Hair loss news first:
Very busy past month in the hair loss world.
Update: Dr. Neal Walker just presented for the final (third) time this month on June 22, 2016, this time at the JMP Securities Life Sciences Conference in New York. Two clear POSITIVE statements on JAK inhibitors and AGA (webcast found here):
Mr. Walker: “We do know that systemic JAK inhibitors do not work in this (=AGA) disorder, but topical does.”
Investor question: “so it would work for both types of alopecia:”
Mr. Walker: “Yes.”
— Allergan starts phase 2A clinical trials for Setipiprant this month. Study completion date is set as September 2017. They are going to be recruiting all over the US for volunteers.
— I am disappointed that in my last blog post, despite over 350 comments, there was essentially zero discussion of the two most salient points that I made:
- Commentator “nasa_rs”‘ blast from the past and its relevancy if any to JAK inhibitors (i.e., topical>system plus works for both AA and AGA).
- Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) being classified as an immune system problem in Daphne Zohar’s presentation slide on Follica (enlargeable slide is here under “Tracksterdam’s post — see vertical text on left side). Yet, the same company’s co-founder Dr. Cotsarelis claimed to CNN in 2014 that AGA was not an immune system problem so JAK inhibitors were unlikely to work. The exact words in the CNN article: “Cotsarelis was adamant about it because male pattern baldness isn’t related to the immune system.“
— An interesting new interview with Dr. Takashi Tsuji. Not too much on hair, but nevertheless worth a read. Key part:
Interviewer question: “Speaking of hair loss, it was recently reported that you are working with a private company to development a treatment for using regenerative medicine to regrow hair. Will this be available soon?”
Dr. Tsuji’s answer: “I think it will. We have developed technology to grow hair follicles using stem cells, as hair follicles are one of the few organs where we always have stem cells ready. We hope to be able to start clinical trials in the next few years so that the treatment can move into the clinic.”
Having a mathematics background, I am biased and was pleased to read two quotes from Dr Tsuji: “Biological phenomena are governed by mathematics” and “I think that probably all of biology can be explained by math.”
— I hate to give Donald Trump’s hair any more coverage than has already been given by the media for years, but this new 10 page (!!) or so article is pretty spectacular in its depth and research effort. The best ever analysis of Trump’s hair. I learnt a new hair loss industry term: “microcylinder intervention.” The 25th floor in Trump Tower is apparently where all the hair action has been taking place for years.
— A new privately-held company named RiverTown Therapeutics claims to have a proprietary topical product called RT1640 that regrows hair and also darkens gray and white hair. They claim to have tested the product in seven humans so far. Way too few to garner any confidence, and the company does not seem to have a website as yet. If the company’s CEO David Weinstein ever changes his Linkedin photo and suddenly has dark hair, I will follow the company more closely:-) The three agents that comprise RT1640 are supposedly very safe and together they promote “the reanimation of hair follicles through the recruitment and differentiation of follicular stem cells, including melanocyte stem cells.”
— Also thanks to Xaser94 for finding out about yet another new company named Gemstone Biotherapeutics.
— New study from the UK on β-catenin signalling and hair follicle regeneration during wound healing. Thanks to commentator Paul Pheonix for the find.
— New study from China titled “Self-assembling peptide hydrogel scaffolds support stem cell-based hair follicle regeneration.” Bit above my level of understanding, but thankfully we now have around 3-5 commentators who seem to understand this stuff well and are in the biology field in some capacity or other.
— I have covered Dr. Kevin McElwee on this blog before. It seems like his lab at The University of British Columbia in Canada (plus others) might be doing some hair loss related research for a new company named Avagenesis.
— Increasing rumors that Prince William is finally considering getting a hair transplant.
— US swimming superstar Katie Ledecky has been in the news a lot lately due to the approaching 2016 Rio Olympics. Her hairline is a hot topic of discussion online and recently Katie said “I have such short hair that they think I’m a little boy” in an interesting interview.
— Bulgarian soccer/football player Dimitar Berbatov gets a great hair transplant.
— Ending on a sad note. A really tragic hair transplant related death. Be very careful when you go abroad for cheap hair transplants, and run away immediately if they offer you a 50 percent discount.
And now on to medical items of interest:
— Wearable artificial kidneys could change painful dialysis treatment forever.
— A story that some stroke patients were walking again after stem cell therapy at Stanford caused a lot of excitement recently, but some scientists remain skeptical.
— Baby-making in the lab instead of via sex and eugenics. No longer far fetched.
— BBC Panaroma — Gene Editing. Youtube video is now removed from the US (my favorite part started around 22:30 and my favorite quote was right after 28:20 in the video that I saw).