Amplifica, Hairy Moles, Osteopontin and SCUBE3

Among newer companies involved in trying to cure hair loss, Amplifica (US) is particularly interesting. It was co-founded in 2020 by Dr. Maksim Plikus and Dr. William Rassman, both of whom I have covered before. The company’s two main areas of product development involve hairy mole related protein osteopontin and the SCUBE3 signaling molecule.

Update: July 12, 2023

An interesting take in wired on this same hairy mole (aka nevi) and hair growth research. They connect it to the well known phenomenon of dormant senescent cells and aging.

Update: June  28, 2023

Amplifica Begins Clinical Trials for AMP-303

Amplifica just announced that it started clinical trials for its lead candidate AMP-303. The first human subject was given a dose on June 27, 2023 and the study will finish in the first quarter of 2024. According to CEO Frank Fazio:

“Aside from assessing AMP-303 in subjects with androgenetic alopecia, this study will serve as a strong foundation for subsequent clinical studies with Amplifica’s pipeline compounds.”

We already know at least three compounds or molecules that they will likely test in clinical trials (with more to come):

  • Osteopontin = AMP-203 per the DermWire interview I linked to previously.
  • SCUBE3 = AMP-601 per my January 2023 update.
  • CD44 = AMP-303? Not clarified in this latest press release.

Update: June  21, 2023

Amplifica Osteopontin (Hairy Mole Molecule) Clinical Trials Beginning Soon

Hairy Moles Osteopontin
Hairy moles, osteopontin and hair growth.

I previously (see bottom of this post) covered Amplifica and its hairy mole research. The company’s founder Dr. Plikus and his research team discovered that a molecule called osteopontin is primarily what makes hairy moles grow hair.

Morover, this molecule can induce hair follicle growth when administered anywhere on the skin. The initial work was on mice, but the company plans to begin human clinical trials later this Summer per the latest update from today in Insider magazine. Dr. Plikus believes that this compound:

“Could be needled into the scalp of balding men and women to reawaken hair follicles that have gone dormant, in a near-painless Botox-like procedure.”

The treatment and trials will likely involve a combination of osteopontin and some other, newly-discovered hair-growing proteins that Plikus and his team have found. The Insider article implies that the other molecule will be SCUBE3 (already tested via microinjections in mice).

The team’s latest findings in relation to hairy moles and osteopontin were published in Nature magazine: Signalling by senescent melanocytes hyperactivates hair growth. A summary from today is also available on the company’s website.

The study describes the essential role that the osteopontin and CD44 molecules play in activating hair growth inside hairy skin nevi. In addition to these two molecules, the team thinks it is likely that their continued research will identify additional potent hair growth activators. Make sure to read the UC Irvine report of these findings.

Interestingly, Dr. Plikus says that this Nature publication is the result of nearly 10 years of research by an international team of scientists. The most encouraging quote of all from Dr. Plikus:

“It will grow like you remember it when you were 18. It would not grow like thickened, wiry armpit hair. This burst of molecules is shown to hair follicles on a scalp, and they’re like, ‘Oh, OK. Time to grow!'”

Update: In an interview with DermWire, Dr. Plikus says that the osteopontin-based compound highlighted in the Nature publication is designated as AMP-203 at Amplifica.

A Note on Osteopontin and Hair Growth

Note that I previously covered osteopontin in a number of my posts on Follicum, a company which disbanded in 2021 but came back in 2023 under new ownership. Their use of an osteopontin based peptide was slightly different from what Amplifica will be doing via osteopontin (plus other molecule) injections.

Follicum’s Phase 2 clnical trials resulted in a hair growth increase of 6.6 hairs/cm2, which was deemed insufficient to continue with Phase 3 trials at the time. Hopefully, the company’s new owners will have a change of heart.

Update: March 27, 2023

An interesting new UCI article covering the work of their hair scientists Maksim Plikus and Natasha Mesinkovska. Per Dr. Plikus:

“Most likely, SCUBE3 would be microinjected less than a millimeter beneath a person’s skin, a “fairly painless” process that would have to be repeated periodically to maintain hair growth”.

Human trials on Amplifica’s lead compound (likely not SCUBE3, which was my original assumption) are expected to begin later in 2023.

New Agreements with Ingenza and University of California

January 26, 2023 — Amplifica signed an exclusive licensing agreement with “The Regents of the University of California” for a proprietary pipeline hair growth molecule (SCUBE 3) that has been in the news a lot lately. Key quote:

“This early-stage compound (SCUBE3) will now be referenced as AMP-601 and is currently undergoing pre-clinical testing at Amplifica.”

January 20, 2023 — Amplifica to collaborate with UK-based Ingenza in order to advance novel alopecia treatments involving the former’s signaling molecules and proteins.

November 14, 2022 — Make sure to watch the below interesting recent video presentation by Dr. Plikus:

October 24, 2022

Amplifica

I previously mentioned new hair loss company Amplica in my post about Dr. Maksim Plikus’s research on the Scube3 molecule for hair growth. He partnered with Dr. William Rassman to create Amplifica. The latter announced his involvement via a Reddit comment in July 2022.

Amplifica Signaling Molecule
Amplifica announcement by Dr. Rassman on Reddit.

Earlier today, it was announced that Amplifica just completed a $11.8 million Series A Financing round. These funds will enable clinical development of the company’s lead products to treat androgenic alopecia.

These lead products are listed as “AMP-303” and “AMP-506”. The press release states that they expect to initiate first clinical trials in fiscal year 2023.

Amplifica
Amplifica.

Amplifica, Dr. Maksim Plikus and Hairy Moles

Note that Amplifica was first mentioned in a 2020 news article in regards to the new company’s interesting work in relation to hairy moles. At the time, a team led by Dr. Plikus discovered that molecules from moles that grow excessive hair can induce follicle growth when administered anywhere on the skin.

Make sure to also read my past posts on Dr. Plikus and his many areas of hair loss research breakthroughs. His team is based at  the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Amplifica is yet another new company added to my main page on hair loss research around the world.

216 thoughts on “Amplifica, Hairy Moles, Osteopontin and SCUBE3”

  1. This is by far the best news of the year.

    “Our research efforts to understand the biology of hair follicle stem cells and the mechanism of hair growth provide a strong foundation to advance the development of AMP-303 and AMP-506. We are also excited to advance other proprietary pipeline products that expand upon our research in hair biology”

    Hence they have a minimum of 4 (!) candidates in the long term, which is unbelievable.

