Category Archives: Gail Naughton

Histogen Phase 1B/2A Trials for HST 001 Begin

Update: September 10, 2020 — Histogen just announced completion of dosing milestone in its 1b/2a trial for androgenic alopecia in men.

Update: June 23, 2020 — New update on Histogen study from Emily (see bottom half of this post for more):

“As of this morning, we are half way enrolled. The last day to screen for the study will be July 10th. If anyone is interested, they should call me this week and I will get them scheduled.”


June 16, 2020

I first covered San Diego based Histogen (stock ticker HSTO) in 2014. At the time, there was a lot excitement about the company’s Hair Stimulating Complex (HSC) product HST 001. It is supposed to be more effective than Finasteride or Minoxidil in treating male pattern baldness. Histogen’s Linkedin page currently shows them with 28 employees and 584 followers.

This HST 001 product is an injectable that contains key growth factors which benefit hair growth. These include KGF, VEGF, and follistatin, all of which positively impact hair follicle stem cell proliferation. The growth factors are produced by hypoxia-induced conditions.

Between 2014 and 2018, Histogen made steady progress. In 2018, when I last wrote about the company, they were set to start Phase 3 clinical trials in Mexico. The excitement in the hair loss world was palpable. Histogen was also starting trials for its women’s hair loss product HSC660.

Most people assumed that Histogen’s HSC would be available by 2020. Unfortunately, something went wrong and the company never managed to complete those final Phase 3 trails.

Histogen Hair Stimulating Complex Regenerates Itself

Instead, in 2019, Histogen went “back to the future” on us. They announced that they were starting Phase 1b trials! This major regression on the part of Histogen was shocking. And when combined with the demise of Aclaris Therapeutics’ JAK inhibitor trials for androgenetic alopecia, 2019 ended up being disappointing. The one positive was that at least Histogen did not disband or go bankrupt.

Histogen HST 001
Histogen Hair Stimulating Complex (HST 001) trial schedule from their site today.

However, Histogen is now back on track again and has received FDA approval to proceed with trials in 2020. Moreover, the company merged with Conatus Pharmaceuticals in 2019 and made Richard Pascoe the new CEO.

I was still not planning to write any post covering the company this year. My goal was to only write about Histogen again if they announced completion of Phase 2 trials. I did not want to go on yet another wild goose chase.

However, I was forced to alter my decision because of the below e-mail that I received out of the blue today. I am surprised that they mention Histogen in the e-mail and do not keep the company name private.

Histogen Patient Recruitment for HST 001

Hello Page Admin of Hair Loss Cure,

I am the Manager of Recruitment at California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute. We are a research site in Encinitas, California focused on dermatology specific clinical research studies.

We just opened enrollment for a male pattern hair loss study testing a new investigational treatment. The sponsor is the San Diego based drug manufacturer, Histogen. Here is a bit more information on the development of this drug so far: June 1 Announcement.

We are looking for participants ages 25 – 55 who are grades 3 vertex, 4 or 5 on the Norwood Hamilton scale and are not currently using finasteride or minoxidil. This study will take place over a 26 week period and has 7 visits to our office in Encinitas. Compensation may be provided to those who qualify and enroll.

If you think any of your viewers would be interested in participating, I would really appreciate you sharing our information!

Anyone who would like to see if they may qualify can reach me at (760) 203-3836. If anyone is interested, they should contact me at their earliest convenience, as the study hopes to fill enrollment within the next month.

Emily Baker
Manager of Recruitment and Digital Presence

California Dermatology & Clinical Research Institute
561 Saxony Place Suite 102, Encinitas, CA 92024
P (760) 203-3839 x102 | F (760) 203-3840 |
www.cdcrinstitute.com

It is encouraging that they are testing HST 001 on men with extensive baldness only.

Please contact this company only if you satisfy all the requirements mentioned in the e-mail. You have to travel to Encinitas (San Diego), California seven times in six months. So I am guessing that you do not want to contact them if you do not live nearby.

