Category Archives: 21st Century Cures Act

Brief Items of Interest, December 2016

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.

Adipose Derived Stem Cells Hair Growth
Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Hair Treatment

— 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“.

Rafael Nadal gets a hair transplant.

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.

3D printed organs look, feel and bleed like the real thing.

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.

Mice lifespans extended by 30 percent and organs rejuvenated via reprogramming the genome. Actual study.

Some new information on Google’s Calico.

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.

Brief Items of Interest, February 2016

Hair loss news first:

— Thanks to commentator “nosyu” from Japan for posting a link with news from today regarding hair and skin focused Japanese company Adjuvant Cosmetics, the renowned Dr. Takashi Tsuji (RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology) and Organ Technologies getting into some kind of partnership agreement.  The Japanese to English translation did not work well enough for me to gather all the details. Make sure to do a  search on this blog for Dr. Tsuji to read past posts that I have written about him.

— Since I started writing this blog, of all the researchers and companies involved in the hair loss world, Replicel has by far and away provided us with the most regular updates.  This past month has been no exception.  Here is a new video with Replicel’s CEO Lee Buckler starting his presentation at 16:11.  The presentation was part of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)’s “Investing in Japan” conference in Toronto, Canada that took place on January 29th 2016.  The focus of the conference was on Japan’s booming regenerative medicine market.  Lee also discusses Replicel’s partner Shiseido.  From the same conference, here is a pdf of Lee’s presentation.  And finally, here is a new letter from the CEO.

— The latest issue of Nature Biology has an interesting article titled “Biotechs target stagnant baldness market.”  Only half the article is visible for free online, but you can find some hair loss forum threads where people are posting links to the full article.  Some of those links came up with security warnings on my browser, so I am not posting them here.  My favorite and at the same time least favorite sentence from the article:  “It’s been 25 years since Propecia (finasteride), from Merck of Kenilworth, New Jersey, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992.

— Study from Japan suggests that COL17A1 (collagen gene) could be a new target for therapy in preventing hair loss.

Kerastem clinical trial page was updated at the end of January 2016.  Go under the locations section of that page to see if there is a clinic near you where you can volunteer.  US only for now it seems.

Excellent new article summarizing latest hair loss treatment options.  One of the co-authors is the famous Dr. Antonella Tosti.

Polichem (which is working on a topical Finasteride product called P-3074) was purchased by Spain’s Almirall.   Also see this new positive study from Italy on P-3074.

— Did Dr. Bernard Arocha just perform the first ever documented ARTAS beard transplant?

Irish men are increasingly opting for hair transplants.  Is a reduction in alcohol consumption next?

And now on to medical items of interest:

Partisanship in the US hurting 21st Century Cures Act.  Thank goodness for Japan, Canada and probably some other countries by now.

— I have discussed Dr. Anthony Atala and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine several times on this blog before.  This week, both were widely covered by the media due to the completion of their 3D bioprinter that can make bone, cartilage and muscle (a culmination of 10 years of work it seems)!  Full journal article here.  No mention about hair in there, but a Canadian team’s 3D bioprinter related article from 2014 mentions the eventual feasibility of adding hair follicles to the new skin.  Some quotes from Dr. Atala here.

UK scientists get gene editing go ahead.  Now western scientists may become less prone to criticize the Chinese too much as they did last year.

Oldest heart transplant recipient dies 33 years after getting a new heart.  Amazing story.  In another article I read, his son said that he died from kidney problems and still had no heart problems.

— If you have older family members that you want to live longer, you might want to try to find a sketchy doctor who can help remove their senescent worn out cells without government approval.  Or ask Liz Parrish for advice on South American clinics.

A major boost for cryonics.

A major boost for cancer treatment.

— This week “New Scientist” had an interesting article titled “First fully approved off-the-shelf stem cells launch in Japan.”  You have to register to read it, so here is the pasted version.