2024 AAD Annual Meeting

I have covered most of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) meetings since starting this site in 2013. I had to delay writing about this latest 2024 edition by several days due to other more exciting developments in the world of hair.

Update: March 22 — William Shatner discussed his stage 4 melanoma diagnosis at AAD2024. Also, a happy 93rd birthday today to the hair regrowth and Star Trek legend.

AAD Annual Meeting in San Diego from March 8-12, 2024

American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2024 Meeting.
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2024 Meeting.

When I looked through the various speaker sessions at #AAD2024, the first thing to strike me was that 92-year old legendary actor William Shatner is the keynote speaker. He will talk on March 10. How extraordinary, especially since the nonagenarian has had a lot of work done on his hair for decades. In 2022, he was even pictured outside his favorite hair transplant clinic in Los Angeles. I added his picture in the above plenary session screenshot.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) was founded in 1938 and currently counts virtually all practicing dermatologists in the United States as members. The vast field of dermatology encompasses diseases and conditions of the hair (body and scalp), nails, scalp and skin.

This year’s 2024 AAD annual meeting will be hosted in San Diego and runs from March 8-12. I will try top update this post when I see new updates of interest.

AAD Twitter page.

AAD Instagram page.

  • Earlier today, Pelage Pharmaceuticals gave a positive update on its novel small molecule PP405. Summary here. In Phase 1 clinical trials, PP405 reactivated dormant hair follicle stem cells and triggered hair growth. The company’s presentation was made by Dr. Christina Weng and titled: “Inhibition of pyruvate oxidation activates human hair follicle stem cells ex vivo”. Pelage will begin its multi-center Phase 2a trial of PP405 in mid-2024, when it will recruit both men and women with androgenetic alopecia.
  • Dr. Ken Washenik will present on the emerging potential of topical androgen modulators in androgenetic alopecia. I presume this will be about at least several of the ones that I mentioned in this Tweet from November 2022.

31 thoughts on “2024 AAD Annual Meeting”

  1. Nice update with the Summary link providing a few more details. I had looked for updates myself but wasn’t able to find anything. In the linked update to the Pelage website, there is the quote “There was a statistically significant increase in the Ki67 signal compared to baseline” . The words “statistically significant” tend to send a small chill down my spine as I have become conditioned over the years for that to be code for no cosmetic significance. However in another quote they say “The LDH activity corresponded with a significant increase in Ki67 signal in the hair bulge”. To me that is a much more powerful statement since the word “significant” is not qualified by the word statistical…………. especially when they follow that up with “Evidence of newly emerging hair germs – the hallmark of the telogen to anagen transition – was also observed.” and “We can also see the structural architecture of the follicle on biopsy moving through the hair cycle from resting to growing as the stem cells become activated”.

  2. Shatner had work done, I thought he wore a hairpiece? You guys see that’s my main takeaway from all the recent news. Interesting however best to never get too vested in any one thing e.g. Stemson, Tsjui, Brotzu, etc. It will happen one day, while revolutionary would be nice I’d be happy for the next evolutionary treatment. Meanwhile, I’m starting to think about a high quality FUE in the next few years, I don’t see anything meaningful coming in the next 3 or so years, hope I’m wrong!

    1. If you are considering the option of having a FUE Yoda, I recommend that you do it! I had it done 4 years ago with the hope that there would be a cure soon and I wouldn’t have to think about more surgeries, but I don’t think a definitive solution is close. The drawback of FUE in my case was the postoperative process, which in my case suffered a strong Shock Loss and very intense redness that lasted 7 months but the final result is very positive!

      1. I had one too. It was great (really great surgeon) but the thing is, I’m out of donor hair (sides are too thin). Otherwise I’d get another. And I feel like people tend to think 3-4k is a lot of grafts. It’s not. Especially if you’re trying to reestablish your hairline and your hair loss is significant. Most of those I’ve spoken to that looked really good had several surgeries.