    I hope they soon release additional information and research papers on those candidates, apparently it is not SCUBE3 in the beginning.

    It’s a day to celebrate, and I hope they wipe the floor with all those other seemingly endless researches and endeavors which eventually all end in oblivion.

    Plikus first researched hair in 2008, imagine that. Hairy moles in 2013. The time frames are astonishing. It’s also a lesson that sometimes things can turn very quickly for us observers: until June 2022 Plikus was the guy who did some obscure research about hairy moles, just 4 months later they are one of the main contenders with a huge dollar pillow. Amazing.

    It’s also a prime example for how basic research without a specific goal sometimes leads from a unusual niche to a different avenue. Just great.

      1. Let’s have a virtual beer together!

        Great and fast coverage as always, admin. Best blog by far. An interview with Amplifica would be the cherry on top ;-)

  2. Sorry guys, but these kind of treatments will not bring significant hair growth or cure for most of the guys. Plus, you need to apply it 2-3 times per year. I am not so optimistic about these kind of treatments.

    I don’t get it the hype about the SCUBE3. Can someone explain it to me if it is not a problem?

    1. I love the Scube3 potential. Just Google it. However, I would feel a lot better if a major pharmaceutical company was involved. These smaller groups have been completely disappointing for decades. They have invented nothing but false hope. $11 million is pocket change. If this product had promise, a company like Abbvie would gladly scoop it up for at least a hundred million dollars and expedite this whole process.

      1. Prime example: Exicure.

        Funded by AbbVie in 2019 with the single-highest funding amount in the history of hair loss with a staggering 25 million dollars.

        Failed miserably this year and gave up all R&D.

        Do you still feel a lot better now?

        1. That makes me feel awful and more confused by your optimism.

          Bottom line: I’m cheering for it. And I hope you are right.

  3. Well I hope i brings something out…
    I had a result from my clinical exams today that confirms androgentic alopecia…oddly enough i have 100 follicular unit on the top of my head per square centimeter, which is above average, but most of those unit have 2 or 1 hair….at the back of my head i have only 82 units per square centimeters, but most of them have 3 or more hairs… I have a density of 198 hair per cm2 at the back of my head…and only 150 at the top, when 100 FU at the top of my head should have given me somethim between 250 and 300 hair per cm2…
    I am lucky the shaft of almost all of my existant hair is very thick, Luka an asian person…but it sux.. i used to have the most beautiful hair, dense, and with a thick diameter…
    It was really my pride as a kid… As a woman it sux even more

  4. I’m really liking how the landscape of hair loss industries are looking like right now. Gives us more of a reason to stay optimistic for what’s to come.

  5. I will never understand how companies with groundbreaking technology like Dr.Tsuji can’t get funding and companies with poor science behind them like Amplifica can get 12 million dollars.

      1. My opinion is that Dr.Tsuji technology is very robust and expensive to translate in clinics. Plikus technology will have limited growth and need to apply couple of times per year to have some visible results, so that is perfect business solution for venture firms. The amount of money that they got is pretty high.

  6. Hi Bryan where did you get this “Limited growth” part? Did you read the research paper at all? Why are you speculating results even before a drug has gone into clinical trial. Most treatments are that are on the pipeline are not cure even Tsujj /stemson is not a cure, we don’t even know how those hair will act when transplanted. Some comments here are hilarious,they have more faith in tech where they have to grow 100000 mini organs and transplant it over a treatment which hopefully could stimulate our own hair follicle stem cell.

    1. Sorry I’m not quite sure what you mean Franklin. I haven’t read anywhere about stimulating our own hair follicle via transplant. Stemson would effectively be a cure because they’re attempting to create new hair follicles (as many as needed) that will be robotically transplanted on the head. That essentially is a cure. SCUBE3 would “restart the factory” and stimulate the dormant hair follicles awake effectively being a cure. Fukuda are creating hair fibers in a matrix and Epibiotech are trying to mass multiply hair from the donor region. There are clearly attempts being made for an effective cure to be in place. Of course we don’t know how the hairs will act upon transplantation but that’s why there are clinical trials and if the results are as what is promised they will be implemented in clinics available for the public.

    2. @Franklin

      I am very glad that there are 20 companies/labs that are attacking hair loss from different angles and with different approaches. Something should work probably in future.

      From my perspective injections will have limited growth. Plikus mentioned on TV that SCUBE3 treatment probably will be done with injections on the scalp and repeat it couple of times every year. It will not be a treatment that will give you 60-70% increase of hairs and the effects of injections will last at least 5 years. I wish it was like that, but I am realistic.

    3. This forum is nuts sometimes.

      When I read „poor science“, „11 million is pocket money“, „not significant hair growth“…then I ask myself, are these people even able to read?

      I‘ve gone through the SCUBE3-paper, and while I am no expert, I understand the basics. The hair growth was not just statistically significant, it was something that was never seen before. By manipulating the pathway the hair gave the signals to the surrounding tissue to grow hair – in an absolutely wild manner and almost uncontrollably.

      The science is rocksolid and its foundation was build over 10 years of basic research including the development of mathematical/computational simulation-models; and Plikus is considered one of the best in his field (just like Terskikh from Stemson) and the other guys in the company have spent decades in the medtech/lifesciences field.

      The funding amount is easily enough to bring them to and probably even through the first trial.

      Of course, Amplifica can always fail, like every new medicine can! There’s many questions open. 90 % of all companies fail after (!) the first trial.

      1. I agree with your assessment. This is a growth and not just a maintenance possibility. Which also means that if it is successful, we should be able to see for ourselves fairly quickly……….which should attract more funding. It may turn out not be safe and it may not work in vivo but as possibilities go, this is at the top of my list.

  7. @Ben

    Every paper that came out from scientific journal claims same shits that they regrown whole mice with hairs. Only Phase I and II will tell us the truth.

    Dude, get back to big 3, if you have a enough money get a good hair transplant and move on. All these treatments are far away from practical use.

  8. Is there a way to definitively determine if you have AA and not AG? Or do you just have to try Jak inhibitors and see what happens?

