Category Archives: Allergan

Exicure and Allergan

I have covered cosmetics behemoth Allergan (Ireland) many times on this blog in the past. Earlier today, the company entered into a hair loss product related agreement with Exicure (US) that made major news headlines. I cover this story in more detail at the bottom of this post.

The two spherical nucleic acid (SNA) based products involved are not even in Phase 1 trials yet. Therefore, I am not at all excited about this news. However, it is interesting to see how Allergan is becoming omnipresent in the hair loss world.

Allergan Exicure Product Pipeline
Exicure’s Dermatology and Hair Loss Product Pipeline.

Note that Allergan was close to being purchased by Pfizer in 2018, but the deal fell through. In 2019, Allergan was acquired by biopharmaceutical company AbbVie. This was a major takeover that required $30 billion in bond purchases earlier this week.

Allergan in the Hair Loss World

Allergan has purchased or partially funded numerous companies that are involved in the search for a new hair loss treatment or cure.

Among these include all of the below, which I have covered in detail on this blog in the past.

Allergan also owns rights to the Botox brand. Moreover, the company has partnered with Histogen in the skin regeneration sector.

It seems like Allergan is purchasing stakes in hair loss treatments that widely differ in their mechanism of action. i.e., the company is hedging its bets that a miracle could come from many different areas. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) reduction is clearly passé.

Allergan Funds Exicure’s Hair Loss Product Development

Eerlier today, it was announced that Allergan was providing $25 million in immediate funds to US based biotech company called Exicure. The agreement gives Allergan exclusive licensing to Exicure’s two hair loss drug candidates.

Exicure will be eligible to receive milestone payments of up to $97.5 million per program. Ultimately, if the product is commercialized, Exicure can get further milestone payments of up to $265 million per program.

While I have never heard of Exicure before, the company is apparently working on two different hair loss treatments. Their technology is based on Spherical Nucleic Acid (SNA).

Unfortunately, both hair loss products are yet to commence Phase 1 trials. Allergan’s funding will probably make this initial step more likely.

Lowry and Lowe

In 2017, I covered some important groundbreaking hair loss research from UCLA, led by scientists William Lowry and Heather Christofk.

These researchers discovered two topical compounds (RCGD423) and (UK5099) to regrow hair. Both drugs, via different mechanisms, increase the production of lactate. This in turn activates hair follicle stem cells and leads to increased and quicker hair growth. Dr. Lowry’s patent is here. Note that RCGD423, activates the JAK-STAT signaling pathway.

Dr. Lowry, Pelage Pharmaceuticals and UCLA

Update: January 2023 — Pelage Pharmaceuticals’ new site is live.

Earlier today, reader “PinotQ” posted an important update on progress regarding these compounds’ further development. The compounds and technology have been exclusively licensed by UCLA to Pelage Pharmaceuticals, a startup company founded by Dr. Christofk, Dr. Lowry and Dr. Michael Jung.

Moreover, 100 percent of the shares in Pelage will be purchased by Allergan (Ireland) per an agreement. I have covered pharmaceutical giant Allergan many times on this blog in the past, and they are heavily invested in various new hair growth product technologies.

Rob Lowe has Taken Finasteride for 30 Years. Via his veins.

Rob Lowe Hair Finasteride
Rob Lowe Thick Hair Due to Finasteride?

Actor Rob Lowe has been in the news this week after insulting Prince Williams’ hair loss. Mr. Lowe is 55 years old, and claims that at the first sign of hair loss 30 years ago, he stared taking a hair loss drug. Per the quote below, he took it intravenously via his veins! I assume he means finasteride injections.

Rob Lowe quote:

“The first glimmer that a single hair of mine was going to fall out, I was having that stuff mainlined into my (expletive) veins. And that’s what I did for the next 30 years.”

Prince William Hair Loss
Prince William Balding.

Almost everyone thinks that this drug that Rob Lowe took (and is maybe still taking) is Finasteride, usually given in the form of a pill. Donald Trump takes the same drug for his hair loss.

Dutasteride (Avodart) was not available 30 years ago (the younger Ashton Kutcher got lucky). I am not sure if it is a good idea to get Finasteride delivered through your veins, although Mr. Lowe has to this day maintained a very good head of hair and seems healthy.