21st Century Cures Act
— As expected, on November 30th the US House of Representatives passed the groundbreaking 21st Century Cures Act with a high level of bipartisan support. This Act has been discussed on hair loss forums fairly regularly over the past year since it would allow for faster times for hair loss drugs and stem cell therapies to come to market without the need for completion of extensive phase 3 clinical trials.
I think this development will also prevent more western pharmaceutical, medical device and stem cell therapy related companies from moving research and development activities to countries such as Japan, where a somewhat similar Act has already been passed. There are still a lot of uncertainties on the final regulations, and the rules could always end up being stricter for products related to cosmetic conditions such as hair loss. Wired magazine calls this development “inject and see” and warns of the obvious dangers of such an approach for patients.
— I covered firefighter Pat Hardison and his groundbreaking full face transplant on this blog before. I did not realize that he also got a full new head of hair and not just a new face..
— On Twitter, Dr. Alan Bauman recently posted an unbelievable before and after photo of a hair loss patient who was treated with adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC). The photo was from a Boston Biolife led presentation at the recent World Stem Cell summit held in Florida in early December. I contacted Boston Biolife and they said the doctor who made this presentation might send me the actual full presentation if I e-mailed him, but so far no response. I would normally consider such a great result from ADSC to be a scam or a one-time exceptional case that does not warrant too much discussion. However, I ended up including it here because the presentation was made at a seemingly reputable stem cell summit.
— On December 7th Aclaris Therapeutics announced that it had initiated phase 1 clinical trials for its ATI-50001 JAK inhibitor product to treat alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis. Also, in late November they had an earnings call, with the most relevant part for us pasted below:
“In addition to progressing our JAK treatment program for the treatment of alopecia areata and as we reported on our last call, we have initiated preclinical development of additional JAK inhibitors which we are developing for topical use both in vitiligo and androgenetic alopecia, which is also known as male or female pattern baldness. The program includes the development of ATI-5003, which is a covalently binding JAK3-specific inhibitor, and the preclinical and formulation work continue to progress as expected.”
— New study from Germany: “Hair follicle stem cell cultures reveal self‐organizing plasticity of stem cells and their progeny“.
And now on to medical items of interest:
— World’s oldest woman turns 117 and credits an eggs and cookies diet combined with no husband.
— I covered the crazy skin gun video from 2011 on this blog before. After five years of waiting, it seemed like the concept was a fantasy and would never take off. Now the US based company that is behind this product, RenovaCare, has been awarded a patent for its skin gun technology. And they also got covered by CNN this month.
— Chinese scientists implant 3D printed tissue into monkeys.
“Groundbreaking move marks step towards mass printing of organs for human transplant”.
— Dementia (including Alzheimer’s) could soon be treatable. Or at least stabilized and manageable.
— More good news on diabetes drug Metformin, which also helps with cancer treatment. This drug has been in use for over 60 years.
— New “liquid biopsy” chip to detect cancer from a drop of blood.