    I’m not in denial of AG. I’ve come to realize my hair loss is completely diffuse, no pattern. And I was recently diagnosed with autoimmune issues that correlate with AA. But what test should I ask a derm for? The old dermatologists I saw were clueless and dismissed my concern but my auto immune issues have now been confirmed. What’s the test I need?

    1. I thought that most people with AA have had times where their hair grew back? But then they lost it again?

      Also, do you have any body hair that is suddenly gone?

      But I also wonder myself if part of my hair loss is due to inflammation and immune issues. I get crazy itching and flakes once in a while. Too bad that Aclaris stopped work on using JAKs for AGA.

      JAKs are a bit too much for me to try out just to see if part of my hair loss has any immune attack component.

      1. I don’t have other hairloss except for never developing facial hair. I’m 25. My dad has the same auto immune issues and lost his eyebrows and his leg and arm hair after being very hairy so it’s probably coming for me eventually. He also only grew facial hair after 40, so he had some kind of resurgence in that area. The problem is he never suspected AA and was never diagnosed. I have developed vitiligo over the last 2 years and it appears exactly in areas where I don’t have facial peach fuzz so I can confirm I have at least some auto immune related follicle distraction.

        I think it’s likely I have some AA even if it coincides with the AGA.

        I just wonder if there is a test to try to identify the real cause because I’ll need to come prepared to the appointment with the hair specialist in case he dismisses this as AGA. Is there a biopsy or something?

          1. Thanks for this. I’m about to go down the path of treating these issues and it makes sense to look into King. Since the guy specifically studies the connection between vitiligo and AA I’ll probably attempt to consult him alongside (or as a substitute) to the hair guy I will soon start with.
            If there’s anything interesting to report back I will certainly do so. I am not in denial that I’m probably sensitive to DHT like most guys. But I also know there’s a lot going on in my case and there may be other triggers and I really need someone who deals with these complexities… so I will keep you posted.

            1. King replied to me twice in the past, so if any issues, let me know and I can try for you too. Most likely, he has months long wait list.

      2. Hey,

        I recently attended a 4 day conference where a naturopathic physician and nutritional expert (who cured herself of MS) talked about inflammation as a direct link to AA and other types of alopecia.

        The naturopath (in Colorado) said when she was working on her own MS issues (she is 12 years symptom-freetom free) she said the following three things are primary causes of overall body inflammation and possible alopecia:

        1. Artificial flavors (especially added to drinks like water, coffee, and teas) are used in many foods.
        2. Artifical colors added to drinks to give them that vibrant hue) are also used in most consumables.
        3. Artificial sweeteners. You know the list. Some are hard to even pronounce.

        Additionally, she said there are highly toxic ingredients manufacturers have figured out how to disguise on labels. They do that with hair care products too.

        She said that our food contains many chemicals that alter the body’s vital biological functions and hormones. That causes inflammation which sets off a chain event, including hair loss.

        Also, many wheat, corn, and meat products are heavily loaded with pesticides and fertilizers, which is also linked to persistent and damaging, disease-triggering inflammation.

        Yikes.

        I also recently read that scientists are studying possible AA links to asthma. Interesting.

        Thanks for all the great information here.

        Best,
        Karen

        1. Thanks Karen, very interesting! Everyone who wants more info, please visit hairboutique.com for Karen’s site! She has been at this for even longer than myself.

  9. I read interview with Plikus. He said that probably Amplifica treatment will have to apply 2-3 times per year. Same like Botox.

    So, in my opinion another HairClone pointless treatment.

    Why some venture firm invested in Amplifica? Simply. Because you need to repeat the treatment couple of times during the year and that means a lot money for them.

    Shave it and move on, or start using big 3 and torturing yourself daily. That is the reality in next 10 years.

    1. If it fixes the problem, two to three times a year is welcomed by me. Heck, I would do it three times a week if needed. Yep. That desperate. It would be so nice to have my hair back. Never knew I would be this depressed about losing it.

      One thought is that once you get hair back, I would suspect the possibility that finasteride and minoxidil could help keep it back without as many visits per year.

    2. Why are you even here? Seriously, if everything is going to fail, what’s the point of checking a website like this?

      The current paradigm is daily. Quit with your conspiracy theories. Physiology is complicated. botox is every few months, CGRP antibodies for migraine is every month/ every other month, because that’s how clinical efficiency/ side effect ratio works for those and other medications

    1. Interesting. I was planning to update my past post on bioprinting in a couple of weeks. Have something else more immediate planned first.

  10. I think that consumer capitalist society wants this kind of companies like Amplifica to apply it constantly years and years. Spend tons of money. That is.

    Bioprinting is far away for practical use. Too complex. Maybe decade or two.

    1. I really hope you are not one of those past banned guys who thinks nothing at all for two decades, but yet keeps visiting and commenting daily.

      If not, glad to have constructive feedback.

      1. I am just realistic.

        Nope, I am not the guy who is trolling here and share negative energy.

        On other hand I am the guy who send you couple of updates and news on your website.

        1. Thanks for the updates.

          If you think nothing at all possible for 20 yrs (or even 10 yrs), do you visit hair related sites regularly just to notify others?

          1. I am not saying that. Scientists are saying that. Even last interview from Stemson posted here confirm everything that I spoke previosly.

            Even Junji Fukuda says that he must optimize his technology using human stem cells (probably iPSCs) and that will take couple of more years till he can get into clinical trials. After that he must perfect his procedure, translate to other clinics and train other doctors to perform the procedure.

            It is very complex and expensive technology and still has a lot of limitations.

              1. Don’t give the time of day to these type of people. These are the guys that will just repeat the same thing post after post and contribute nothing useful. Let him live in his little bubble.

                1. Let me ask you something.

                  Where is Dr.Tsuji now? It went silent 1.5 year. Nothing

                  In Japan every year you have very big biotech summit where new biotech companies present their products in front of venture capital firms and gets money for advancing their products.

                  Do you really believe that nobody in Japan or worldwide doesn’t wanna invest 5 million dollars in Dr.Tsuji? There is something that we doesn’t know. From my perspective there is limitations in technology and it is very hard to translate in clinical use.

