Although a lot of important developments have occurred in the hair loss world in the past several weeks, I have not been excited by most.
New Treatments for Hair Loss in Women
— A few days ago, the New York Times had a fairly detailed and interesting article on thinning hair in women. The article includes quotes from well known experts frequently mentioned on this blog such as Dr. Joseph Greco and Dr. Angelo Christiano. It seems like Dr. Christiano has helped start a company (called Rapunzel of course) where she will focus on hair multiplication via cell culturing.
I am not too excited about this as yet since clinical trials are 1-2 years away. In essence, this is yet another “cure is five years away” type venture. Even that timeline is optimistic based on the assumptions that she raises the requisite funds and that each stage of clinical trials progresses as planned. The one redeeming factor is that Dr. Christiano is very passionate about helping women with hair loss, perhaps largely because she also suffers from hair loss and wears a wig.
— The other interesting item from the above mentioned New York Times article was an explanation on why Latisse (Bimatoprost) will probably not work as well on the head as it does on eyelashes. According to the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Melissa Piliang, a well known hair loss researcher and dermatologist, Latisse works by shifting hair that is in a resting phase into hair that is in a growth phase. However, while 70 percent of eyelash hair is usually in resting phase, only 10-20 percent of scalp hair is usually in resting phase. I wonder if that 10-20 percent potential new hair growth is enough to make Bitamoprost at least as good as Minoxidil?
— Cellmid, a company that I discussed earlier this year, just announced very good results from an independently conducted trial of its FGF-5 inhibiting drug évolis ONE. I would be a lot more excited about this product if were not based on naturally occurring botanical extracts. And if there were more positive anecdotal forums posts from existing Australian users of the product. I just do not believe that any natural hair loss product can cause regrowth in bald areas of the scalp. In any case, their CEO Maria Halasz has Tweeted to me that the product will be in pharmacies in May.
— Italian company Cosmo Pharmaceuticals changed the name of its yet to be approved CB-03-01 topical anti-androgen product to Breezula per a March 25, 2015 detailed company presentation. Strange choice of name. The company also changed its own name to a more Italian sounding Cassiopea in April 2015.
— The two main stories in the hair loss world last year both involved JAK inhibitors reversing alopecia areata. The before and after photos in both cases (see bone marrow cancer drug Ruxolitinib and arthritis drug Tofacitinib) were mind blowing and took the global media by storm. This month, yet another JAK inhibitor (cancer drug Baricitinib) proved to have similar results, but the publicity surrounding this development was modest.
— Although related to the skin rather than to hair, cosmetics giant L’Oreal ‘s and 3D organ printing giant Organovo’s newly announced partnership in research is one to watch closely. The human skin is very closely related to hair, and L’Oreal has already made its presence felt in the hair world due to its much hyped yet to be released gray hair prevention pill.
— Finally, I was surprised that the crazy Dr. Sergio Canavero of the full body transplant (or “head transplant”, as has been falsely named by much of the media) fame has already found a patient. So they are likely to proceed with this insanity in 2016. Even crazier, it seems like Dr. Canavero got over 100 volunteers asking him to be the first person to get a new body. I cannot imagine that this will ever work. More on Valery Spiridonov. You can also read this interview with him and this one with Dr. Canavero.