron.

Citron’s founder, Andrew Left, supposedly focuses his coverage on companies that he believes are overvalued or are engaging in fraud. There has also been some unusual trading activity around PTE in recent weeks.

I know that many of this blog’s readers purchase stocks in hair loss related companies. I would be very cautious about all companies involved in this sector. Especially when it comes to newer start-ups that largely rely on one or two products and their future potential.

In related news:

  • Restoration Robotics (HAIR) stock is down 75 percent in the past year. The company makes the renowned ARTAS robotic hair transplantation system. Maybe this lawsuit is partly to blame?
  • Aclaris Therapeutics (ACRS) stock is down over 50 percent during the past year.