              2. Yes, they says things that investors and public wanna hear, but in the end how many products we have on the market till now? Zero

                What happened with Replicel, Tissuse, Aderans, Histogen and many more? They were all 5 years away.

                I am not negative person, neither wanna trolling here with negativity. Just being realistic.

                Junji Fukuda is dedicated worker, university professor, credible person. He also has a company (it is very easy to register company like 1000 dollars), but he hasn’t got any investments from big venture firm, doesn’t have structure behind him, workers who will work in his company 5 days a week, 8 hours, doing experiments, getting salaries monthly.

                Stemson, on other hand, is professional private company with more than 25 people working in it, with big investments from private venture companies, and they says that they are at least couple of years of starting pre-clinical trials, because they have a product, but not working perfectly well on pigs and need time to optimize it.

            1. WTF are you talking about dude, you’re delusional.

              Kageyama and Fukuda confirmed that trials will start in 2023.

              Can you please write them that they are wrong:
              fukuda@ynu.ac.jp

              I am sure they are very grateful for your precious input!

  11. So what if you have to get it done 2x to 3x a year. If it grows all your hair back or gives full coverage what’s the problem. It beats doing the big 3 every day and applying rogaine daily……I’ve been doing this for 20 years….I’ll do 2 to 3x treatment a year for thick hair growth and I’ll do it for life…..if something like this works and becomes available then it’s a cure!

    Some people on here really think a magic pill will grow your hair back with one dose and done lol….

      1. im sorry but if it is a procedure you have to do 2 or 3 times a year, if it wakes up all of your dormant follicles, for me it would be a dream and basically a cure…

    1. Agree with my old bro Mjones. Heck, even if a treatment only worked as well as min/fin and you only had to do it a few times a year as opposed to everyday, I’d be a buyer (as long as it wasn’t cost prohibitive).

    2. At least you could practice this procedure for the next 4 to 5 years until there is hopefully an even better solution on the market, you could also try with the Big 3 to keep the result for a while, for those 2 or 3 applications per year are too complex or expensive.

  12. These are groundbreaking technologies and science papers that were released this year and will contribute a lot in next years:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04593-5
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04625-0

    New international collaboration aims to accelerate therapies for cancer and other diseases using precisely engineered cells from the patient’s own body.

    https://nrc.canada.ca/en/stories/harnessing-potential-customizable-stem-cells

    CiRO is part of Kyoto University and main science advisor is the scientist who invented iPSCs, Shinya Yamanaka.

    The science is there, the proof-of-a-concept is there, but it will require a lot of time, money and infrastructure to move on to clinical trials and end product.

    1. Those first papers are mainly from China and everybody in the industry says they are miles behind – which is proven by many failed attempts of treatment approvals.

      In fact, most scientific papers from China are not worth the paper they are written on: questionable methods, no transparent peer-review, scientists with bought titles but no scientific background, horrific R&D standards, political pressure, no scientific substance – in short: very little credibility.

      What’s your agenda, Bryan?

      1. @ Ben

        What are you talking about, dude? These scientific papers were published in Nature Journal, which is UK-based and one of the most credible science journal in the world. Plus, it was peer-reviewed from Western science advisors.

        Plus, it is public. Every lab can take the paper and procedure and try it on their own. If doesn’t work they will complain and Nature credibility will vanish.

  13. This is one of the biggest news since years, this news seems to whisper … cure;)
    In any case I think that in the next 2-3 years we will see huge advance in the hair loss industry, from nothing to too much.

    1. 100% Stemson, SCUBE3, Epibiotech, Han Bio, Fukuda, Kintor there’s many things to look forward to. If Stemson are able to conduct their human trials in 2024/2025 (especially outside the US) it’ll be amazing.

      1. HanBio is obscure to me. I wouldn‘t take them too serious.

        Stemson, it’s very hard to predict. Years until trials, I mean what are those 20 scientists doing for so many years? It could be a tactical move from Hamilton to lower expectations, or they had some setbacks with their allogenic approach and now completely shifted to autologous.

        If Yokohama is on track, then they will have the advantage of being the future industrial standard for hair transplants, same for Epibiotech. The pressure is on Stemson.

        Furtheron there might be a not so slim chance that future non-invasive treatments from Hope, Pelage, Olix, Amplifica, Kintor, Technoderma, Cutaneon etc. might work exceptionally well as a standalone-solution or synergistically – and hairtransplants might soon be a butchery of the past and as a technology completely backwards.

        If complete regrowth is achieved and I regrow all my hair from when I was 18, then there is no need for transplants anymore.

  14. Positive articles like these and positive comments is the only reason why i visit this website. It keeps me sane and motivated to make something out of my life.
    Dreaming that a cure(-ish) is on our way.

    Without that i would probably lose every will to workout or work on my career.

    1. I assume you are a young lad in your 20s?

      Don’t worry, the train is already in full motion, there will be several effective treatments available, and that’s not some distant utopia.

      The knowledge about hair biology is more or less complete and available to everybody, there’s many well funded companies, there’s different approaches, the market is gigantic – those are just some of the reasons why I firmly believe in solutions that are cures or at least close to cures.

      1. Well the specialist I saw a few weeks ago, top air specialist in this country here said “we don’t know much about hairloss.”

        1. The correlation between DHT and Androgenetic Alopecia, probably the single most attributing factor causing hair loss, has been known for decades.

          1. Yes…but it is not just that..proof is when women looses their hair blocking DHT is sometimes not enough and adding a pill to add estradiol works better. For women with hairloss ditching the birth control pill : hairloss returns 9 / 10. Even if you increase Spiro dosage.

        2. We know enough such that hair loss can usually be stopped if you take Dutasteride + Estrogen + Spironlocatne + possibly one other anti-androgen.

          We also know that castration always cures male pattern baldnes, so something is being generated in that part of the body that causes hair loss!

          1. Hi admin,
            I don’t think castration will cure hairloss, yes it might stop further balding but you still need some growth stimulants.

            1. I should have emphasized that I meant castration before puberty! After puberty, it will just stop further progression in those who are going bald early.

          2. If castration always cure mob, what about women loosing their hair ??? Women suffer androgenic alopecia as well, even those with low androgen levels…
            Can you imagine taking 3 different type of antiandrogens ? If you are a man how do you take estrogen ?