        Of course 3-4k may be all some need (if you catch it early and get on one of the meds). But what I’m also finding is that many that had a surgery (or two) are still online searching for hair loss cures (or in forums like this – like me, for example).

        I definitely think it’s worth it, if one can catch it early and swing the cost (and find the right surgeon). But they lie when they say the transplanted hair can’t or won’t fall out – it definitely can and will over time (perhaps not as fast with the meds though). Again, I still recommend it. As long as your surgeon is upfront and honest and you’re realistic about the results (ie they won’t be turning a shiny bald head into a head full of thick locks).

        1. Thanks for the feedback James and Alvaro. I’d do a procedure tomorrow, however it’s the post op that keeps me from it. I’m in a public facing job, the ugly duckling phase not to mention shaving my head is more prohibitive than my thinning hairline. My hair is in decent shape but not where I want to be, 2-3K grafts at the front would get me there, am considering Rahl if and when the time comes. Let me tell you, I’ll be 62 this year, the desire for hair never ends, although not quite as strong when you’re younger. Can wait till I retire in a few years.

            1. I will, Admin, I will! ;-)
              Still look pretty good for my age, healthy lifestyle even though I partied my ass off for years chasing the ladies. That ship has sailed, same woman for 6 years, however trying to look my best is now imbedded in my DNA. Keep the faith boys, someday something new and improved will come.

          1. You are right Yoda, the postoperative period and recovery from a transplant that is still an operation is very slow and very uncomfortable… In my case I began to aggressively lose my hair at a very young age due to the strong stress of my university studies but when I finished my degree, I took a sabbatical to recover my hair and I still have my native hair thanks to the oral dutasteride medication and mesotherapy every 6 months but I understand that now working I would not undergo surgery either…

            1. Alvaro, are you getting the dutasteride + mesotherapy combination treatment in Spain? Is it as good as advertised?

              1. Yes, administrator, since I had the transplant 4 years ago, I take a capsule daily that contains dutasteride+minoxidil+vitamins orally and every 6 months I perform mesotherapy with the same ingredients in the form of an injection into the scalp and the truth is which is effective because the hair loss disappeared… there is no hair in the shower or on my pillow… I hope to help people who are thinking about this, but I know that this is not a cure, because as James1 says with As time goes by you realize that the alopecia continues its course, even if it is more slowly.

                1. Thanks Alvaro. I have written two posts on this site titled “mesotherapy with dutasteride to treat hair loss” and “dutaseride injections for hair loss”. If you went to any of the Spanish doctors mentioned in those posts, please leave a comment on your experience. It seems like you might be self-injecting? Thanks again.

                  1. I can’t find the posts admin, it’s probably because of the language translation but don’t worry! If anyone from Spain is interested in knowing where I had the procedure performed, I will be happy to share it! But I don’t think it is a famous clinic, it simply offers dutasteride mesotherapy in the form of an injection, it usually costs around €150 and is quite painless and I do it every 6 months and it is true that the thickening and strength that the hair gains is evident over the entire first month.

                    1. Forgive my ignorance admin! I was unaware that mesotherapy with dutasteride was not accessible in all countries. If my experience is of any use, its effectiveness is very notable, especially in the first month when you notice how the hair thickens very quickly since it is injected right into the scalp. .. later it loses its effect but together with oral medication it is a plus. The doctor who administers it to me in Madrid (Spain) tells me that he administers it every 3 months since he also had a hair transplant (also on the same date as me).

                    2. Thanks Alvaro. It is available in most western countries these days, including in the US. However, the main Spanish doctors are the original proponents and most experienced. It is far more expensive in the US too.

  3. Occasional lurker who’s okay with being bald but wouldn’t mind getting his hair back. Why are people hyped on Amplifica but not Pelage? Aren’t they both arguing the same thing, which is that they’ll reactivate the stem cells already in our heads to make them grow again? They also wrapped up a Phase 1 trial without anyone really knowing which is what got them back on my radar.

