Category Archives: Kythera Biopharmaceuticals

Brief Items of Interest, September 2015

Hair loss news first:

Edit: I just found out that Devon Grimmé from Follicept unexpectedly passed away today at the very young age of 27. He made man helpful comments over the past year (link no longer working) while he was testing Follicept’s product on himself.  Also see my post from earlier this year regarding Follicept.

Edit: A day after I wrote this post, Kythera submitted an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to the US FDA for KYTH-105 (Setipiprant).  For more on Setipiprant, read this.

Edit: “Swisstemples” who I mentioned further below has a new website.

— The renowned Dr. Claire Higgins recently made a very interesting presentation that has to be seen in its entirety.  I found her team’s experiment and findings on hair growing dermis transplanted under non-hair growing epidermis growing hair through the previously barren epidermis (but hair growing epidermis transplanted over non-hair growing dermis ceasing to grow hair) to be interesting.  It makes obvious sense of course since the critical dermal papilla cells are in the dermis that lies below the epidermis.  The most interesting part of the below video, however, is at 33:47 during the question and answer segment where she mentions how people are now using “rollers with spikes on them” to stimulate dermal papilla cells.  I have mentioned dermarolling and wounding (Follica will also add further compounds to the scalp after wounding) on this blog before and I am surprised that even Dr. Higgins seems to think there is some legitimacy to this crude concept.  Unfortunately, the wounding has to be done at a very precise level, manner, frequency and duration — so most  hair loss forum members who are doing this are unlikely to be doing it correctly.  I can fathom a day in the near future when we will go to clinics to get professionals to do this for us.  i.e., we will pay good money to have someone injure our scalps and bleed us, all in the name of more hair.

— On rare occasions, I promote someone or some idea on this blog that I do not fully understand or even trust.  The only reason I do this is because my intuition tells me that there is some serious potential behind this person or idea even if some of the subject matter goes above me and the person involved is a bit wacko (e.g., search this blog for Dr. Nigam and Mr. Liu Xuewu). If a person is extremely passionate about his idea and is also very intelligent (especially when it comes to hair, chemistry and biology) and well spoken, I get an urge to post about him (note that there are no such obsessed females I have come across in the hair loss world).  Getting back to the subject matter, this new hair loss treatment blog is extremely interesting and the author has also e-mailed me about it.  He does not sell anything (and if he ever does, do not buy something from such a stranger).  I would even not buy something from sites that he starts to recommend, since some of these products may not be 100 percent safe or thoroughly tested yet in clinical trials.  I am more cautious than most when it comes to taking drugs, especially oral drugs.  A lot of guys are participating in “group buys” of products from strangers in China, Russia etc… absolutely foolish in my opinion, but perhaps the fools will have full heads of hair while I continue losing ground on Finasteride:-(  I only posted this link for the entertainment and educational value.  I will not participate in these group buys. In any event, you can ask “Swisstemples” questions here and decide for yourself on which products to use.

–Very surprising that the BBC had such a stupid article: can a bang on the head lead to hair loss?

Spironolactone is a potentially miraculous product for some, and also very cheap.  Besides helping with hair loss, it can even reduce persistent high blood pressure.

— I mentioned Arfy and Ernie in a post from 2013, and just like the latter, the former is back again with a vengeance.  More here and here. The hair loss world is quite something.  Why on earth would one want to go watch a movie on a weekend night when one can find far better plots on hair loss forums?

— An interesting new video on balding.

And now on to medical items of interest:

Amazing.

— At first they were blaming the Chinese for being too fast, but now they want to do it themselves.  Western scientists seek permission to genetically modify embryos.

— George Church is a brilliant man.  He is all for genetic engineering.

Spanish cancer patient receives 3D printed ribs from an Australian company in a world first surgery.

Getting closer to an invisibility cloak.  Perhaps a future hair loss treatment may involve visuals…i.e., we will have others (and the mirror and the camera?) see us as we want them to?

DARPA brain interfaces coming.  Google or Bing search for actual articles on this as the video is a bit different from the news articles.

— Complex damaged nerves regrown using 3D printed guide.

Brief Items of Interest, June 2015

Hair loss news first:

— The biggest news so far this month is Allergan’s purchase of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals yesterday. While Allergan is largely known for its blockbuster Botox product, for us hair loss sufferers, the company’s Bimatoprost product is is all we care about. While Kythera’s most well known product is its recently approved ATX-101 (brand name Kybella) china fat reducing topical product, for us hair loss sufferers, the company’s Setipiprant product is all we care about.

Bimatoprost is essentially (but not exactly) a prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) analog and  Setipiprant is a prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) antagonist. The latter holds far greater potential to be a cure for hair loss compared to the former. A combination treatment with the two drugs (i.e, increase PGE2 and decrease PGD2) has in the past been postulated to be the perfect treatment to regrow hair. I would urge all blog readers to listen to this encouraging audio segment on Setipiprant from an investor call earlier this year.

— An interesting article on a doctor in Texas using PRP with stem cells derived from a donor’s placenta to treat hair loss.

— The renowned Dr. John Cole is planning to do a major study on the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. The PRP treatment will entail three sessions (once a month for three months) costing a total of $750, an absolute steal. Moreover, it seems like Dr. Cole will refund that $750 too if you show up for a follow-up 6-12 months after the first injection session. Dr. Cole will test many different treatment protocols, including using a variety of extracellular matrix (ECM) products and activation methods.

PRP is still fairly new when it comes to the hair loss world, with many significant differences in methodology and ingredients existing between different doctors and hair transplant surgeons. Such a study needed to be done a few years ago. If you do volunteer for this study, please make sure you know exactly what Dr. Cole will inject into your scalp. He is very well respected and unlikely to do anything even remotely risky, but when you are injecting something into your scalp (or for that matter, anywhere into your body), it is best to be very cautious.

And now on to medical items of interest:

— A new study finds that keeping PGE2 levels high in mice by reducing 15-PGDH promotes tissue regeneration. It seems like PGE2 has many benefits besides hair growth.

— A groundbreaking new $25 blood test called VirScan that can tell you every virus you have had. An average person has been exposed to 10 of the 206 known viruses that infect humans.

— A great article on the history of artificial hearts and continuing progress.

— An update on the patient who might get a full body transplant (always inaccurately referred to as a head transplant by the media).

— Since I already covered the above story several times this year, the one on a Chinese surgeon who has performed 1,000 head transplants in mice and plans to move on to monkeys next is more interesting, albeit revolting and slightly discouraging (the mice usually only survived for minutes, with the record being 10 days). The excellent WSJ article with a video on this requires a subscription, but if you google the article’s title, you will then be able to access it without a subscription. I did not realize the now obvious conclusion that a full body transplant would be revolutionary when it comes to most types of cancer treatment. However, even I do not foresee a successful long-lasting full body transplant in a human for many decades to come. Nevertheless, what an insane era we are living through.