            1. Castration implying for men only. Male pattern hair loss. Ultimately, both men and women will often get significant hair thinning due to age.

              1. i am a female, i have hairloss due to androgen sensitivity.. that what AGA is even for women, even with low androgen levels….androgens are not just released by sexual organs, they also comes from adrenal glands… so castration even before puberty might not always work if women with low androgens by high sensitivity to it can suffer AGA.

                  1. And yet one women out of five suffer androgenic alopecia to some degree, even with no hormonal imbalance, and after menopause it’s one out of 3.

  15. I feel you man. I try to take it in stride, but hair loss is something that has weighed on me every day since I realized I was losing my hair.

    Best thing we can do is to do what we can with current treatments (if our bodies allow), check in from time to time on progress, and otherwise work on things in our control like career, dressing well, staying fit, and other life goals.

  16. @Ben

    What do you think about this new discovery by Chinese scientists couple of months ago?

    https://whatsnew2day.com/scientists-take-the-first-step-to-master-an-all-powerful-cell-type-from-the-beginning-of-life/

    Is this a scam as well?

    Just imagine you take adult stem cells chemically reprogram them into iPSCs (using small molecules who are cancer free and escape clinical limitations) and then reprogram them into human totipotent stem cells, so you can easily create whole human hair follicle from beginning. Totipotent stem cells are much more powerful than pluripotent stem cells, because they can grown whole human organ. That will be the perfect scenario, but this is still futuristic idea.

  17. Would those treatment works o my on dormant or also on dead follicles ? I mean what if you managed to stop your hairloss for 25 years thanx to l’inox or drugs, but did not get regrowth : would those treatments works on follicles that haven’t grown hair for 20 years or more ?

      1. I did not mean to ask about current treatment working on dead follicles, but about the ones that are being studied ? What about scube3 ? Would it work on dead follicles ?

        1. Yes I think so. If you look at the mechanism of action, it should activate growth also in long lost hair.

          But not 100 % certain.

      2. Examinations of long bald scalp skin show intact, miniaturized hair follicles. There is no diminution in follicle count until the 8th decade of life according to some of the early research by Dr Norman Orentreich, a hair transplant pioneer. We shouldn’t necessarily count out the stimulus of these follicles by drugs or other means. (developments in laser therapy, etc.).

        1. Yes, but the arrector pili muscle and progenitor cells “die” if I recall correctly. Still, reassuring that the actual follicles are still kicking.

          1. According to the video you posted where the scientists discuss the arrector pili muscle, that seems to be the case. Thanks for posting that. I’m 70 and have followed this research since the ’70s. This arrector pili matter may be why we’ve gone so long without any apparent progress. It could be that lots of drugs are affecting the hair cycle as intended, but it’s not obvious, or meaningful, due to the damaged pili muscle. Not a cherry thought.

            1. Exactly, though the fact that so many MTF trans people get back hair they lost over a decade ago is encouraging.

              So you still want hair at 70 right? I think that I will want my hair till the day I die.

              1. Oh yeah Admin, I’ve always been neurotic about hair lol, obsessively so. It’s stupid to be this vain but it’s a common human affliction as we know. I still have some hair and use finasteride and minoxidil and dermaroll. The vanity doesn’t go away.

                1. Cheers to you John, nice to see you still fighting the battle. I’ll be 60 in about a month, totally agree with you. However, I do feel that hair loss is less traumatic than it was in our 20’s or so. Nevertheless, we will still want our hair until our last breath. My dad had his hairpiece on when he took his.

                2. Strangely, I do not mind a few wrinkles, some fat, and 70 percent of original function in all organs at age 70. But hair is hair.

          2. What would that mean for a treatment like Scube3 ? would it work on follicles that haven’t produced hair for 20 years ? I have bald spot but i have follicles that haven’t produced hair for 20 years….

  18. Bryan is the only sensible rational minded person on here. Stemsons therapeutics is 100% coming out in the mid 2030s. I have a 3% hope in Junji Fukuda starting human trials next year for hair cloning or ever! Han bio will be another histogene and epibiotech is working on a topical and kintor is working on a pill we all know serum’s injectables and pills are too weak to show major improvement.

    1. Oh man, in your one single comment there is misinformation in pretty much every sentence…
      No Kintor is not developing a pill where on earth did you get that from? No Epibiotech is also not working on a topical either (at least the primary DP cell treatment they work on isn’t)
      Also where did you get the info from that injectables & pill are too weak?! The best results with the treatments we currently have available were documented using the oral variants of them. Same goes with injectable the showed massive potential in the study data available so far.

      1. @ arves Not true best documented evidence of hair growth was all done by hair cloning. Not including the pill to reverse autoimmune hair loss. So your wrong man

    2. Trolls like you and chinese undercover-agent Bryan should be banned from this forum.

      You contribute nothing and only spread bad vibes.

    3. Yea Marc Stemson wouldn’t get funding from venture firms for something that would take 10+ years and your information on Epibiotech and Kintor is incorrect. I don’t believe you should comment anymore on this forum, your information and delusion is unfortunately not required here. God bless.

      1. Wth you guys,
        Trolls or whoever should definitely speak up here. They help us test our convictions and our optimism.
        I stopped taking finasteride years and years ago because this website was filled with conviction and optimism that a cure would be here by 2020. I regret that decision every f-ing day of my life now. We don’t know if we are near a cure or a better solution and my bet is that it will likely come from some other company than these small start-ups that have to fundraise for their studies.

        1. Your first comment is in April 2022. What made you suddenly start commenting after all these years of reading? The website clearly has 1000s of negative pessimistic comments too, and I myself said many times I take Dutasteride. And used to take Finasteride.

          I also clearly say that it is my guess and I am no medical expert whatsoever. And the website About Us page (read it) states that you need to check many other opinions before deciding on any treatment. Selective omission of the various warnings, disclaimers and pessimistic comments?

          Out of the dozens of companies that might have tried curing hair loss in the last few decades, no company has succeeded so far.

          1. I don’t recall reading comments until the last couple of years, and I did not waste a lot of time doing so until this year. And no, I did not read your about us page. I know your not a doctor. I’m responsible for the position I am currently in and I need to be more careful of buying into the click-bait that has helped get me into the position I am in.