Dr. Gail Naughton Presentation

Histogen CEO Dr. Gail Naughton’s 2013 presentation is shown below. In there, it is mentioned that the company’s Hair Stimulating Complex was already in Phase 2 trials :-( Dr. Naughton seems to have a stellar reputation in the biotech and regenerative medicine world.

Positive News from Shiseido, Histogen and Dr. Brotzu

As if the great news from Aclaris earlier this month wasn’t enough, out of the blue we get three new positive developments from totally separate entities during the past week.

Shiseido

Yesterday, this blog’s unpaid but respected Japanese correspondent “nosyu” provided us with a link to a big news story that Shiseido was commencing clinical trials in Japan in partnership with Tokyo Medical University and Toho University. Seems like the trial will entail 60 men and women and go on for up to 3 years. Another new article estimates the cost of treatment to be around $900.

Shiseido’s technology is probably identical to what the original inventor Replicel is/was doing in terms of autologous cell culturing and transplantation using the permanent hair at the back of a balding person’s scalp. Perhaps Shiseido might have its own improvements to the Replicel process, but that is hard to tell at the moment. It seems like one set of injections will give lifelong results!

Note that Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi of Tokyo Medical University (who will lead the clinical research work there), is also co-president of next year’s 10th World Congress for Hair Research. So Shiseido is hiring very reputable people. This development is especially good news since Replicel’s stock price and previously strong social media responsiveness have both tanked in recent months (perhaps this newly published video with Replicel CEO Lee Buckler was not filmed too long ago and Replicel is still continuing work in the hair department). Thankfully, Shiseido (the world’s fifth largest cosmetics company) is not letting us down.  Also see my post from 2014 on Japan’s new laws fast-tracking stem cell treatments.

Histogen

To my utmost surprise, Histogen’s CEO Dr. Gail Naughton responded to some questions from HLT forum member “Tomtom21”. Over the years, I have become disenchanted with this company (despite my regular coverage of it on this blog) since it seems to have been in the news for at least ten years. Numerous presentations, successful funding rounds and much media attention have still not led anywhere insofar as treatment being made available anytime soon to the general public. Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see the CEO responding to people in person. I always found Ms. Naughton to be fairly genuine and sincere and hope that her company does end up like this.

Getting back to the subject matter of this news item, Dr. Naughton states that Histogen’s HSC treatment will be made available in Mexico first in 2018 (!) and they will soon be conducting a large-scale 330-person clinical trial in Mexico with a local partner. They are also close to getting a partner in China for what I assume will be human trials in that country. The company is also planning for Phase I trials in women and Phase II trials in men in the US soon. Dr. Naughton said that higher doses are more effective per Dr. Craig Ziering’s findings. Finally, the company will most likely get more funding from an Asian partner, and will also prepare for an initial public offering (IPO) thereafter.

Brotzu Lotion

While all these new-age companies with their sizable funding rounds look into cellular biology, 81-year old Dr. Giovanni Brotzu is old school and prefers a topical product. I never wanted to cover this man’s work in the first place, but here I am mentioning him for a second time this year. Last week Dr. Brotzu gave a detailed interview to an Italian hair loss forum team. The big news is that there is an ongoing trial using his Brotzu lotion on 60 androgenetic alopecia patients. Virtually everything he says sounds reasonable to me, although I have done very little research on the accuracy of some of the more esoteric things that he mentions that I do not understand. He does make some excuses about the lack of photos.

Someone more motivated than myself can check out the Italian forum threads on this man and see if people over there are also optimistic. I like the fact that Dr. Brotzu openly and honestly states that his product will not help regain long-lost hair. Most likely, the best case scenario is that you will only regain what you lost in the past five years. Still a great potential solution for many younger people. Dr. Brotzu has a few patents to his name (the details for some of which include information on hair growth related applications).