    Their website also says:

    “In alopecia related to age, stress, hormones, and chemotherapy, hair follicle stem cells can become “stuck” in the dormant phase and unable to trigger hair growth. However, these stem cells are still present and viable in the follicles.”

    If this wasn’t about people who’ve been bald for awhile, why write about alopecia related to age? Their website also calls out treatments “with limited efficacy” and how “[current] treatment options are not suitable for all patients.” This seems to be a pretty black-and-white take on what the issue and solution is.

    I personally think it sounds too good to be true. But why get hyped for Amplifica and not Pelage?

    1. Carl, You might want read the research aticle underlying the Phase 1 study: https://sci-hub.ru/https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/exd.14307

      I thought it was interesting that they specifically tested PP405 on age-induced, stress-induced, and chemo-induced alopecia. And it seemed to turn the follicles on regardless of the causes tested… lending at least some credibility to their general thesis that hair follicles can be turned back on, regardless of what turned them off. Long way to go but given that a reaction could been seen withing 24 hours of topical application, and that this led to the formation of hair follicles within 30-40 days, gives hope that we could have some further proof of concept by year end…assuming they do start Phase 2 by mid 2024. I too am probably most excited about Pelage.

      1. Thought I posted this before, so apologies if double-posted.

        Hey Pinotq, appreciate the response. I read the abstract and will try to remember to read the rest a little later. I see they mentioned permanently shutdown follicles in that abstract. That would seem like a good sign, but (always a but with this stuff): 

        Unfortunately, I may have jumped the gun a little bit. I’ve been waiting for a catch here (again, there’s always a catch with this stuff, which is one of the reasons I stopped caring) and it looks like Clinical 1s were done on Norwoods 3-5. I genuinely don’t understand why the whole theory can be that a bald person’s equipment is all there and functional and just needs the ‘on’ switch turned on…but it won’t work if you’ve gone near/fully bald. 

        I’m aware enough to know who Dr. Rassman is, and am pretty sure I saw him say once if you’ve been bald long enough then it’s over, and yet I see stuff like this–on his blog no less–that gives me just enough hopes for them to be dashed in the end: https://baldingblog.com/my-granddad-grew-his-hair/ 

        1. Hi OG Carl, both your posts went to the spam folder, but luckily I caught them in time. I think if you are new and post links, it often goes to spam.

          Interesting link.

          I have read many testimonials online from old people taking finasteride or dutasteride for enlarged prostates. So many of them say they got brand new scalp hair growth and/or gynecomastia!

        2. I think that they chose NW3-NW5s because it would take longer to see regrowth on slick bald NW6-NW7s. I think there is no reason to panic. If they have a good enough product it may work even on higher Norwoods. As with all meds it will depend on the responder. It’s possible to regrow hair with microneedling on slick bald areas. So nothing is off the table. But as always, prepare for the worst, but expect that the sun will shine one day.

          1. I wish I shared your optimism, Heat. But overall I think that’s a good outlook on life.

            I just feel like there’s a pattern: New treatment bubbles up –> Long wait –> Actual movement –> Oh, it’s only for early stages of balding –> Then doesn’t get released anyway (so doesn’t really matter, lol)

            I’d gladly be wrong.

      2. The test is done on mice. Mice have been cured for hair loss a dusins of times, it dosnt necessary apply to humans!

    1. “In the last few years our experience with minoxidil has soared. We are excited to share our dosing and starting criteria,” she said. “Hair loss medicine and technologies are rapidly evolving. Hair loss is no longer a visit with few tools. It’s a visit that the dermatologist will find fulfilling for everyone. We have so much to offer our patients.”

      It would be interesting to get that presentation for those details.

      1. When you want to sell something, it’s always a good idea to say “We are excited to…..” I’m really skeptical of this doc’s spin.

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