      2. Yoyo I’m sorry but your age is obvious to anyone who’s been through this for many decades. I know your a med student but you are extremely young and naïve and I’m absolutely correct about about stemsons time line and epibiotech is working on a serum just like replicel and kintor is just working on a pill . I know the truth hurts don’t it ! Let’s make wager yoyo for bragging rights come back here in 2027 and let’s see where these start ups will be . I have nothing to lose I’m only a norwood 2 but your dating life will disappear right before your eyes waiting for something that is to good to be true.

          1. I’m sorry yoyo I didn’t mean to come off like that. Its just that your optimisms are not yet jaded , by the realities let’s just pray and hope in the 2030s hair cloning comes out . and plus all this hair loss talk is pure vanity and we just want to be noticed by the opposite sex, knowing that hair loss is detrimental to one’s self-esteem . and appearance its already hard enough to get a date , but with balding its even harder.

  19. Phase 1 clinical trials in 2025 at best, meaning commercially available in….2035. Who cares if it is this late ?

    1. I’ve personally never heard of commercialisation in 10 years, that’s crazy maybe this will be the first approved drug in 10 years lmao

    2. Yes that was valid for the new candidate (AMP601 aka SCUBE3) apparently, but it seems they are pushing it forward. I stick to my theory that SCUBE3 is not patentable and has no priority for them.

      I think the 10 years are not unrealistic: preclinical, phases 1, 2, 3 and commercialization are normally plus/minus 10 years. Basic research is not included in this timeline.

      Anyhow: if funding is stable and the candidates are safe and effective it can be much faster than that. Kintor will eventually push their candidates through in under 5 years.

      It’s also a matter of classification: autologous cell based treatments are quicker than small molecules.

  20. If it is the big breakthrough that they claim it is, it won’t take that much time to be available to the public. I know, it is a big if but if it works, they will commercialize it very quickly. Long trials is often synonym of failure or a product that is not performing as expected.

    I’ve been reading about hairloss cure for 20 years now and I’ve never been so full of hope since Scube3.

    1. What about Fukuda, Stemson and Hope etc? If you don’t mind me asking how old are you and what does the land of treatment for hair loss look like now comparatively to when you first started to read about a cure for hairloss.

      1. I am 35 y/o.

        In comparison to the other treatments, the treatment being pursued by Amplifica is simpler and based on the fact that we just have to find the right compound to wake the dormant hair follicule. Maybe Scube3 won’t be as efficient as in a mouse but with more experimentation and with advanced computer simulations, we will get a cure sooner or later.

        Considering the background of Dr. Plikus who was experimenting with moles prior to focusing on hair, I feel confident that Amplifica will succeed where others have failed for the simple reason that others lacked the broader knowledge that Plikus is bringing to this venture.

        Finally, how many times have I read here that the cure for hairloss will be an accident? Well, the discovery of Scube3 was a bit random according to last summer articles.

        Maybe I am wrong but I strongly feel that this approach will succeed and will make the other solutions unnecessary.

        (Sorry for the over-simplification, I know it is more complex but english is not my primary language)

    2. Big or small breakthrough have nothing to do with fast/slow clinical trials. It will ALWAYS take 10 years to do the preclinical/phase1/phase2/phase3/licensing/commercialization cycle. There’s no shortcut because this is a “BIG” breakthrough. FDA won’t allow commercialization if the cyle is not FULLY done. And that’s why so many promising treatments fail, it’s because it’s too expensive to do the trials, and too long for investors to get their money back. Do you know why finasteride/minoxydil succeeded ? Because they were already approved treatments for other conditions. They didn’t have to do whole cycle, meaning spending less money on trials and getting more money back way faster.

      1. If it “takes too long to get their money back ,” then how has any treatment ever been FDA approved for anything? A truly effective and safe androgenic alopecia cure would be one of the most profitable medicines in history.

        1. Sure, but some people expect a truly effective treatment in a few years. This is so unrealistic. Not before 2035. During the next 10 years we will get various treatments with moderate efficacy such as breezula or kintor, only to grow back a little and maintain what you have.

  21. Periodically means couple of times per year just to get 100 more hairs on your head. Move on.

    Stemson and HopeMedicine are the real deal. All others are totally joke. Not even worth our attention.

    1. Stemson and hopemedicine are prolly the least exciting companies. Kintor gt20029 is further in testing as is their pyrilutamide. Also amplificas scube3 has the potential to be cure like but we dont know yet. MoogeneMedi has been quite since some time but topical dutasteride which doesnt go systematic and only has to be used once a week is also great.

      I think the article is a bit out of date. Igenza stated they to the toxicology study etc. And optimize scube3 or derived molecules. But they still research the way if application its not clear if it even has to be injected. And the preclinical testing isnt at aplifica its at igenza.

    2. According to the research papers and the pictures, it’s not just 100 more hairs.

      It’s literal „hypertrichosis“ which is caused by SCUBE3. The lab results were astonishing.

      Of course there’s a lot to verify in the human trials.

      1. And Plikus mentioned in the interview that they used mice for testing which is not good model for hair loss drug testing.

        Everyone can grown hair on mice.

        HopeMedicine is the only new drug that works in humans. To which level only clinical trials will show.

        Hair cloning is still decade away at least.

  22. Hi Admin, in case you haven’t seen it yet, there was an update podcast with Dr. Barghouthi about his Verteporfin trials!

    In the orignal thread is a link to the saved livestream and around 29 minutes in he shows recent updated photos of the highest dose area, and personally I find the result quite impressive.

  23. Admin, they said they will trial the lead compound but that not necessarily mean SCUBE3 .
    Its could be AMP-303 etc. Just pointing it out so it wont lead to false news.

    1. Thanks. I modified my sentence slightly, but I am still assuming it to be SCUBE3. That is what was being discussed in the UCI article right above the trial statement.

      1. I just kind of doubt it.

        SCUBE3 is naturally occurring and already obtainable on the free market.

        It’s not patentable and therefore less interesting from a business point of view.

        But who am I to know.

          1. A SCUBE3 self-treatment is probably the only experiment I would be willing to try, under certain circumstances.

            To figure out dosing and application-method would be the secret.

          2. Hi Admin – this is a pretty substantial acceleration in human trials (if I am understanding correctly). The Sept 2022 article mentions 2-3 years, but now they’re looking at this summer??

