Category Archives: Allergan

Brief Items of Interest, September 2016

Few days later than usual, but lots of new developments in the past month.

Hair loss news first:

— The most important news is courtesy of HLT, which several days ago interviewed people from the Dr. Tsuji/RIKEN/Organ Technologies team (but not Dr. Tsuji himself). Interview publication has been delayed due to Japan’s “Respect for the Aged Day“, but according to the HLT admin, he has been given permission to divulge the following regarding the Tsuji team’s work:

“Human trials to begin 2018. Commercial availability still on track for 2020.”

While not surprising since this is an affirmation of what was said in July of this year, it will hopefully put many people’s minds at ease…at least till early next year:-)

— Thanks to who else but JAK superfan “nasa_rs” for letting us know that Aclaris Therapeutics updated its pipeline page and finally added its topical JAK inhibitor product (ATI-500003) for men with androgenetic alopecia (AGA).  Interestingly, all four of its JAK products are now shown to be 80 percent or so through the pre-clinical phase and are on the verge of entering Phase 1 trials. According to the pdf from the company’s September 14th webcast (see page 26), proof-of-concept (POC = Phase 1 and Phase IIA) trials for the company’s alopecia areata (AA) drugs will commence in the first and second quarter of 2017.  Considering that JAK inhibitors Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib have already been FDA approved and in use for around 5-6 years, the big question is whether this will allow faster progression of Phase 1 clinical trials for Aclaris’ various JAK products?  According to wikipedia, there are currently seven other JAK inhibitors in clinical trials.

— Long-time perpetual disappointment Follica, which had earlier announced initiation of a registration study in the second half of 2016 has delayed plans till the first half of 2017 (thanks as always to “Mike G”, who sent me that link and has e-mailed me news about Follica many times in the past).  A recently announced best-case product release scenario of 2018 by Follica now sounds just as unlikely as hyper-prolific commentator “mjones” ever meeting with his hero and Follica founder Dr. George Cotsarelis:-(

— In my June “brief items of interest” blog post, I mentioned that Allergan had commenced phase 2A clinical trials for Setipiprant to treat androgenetic alopecia.  The company updated its clinical trial page again in August and many of their centers in the US are currently recruiting volunteers.  It seems like they will even pay you up to $650 for participating.

— Allergan also updated its Bimatoprost clinical trial page in August.  Study is expected to be completed very soon in October 2016.

Follicum updated its website regarding  the second part of their clinical phase I/IIa study for their FOL-005 hair loss product.  I like the fact that they are undertaking some of this work at the reputable Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Germany.  Follicum also sent out an e-mail to many people (one of whom was myself) and here is the gist of it:

“The study is divided in two parts, a single ascending dose part and a multiple dose part.  Multiple dosing has begun on healthy volunteers.  The study has now finalized recruiting volunteers and is fully recruited, it is being carried out in Germany at: Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.  As this is a regulated clinical trial results have to be published once the trial is completed and all the results have been analysed, which is estimated to be in January 2017.”

A conference on the Wnt signaling pathway ran from 14th-17th September in the Czech Republic.  Interestingly, Samumed was one of the main sponsors.  Of even more importance, it seems like Samumed made an extremely interesting and well received presentation at the 13th Medical Innovation Summit in London on September 17th 2016.  Why do I say that without seeing the actual presentation?  Because of numerous Tweets praising it…see this blog’s recent Twitter feed and thanks to commentator “Optimism” who notified me of the Twitter praise for Samumed’s presentation.

— One of the commentators on this forum named “skin” has created a thread on his dermarolling treatment on the Bald Truth forums. He made some interesting comments in this old post of mine that are worth reading, especially if you are considering trying out dermarolling.

Lengthy article on hair loss, including some thoughts from Dr. Claire Higgins.

— Yet another study on the genetics behind hair loss.

Scalp micropigmentation video on Quartz.

Troy Hurtubise wants to cure hair loss.  This is about as far fetched as it will ever get in our already way-out-there hair loss cure world.

Donald Trump lets Jimmy Fallon mess up his hair.

And now on to medical items of interest:

— Burned firefighter Pat Hardison continues to thrive one year after his face transplant.  Pretty amazing progression via monthly images in here.

— I have covered Zion Harvey 3 times on this blog now.  His 1-year post double hand transplant update video is below. Note that he has also had a kidney transplant and has prosthetic legs too:

— MIT scientist claims that his pill is the one when it comes to the fountain of youth.  Most important (and discouraging for us) quote:

“Guarente has been taking Basis for two years, but it’s a good bet that he is not among those who have observed hair growth as one of the pill’s effects.” 

