Category Archives: Kerastem

Dutasteride (Zagallo) in Japan and Kerastem Update

There have been a huge amount of hair loss related news items of interest in the past month.  Several of them probably deserved their own blog posts.

GSK Launching Dutasteride (Zagallo) in Japan

I did not realize that GSK was launching Dutasteride in Japan via the brand name Zagallo (to treat male pattern hair loss) and that this plan was delayed in late 2015. I did, however, cover the favorable Japanese GSK clinical trial results last year that are mentioned in that first link. Now comes word that Catalent’s French plant has been cleared to restart production. Note that Dutasteride was approved to treat hair loss in Japan on September 28th 2015.

It was approved for the same purpose in South Korea all the way back in 2010. In the US, it was approved to treat enlarged prostates in 2002. It is unlikely that GSK will try to get Dutasteride approved to treat hair loss in the US or EU. Make sure to read my Dutasteride (Avodart) hair growth experiences post and related comments. Note that if you are worried about Finasteride (Propecia) side effects, the more powerful Dutasteride (Avodart) will likely cause even more problem.

Kerastem Review

Since quite a few recent reader comments have mentioned Kerastem, I have to discuss Christopher1’s thread on hairsite regarding his Kerastem treatment in Switzerland. He had the treatment in early February of this year for $8,000. Unlike his well covered failed experiment with topical JAK inhibitor tofactinib, this time he went to a professional clinic to get the Kerastem treatment. Per his latest post from three days ago, he has good news to share and I quote:

“After having brought you some bad news about my Jak inhibitor trial, I finally have some good news for you. It’s not great, but it’s very good. My hair has stopped falling out. It stopped about three weeks ago, which was a bit over 2 months after my Kerastem treatment.”

Note that this is only one data point and there has been no regrowth. Moreover, and we do not know how long this cessation in hair loss will last. The rest of his post indicates that this is the first time in 15 years that his hair has stopped falling out. Kind of similar to my experience with low-dose oral Minoxidil. I find “Chrisopher1” to be a reliable and sincere person.

Other Hair Loss News

— Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York recently found the molecular pathways responsible for creating the color of skin and hair. They found that a signaling pathway known as Edn/EdnrB interacts with other pathways (in particular, with the Wnt signaling pathway). This in turn causes the proliferation of melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) that are involved in the earliest stages of skin and hair pigmentation. This suggests that targeting Edn/EdnrB signaling in McSCs can be a therapeutic approach to promote hair pigmentation retention.

— A new paper from China titled “Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activates melanocyte stem cells in vitro and in vivo.”  Research was done in mice.

— An update on research at Japan’s Yokohama University under the leadership of Dr. Junji Fukuda. Translation required, and it is in mice only for now. Short interview with Dr. Fukuda in there that is partially lost in translation. Thanks yet again to our wonderful Japanese blog reader and commentator “nosyu” who updates me regularly about developments in Japan that are not covered by the English media. The Fukuda Lab lists hair regrowth as one of its key areas of research.

Topical methyl vanillate (a plant derived natural ingredient) increases hair count and hair mass index by inducing Wnt10b mRNA expression in the scalp. According to the study, methyl vanillate has recently been shown to activate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which has become a key target in the treatment of androgenic alopecia by numerous researchers in recent years.

— I was not planning to cover this public relations type piece on Dr. James Harris, but I liked the ending: “And when Harris predicts the future of his profession, he sees stem cells and growth factors – not plucking and planting.

— I am always impressed by hair loss sufferers who go through impressive regimens and post regular updates. The latest example is “westonci” on HLT who is supposedly going through the whole of SwissTemple’s prostaglandin protocol that I have mentioned on this blog several times before.

— Talking about PGD2, an interesting new study from South Korea just came out today. It provides further evidence that prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and its nonenzymatic metabolite, 15-deoxy prostaglandin J2 (15-dPGJ2), inhibit hair growth.

— An interesting new hair product from a company named “Reason to Believe” will soon be produced in North Carolina, based on the Alpha Keratin 60ku patent. Hard to tell how good this product will be and how long it will last (I doubt it is permanent).

Can protein shakes lead to hair loss?

— “Baldy Viking” has some videos on dermarolling and onion juice!  I just saw only part of one of those…seems interesting and not entirely crazy. I have become more of a believer in natural treatments for hair loss having at least some minor benefit.

— An interesting story of an Irish woman’s battle with alopecia cicatricial related hair loss since age 21.

Yet one more distraction for Dr. George Cotsarelis.

— In celebrity news, Rosie O’Donnell discusses her hair loss; it seems like golfer Jordan Speith may have had a hair transplant; and Charles Barkley has asked basketball superstar Lebron James to stop painting on his hair. Search this blog for my past mentions of Lebron James if you are interested in this kind of news.

And now on to medical items of interest:

CRISPR breakthrough is most clever yet, and increasingly relevant to humans.

Scientist turn skin cells into heart cells and brain cells just using drugs.

Regenerating brains of the dead.

Japan OK’s gene editing of eggs. As long-time blog readers know, the Japanese have already fast tracked clinical trials for newer regenerative medicine and stem cell treatments. Everything is moving along fast over there, and I am glad that we have both Shiseido and Dr. Takashi Tsuji based in Japan.

— As expected, the first ever penis transplant in the US got widespread global news coverage yesterday. I first heard about it via the radio in my car yesterday, then via a text message from a friend (wonder why?), and then again today via my Yahoo homepage. Bill Gates must be horrified at global priorities.

— Five-year update on face transplant recipient.

— MIT scientists and others create an artificial second skin.

Maybe vitamin supplements are useful after all?

Biohacking in Brooklyn.

ISHRS 23rd Annual Meeting Begins Today in Chicago

The 23rd ISHRS annual meeting just started today in Chicago, Illinois. Unlike in years past, I did not have time to write a post about this important event prior to it commencing.  In any case, I will update this page with more details over the next several days as the conference proceeds. The meeting runs from September 10-13.

Day 1

— By far the biggest and most exciting news thus far on the first day is Kerastem’s update. I discussed Kerastem in detail last year. In the new update, their small trial on 9 patients in the UK resulted in around a 20 percent hair growth from just 1 injection in all patients.  It does seem, however, that the treatment will not help those that are totally bald. These results clearly support growing research from recent years that suggests a very strong link between fat cells and hair cells.

Some key quotes from Dr. David Perez-Meza:

“The authors reported a 100% patient response rate to the Kerastem Therapy at 6-months.

We are very pleased with these initial clinical outcomes, as they represent results that are on par or better than those of traditional medical approaches to hair loss.”

— A really interesting summary of the finally available Okuda Papers from 1939 was presented by Dr. Jimenez.  In those papers, the now deceased Dr. Shojui Okuda covered his own research related to hair transplantation as well as older groundbreaking research from the 1800s!

— Valerie Horsley’s hair follicle stem cells presentation summary.

Day 2

— Dr. John Kahen’s PRP summary. Only a single patient, but great photos. Significant increase in hair density after 6 months and, interestingly, the patient saw his light brown hair become dark brown.

— Dr. Jerry Cooley presented something on bio-enhancements. Link not yet available.

— It was announced on Twitter that this was the largest attended ISHRS meeting to date in its 23 years of existence.