            1. Good point. I did not compare this to what they said in the past. It is also confusing since they say that they will likely find further molecules to add into the mix. And they sometimes discuss the SCUBE3 and osteopontin separately, and sometimes together.

              1. They also refer to another compound apart from the two mentioned that’s in their pipeline and which also has FDA approval for another condition…

      1. I would readily trade a perfect head of guaranteed lifetime teenage hair (with no itching ever) for an obsolete site with no purpose :-)

  24. Seems great, however I’m assuming just like Botox this form of application would constantly need to be reapplied just like Botox does. However, at this point I’d take it gladly lol. Good find admin

  25. in my opinion, Dr. Plikus Amplifica method for baldness will be the final and ultimate solution for ever. I am not sure why my instincts tell me that since i have awared from his study, i believe that will be the real remedy for us. But the question is when???,

    We are the long time balds who have been waiting for a long time to have a real cure are extremely exhausted.
    On the other hand, young generation has more time and they are realy lucky.

    The other studies except Stemson are realy time wasting and snack oil. I don’t think so Stemson solution would be proper cure for AGA due to hair transplantation. How can they arrange hundred thousands of hair direction . Nobody wants on his head full of hair same as from a factory. It would not be naturel.
    Thank you admin!! it was the best news i haven’t heard for a long time. It is really encouraging and hopes giving.

    That is the time to make more pressure to Amplifica to bring the cure in to marrket As soon as possible .
    Also we can support them with small investments with any money chain.
    Best hopes baldbrothers.

  26. Excellent post. I hope the atrophied arrector pili muscle in human balding skin doesn’t quash the enthusiasm. Does Dr. Plikus discuss this problem, admin?

    1. No, through it seems like only Dr. Andrew Messenger and Dr. Rodney Sinclair were covering this subject in the past. The fact that hair transplant grafts work even when transplanted to a totally bald frontal scalp region with atrophied arrector pilli muscles seems encouraging.

      Another widely cited theory in the past was that hair follicles are still present in totally bald scalps, but progenitor cells are gone.

      Irrespective of everything, the below gives me hopes for recovering what was lost:

      https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/so-it-seems-like-totally-balding-areas-of-the-scalp-can-regenerate-long-lost-hair/

      https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/male-to-female-mtf-transition-hair-growth/

      https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/reddit-oral-minoxidil-hair-growth-reviews/

      1. Good points and references. In the case of transplanted hair, however, those donor site hairs are transplanted with the arrector pili muscle attached to the hair follicles, in place and ready to get to work in the new location. Each follicle has an attached arrector pili. Those from donor areas have not been degraded by the slow death of DHT poison.

        1. I asked this question to Dr. Messenger in the past and he stated that there is ongoing research in this exact area. I am not sure if surgeons can guarantee attached AP muscles during extraction. And it seems hard to believe that a “muscle” can be transplanted and remain attached and continue functioning as normal. Even some follicles die and do not take off after a hair transplant. I would think that a large (30 plus percent?) of the AP muscles would not function in the recipient area like they used to in the donor?

          1. I’ll bet that’s a good estimate, admin. Having followed hair loss research since the 1970s, I am concerned the AP muscle has been the big unstated and unknown problem all along. I have a bad feeling about it. If I’m right and I hope I’m not, nothing in anyone’s pipeline right now will do any more that get additional cycles from non-productive follicles that still have some AP muscle. This is why we’re so disappointed with even the Kintors of the world.

  27. I wonder if there will be a need to combine this osteopontin with the Follica wounding technique? I still thought Follica was on to something with that.

  28. I’m not writing this to get attention. I just want to give a little side note the reason you all haven’t seen me in awhile on here. I’m on lexapro now for my mental health and it’s working great. Been on it for two months now and I’m not sad about my hair loss anymore. I’m still on finasteride but I’m not obsessing and dwelling over it my hair anymore which was very unhealthy I haven’t felt this good mentally in along time. I hope everyone is doing good.

  29. Osteopontin and Scube3 seem to have complex effects on the body and a role in many cancers and degenerative diseases like, in the case of osteopontin, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. It will likely require a lot of safety analysis to use them in a therapeutic manner that does not increase the risk of developing these diseases.

  30. Hey Admin,

    Long time lurker, first time poster here. Thank you for your work in updating the masses on the latest and greatest in hair loss research. I had an honest question for you. As optimistic as I’d like to be, do you sincerely believe that we will have anything on the horizon available for us hair loss sufferers any time soon? Hypothetically, even if a cure for hair loss was found, wouldn’t it take several years AT LEAST to go through the safety and regulatory hurdles? With that being said, it seems like we’re several years away from being several years away. Do you see any future where this is (hopefully) not the case?

    1. The short answer is no …. There are many new interesting avenues being explored but at the end of the day , nothing is close that will provide the results we are looking for. The best you can hope for ( somewhat realistically) is that in your children’s lifetime there will be a viable option for keeping one’s hair.
      You, like me and everyone else on these sites use it as some sort of hope or mental software to help us cope.

      1. Stu, if you sincerely have no hope for the immediate future of hair loss research, then why do you come to a place like this? Wouldn’t it be better for you to make peace with the inevitable harsh reality that you expect us to experience? Just a thought…

        P.S. is “Stu” just a pseudonym for mjones? Man, that guy was depressing.

        1. I’ve tried to study these types of characters for a while myself. I never understood those types of people that come to a site like this spread doom and gloom and then leave lol. I don’t think I’ll ever get my answer.

          1. Usually they are spammers. But some rare ones who write the same negative sentences each week also contribute something very useful from time to time. So I avoid banning them for a few months at least. I don’t think I have banned anyone at all in the past year.

    2. I am still hopeful about Dr. Tsuji releasing his “cure” in 2026.

      If you are in the early stages of hair loss, a host of new products that target the androgen receptor and other RNA based ones hold potential. Add to those the Bayer product, Epibiotech and Han Bio that some consider even more interesting. I am probably missing a few others. Just go through my “hair research” page in the top menu.

      1. What are your thoughts on Epibiotech being released potentially in 2026/2027? You think they’ll pull through (considering their advancements and constant updates). That would do some serious coverage for your hair via dermal papilla multiplication.