— World’s formerly fattest man who lost 658 pound after gastric bypass surgery in 2010 will now get a second free surgery to remove excess skin.

— OxSyBio’s 3D “droplet printing” technology creates a tissue-like material that functions just like real cells.

— Embryos from skin cells instead of from eggs?  And of course artificial wombs. Would mean real freedom for both men and women.

Infertile mice give birth due to 3D printed ovaries.

Stem cell therapy restores arm and hand movement for a paralyzed man.

New drug to treat Alzheimer’s could be very effective.

—  Lysyl oxidase inhibition could eliminate scar formation.

Cold plasma to heal wounds.

— CRISPR’d vegetables are now here.

— With Japanese electronics behemoth Kyocera partnering with Tsuji/RIKEN and their cell based work, it is perhaps not surprising that in the US General Electric now aims to build a $1 billion business “offering vital manufacturing tools for a coming wave of cell therapies.

Manufacturing dopamine in the brain with gene therapy.

Dramatic advances in human-on-a-chip technology will likely lead to a significant reduction in animal testing.  As it is, we in the hair loss world have seen almost zero benefit from many decades of research on mice.  These chips are going to be a much better approximation of real human beings in comparison to mice it seems.

Updates from the 2015 WCHR and Related News Items

The 9th World Congress for Hair Research just ended in Miami and there is a surprising lack of online publicly available information regarding key developments. Some companies often publish their presentations on their websites several days after the end of such conferences, so I will update this post in the next week as new information comes out.

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Update: 9th World Conference for Hair Research abstracts now available online.

Update: Below is the unbelievable before and after image from Histogen’s Dr. Gail Naughton’s presentation that everyone is talking about.  I just wish they got someone other than Dr. Ziering to also conduct these trials since we have had some issues in the past with Dr. Ziering’s “stem cell” hair loss treatment website loading, then not loading, then shifting to a new address, then not loading again etc…  Then there is also this.  I would be a lot more confident if more than one physician displayed similar results.

Update: Samumed’s poster and Samumed’s slides.

Update: Hellouser’s Youtube channel.

Update: Hellouser’s interview with Hostogen’s Dr. Gail Naughton.

Update: Spencer Kobren’s interview with Histogen’s Dr. Gail Naughton, including all her slides.  Very encouraging and an absolute must see!

Update: Hellouser’s interview with Replicel’s Dr Rolf Hoffman and Lee Buckler.

—  Update: Spencer Kobren’s interview with Replicel’s Lee Buckler.

— The best place to get updates remains Hellouser’s thread on the HLT forums.  He is apparently back in Canada and fatigued at present, but will slowly update that thread (or perhaps create new threads on different companies in that portion of the HLT forums).  He is going to load his audio files somewhere outside the forums too.

Samumed came out yet another press release today, summarizing its presentation at the Miami Congress.  I am getting more optimistic about the company’s unique SM04554 topical product that tackles hair loss via the Wnt pathway.  At present, the company has only concluded that the product is very safe based on its recently completed 300 person trial (interestingly, one of the co-organizers of the 2015 WCHR, Dr. WIlma Bergfeld, was involved in this trial via the Cleveland center).  Actual data on new hair growth will come out as it becomes available, which I am hoping will be in early 2016.  The conclusion of the press release is encouraging, even if not pertaining to humans: “SM04554 has been shown to generate new hair follicles and increase hair count in multiple animal models.”  At the same time, we have to be wary from past experiences that all these press releases could very well be just a means to attract publicity and funding.  The final product could at best always end up being no better than Rogaine.

— I am disappointed that the 2015 WCHR Twitter account has been completely silent during and after the Congress.   It is unlikely that they will publish anything this week either, but maybe it is still worth keeping an eye on that account before it ends in Twitter purgatory. Maybe “Helllouser” should get the wwww.twitter.com/2016WCHR account now while no-one has it and then tell the Japanese organizers of next year’s Congress that he will do a much better job of updating it?

— I discussed Allergan twice in this blog recently (see here and here) and it seems like the company is now definitely merging with Pfizer. Together, the new entity will be by far the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.  Too early to tell how if at all this will impact the release of Allergan’s Bimatoprost and Setipiprant drugs to treat hair loss.

— Replicel usually publishes its latest presentation on its website and announces them via its Twitter account.

— Histogen remains the big mystery.  A few months ago, most people had given up on it. Then things changed and I wrote this post. Now “Hellouser” is saying that he was very impressed with their presentation.  I am really looking forward to his interview with CEO Gail Naughton.