  31. A bit off topic but someone mentioned it above. I’ve been taking pyril for a little while now and it’s 100% stopped my shedding. I haven’t seen a single hair. I don’t think it’ll reverse anything but a full stop of shedding? I’ll take it. Works better than liquid/foam minox did for me.

  32. Admin can this possibly be better than hair cloning? And will it be permanent? If it’s not, then I guess hair cloning would be better.

  33. Hey admin, Can you please research the topic of Dutasteride and its recent price increase? I think Dr. Nusbaum confirmed it on the Mane Event just now. I think it would be beneficial for your readers to learn more about this story.

  34. Hello administrator, I like your optimism, it shows that you have hope like me in a short-term solution despite having suffered from alopecia for years. I wanted to ask you, if a definitive solution (Fukuda and Tsuji) is available between now and 2026, will there be a 100% effective solution to keep all the existing hair? In my case, I had a hair transplant 3 years ago and I have been taking dutasteride and oral minoxidil daily since then.

  35. The mole thing is awesome. That’s so funny and rational that I just have to believe the claims. Brilliant idea for someone to study why moles trigger hair growth :-) Hope we get a product soon.

  36. The good news seems to be coming thick and fast now admin, thank you.

    Apologies if this has been covered but do we know their pipeline codes?

    So far I can make out:
    AMP-203 = osteopontin
    AMP-601 = SCUBE3
    AMP-303 = CD44?

    1. Thanks for checking! From some of the recent articles, I assumed they would be testing more than just Osteopontin in these very trials. If anyone sees the trial details published on clinicaltrials.gov, please post the link here.

      — In the DermWire interview I linked to in this post, Dr. Plikus said that AMP-203 is their osteopontin-based compound.

      — In my January 2023 update, the company announced that their early-stage SCUBE3 compound will be referenced as AMP-601.

      — In this latest press release, it just says AMP-303 is their lead condidate. Without mentioning the actual compound. Would be surprising if their lead candidate as based on CD44 since we kept hearing of the other two molecules/compounds all this time.

      1. Surely they wouldn’t create an entire new pipeline code for a combination of existing pipeline candidates?

        Anyway, time will tell. Thanks again for your reportage and here’s to hoping all the recent developments will actually translate into treatments before long.

        Did you see Replicel’s most recent update? Are you following their progress?

          1. And interestingly I think Amplifica were talking about wanting precise injectability for their candidate compounds…

              1. Thanks admin.

                On a side note, is it possible to sign up for email alerts for your updates, I want to try and limit my visits to the site to when they’re truly needed?

                1. I do not have an email notification system unfortunately, but there is an RSS feed link at the bottom. Maybe that can help?

  37. This is all promising. They seem the most determined out of all the companies, with several approaches. I wonder how many years before we’ll see a viable product, if trials go well. Being an injectable, I assume they can’t go the cosmetic route and fast-track it. Mind you, Botox is a poison.

    1. Aderans, Avodart, Follica, Gho, Histogen, Intercytex, Kythera, Replicel, Samumed, Tsuji version 1 etc… all caused so much excitement at one time or other. I was especially hyped when Avodart got FDA approval in November 2001 :-(

      1. Amen to that! It’s obviously been a combination between shady venture capital schemes and establishment hair loss industries squelching progress to protect their recurring revue streams. That said, there’s bound to be a breakthrough at some point. I always appreciate this website for reporting on the latest reasons for hope.

  38. Btw, I noticed Follica’s website is nearly devoid of the info it used to have; have they officially thrown in the towel?

  39. Last year, lead product candidates were AMP-303 and AMP-506
    Now, we have AMP-203 & AMP-601.

    So do we really have 4 candidates?

  40. Hey Admin, suppose Osteopontin gets approved for use, if you had to guess, what year do you think it could be introduced into the market? Thanks

  41. We are 3,5 months into this trial. Somewhere on this planet there’s a guy already walking around knowing whether or not this scube thingy has a positive effect on hair growth. Would be nice if he leaked his results. That way the chinese can already start copying and setting up clinics and i can look for flight tickets.

    1. A great interview, thanks for sharing. He is such an outstanding individual and his vita is just wild. He once also responded to a question of mine on Reddit. I truly believe him when he says he wants to improve the patients situation in every aspect (safety, finance, aesthetics).

      I kind of disagree though with his takes on slick bald scalps („the stem cells are gone and restoration is impossible“) – there’s ancedotal evidence of regeneration and afaik HMI-115 did exactly that. Furthermore he is skeptical about haircloning as there are many obstacles to face eventually, eg aesthetic results. I think the teams around the world working exactly on these issues already (otherwise those products are not marketable!).

      He announced results from Amplifica in a years time – but Frank Fazio said Q1. in fact the trial should be finished already.

      So there’s a little bit of conflicting information, but after all he‘s a hair transplant surgeon and he’s indirectly promoting his business, which is fine especially as he is one of the good ones, constantly pushing the limits. Also said he founded a company called „N Graft“ (?) which is developing better tools for surgery and other improvements in transplanting hairs.

      1. I couldn’t agree with you more, it did feel Iike he isn’t entirely aware of the work of the likes of Fukuda or Stemson. Like you said, there is an aspect of him promoting his business. I also did read that the actual stem cells never dies but just stays “inactive”, but let’s see what the future holds it’s looking more and more hopeful

        1. Well Dr. Rassman, as sharp as he still appears, is already 81. To co-found two new start-ups in that age is remarkable alone. I hope I‘ll be as fit in that age.

          His role could be though regarded as investor and „elder statesman“ of these companies. I doubt he is involved in the daily management or even R&D.

          I also think that Dr. Bill Lowry from Pelage confirmed that stem cells don’t magically vanish. They become dormant, but can be awakened to some extent.

  42. Hey Ben I just recovered these quotes from Plikus himself from an interview earlier this year.

    Plikus suspects that by injecting osteopontin around old follicles that have stopped producing hair, dormant stem cells could be reactivated, regrowing bald spots that develop on our heads with age.

    “It will grow like you remember it when you were 18, it would not grow like thickened, wiry armpit hair,” he said. “This burst of molecules is shown to hair follicles on a scalp, and they’re like, ‘Oh, OK. Time to grow!'”

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