Poietis is a relatively small 25-employee France based company that is active in the 3D and 4D laser bioprinting sector. The company only commenced operations in 2014 and its main current focus is in skin tissue laser-assisted bioprinting for regenerative medicine applications. Moreover, the printed tissues can also be used in preclinical research applications as well as in evaluating the efficacy of various cosmetic products.
While there are numerous companies active in the tissue bioprinting sector, Poietis is unique in its use of lasers to build the tissue. Other companies typically use an extrusion process in which bio-ink is pushed through a nozzle.
Note that “4D bioprinting” is the next generation process of 3D bioprinting. Per one simple definition of 4D bioprinting, time is integrated with 3D bioprinting as the fourth dimension. A more complex definition can be found here.
Partnerships with L’Oréal and BASF
I first briefly covered Poietis on this blog in 2016 after the formation of their partnership with French cosmetics behemoth L’Oréal in order to 3D bioprint hair follicles. At the time, this was major news and was even covered by the BBC. Below is an image from a recent 2017 presentation on 3D printed hair by Poietis’ CEO Mr. Fabien Guillemot. The image was taken from L’Oréal’s Twitter account, which is a good sign that both partners are still pursuing the hair printing angle.
The goal of this partnership is to further improve upon the 3D laser-assisted bioprinted skin models that the companies have co-developed since 2015. These models will aid in evaluating cosmetic ingredients for skin care applications as well as possibly lead to an end in animal testing.
Poietis in 2018
This week, commentator “sets” made me aware that Poietis has started the new year with a big announcement. Several days ago, the the company announced that it had now launched its Poieskin® laser-assisted bioprinted skin model. Sales will officially start in April 2018. More here. Poietis plans to significantly increase its employee total this year, and hopefully the company will have more to say about hair before the end of the year.
— Update: A day after I wrote this post, CNN covered JAK inhibitors in a new article (in a pleasant surprise, they also looked at the androgenetic alopecia — AGA — angle). Usually, all these articles on JAK inhibitors only look at alopecia areata (AA). Yet again, Dr. Christiano says she is optimistic that JAKs could work on AGA patients (but only in a topical form). Dr. Brett King is not optimistic, but he is still testing it out (in a lotion form) on his AA patients (probably the ones who also have AGA).
In the above article, the one AA patient who they show with regrown hair after being on oral JAK inhibitors did not regrow hair that he lost to AGA, although it is impossible to tell whether he did not regrow 100 percent of his AGA hair loss or not. In any event, we will only know for sure about this once they test newer topical JAK inhibitors out so people should not get so emotional about this subject each time there are new developments. You should also not try to test your own topical version as even the experts are having a hard time developing the appropriate version. According to Dr. Christiano:
“Though she thinks men might have the same success with an ointment, she said the trick is that it has to penetrate properly. Compared with the paper-thin skin of mice, human skin is “much thicker, and it’s oily, and it’s deep, and it’s got a fat layer — so there’s a lot to think about when making a good topical formula.”
It is well worth watching the video in the above article just to see the funky haired mice.
— In a first, myself as well as all of this blog’s commentators missed the important International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)’s 24th Annual Congress that ran from September 28th through October 1st in Las Vegas. I did not even see any threads on the conference in any of the hair loss forums out there, which is strange. I usually cover the 2-3 most important hair loss related conferences in the world every year in separate posts, but this time I forgot to do so. You can find the detailed ISHRS 24th Congress final program guide here. As usual, there were way too many interesting presentations. For our purposes, the most important ones were:
Dr. Angela Christiano: “JAK Inhibitors, Hair Regeneration and Genetic Testing”.
Dr. Pantelis Rompolas: “Potency and Contribution of Stem Cells to Hair Follicle Regeneration”.
Dr. Rodney Sinclair: “Advancing our Understanding of the Biology of Androgenetic Alopecia and Changing the way we use Minoxidil to Treat it”.
Dr. Angela Christiano and Dr. Ken Washenik led a discussion titled “Biotechnology in Hair Regeneration”.
On Twitter, Dr. Alan Bauman told me that while Dr. Christiano did not provide any data on JAK inhibitors for androgenetic alopecia (AGA), she did hint that JAK inhibitors seem to stimulate the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle. Fingers crossed as usual when it comes to this subject. I was surprised at the number of presentations on body hair transplants (BHT), with Dr. Arvind Poswal discussing long-term ten-year plus results of his BHT patients. Also surprising were the number of presentations on platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
— In stark contrast to the above omission, in the past week at least 10 (!) people either commented under a blog post or e-mailed me about cosmetics behemoth L’oréal (France) and Poietis (France) partnering to bioprint hair follicles via laser. This news item was extremely well covered across the global media and there are hundreds of articles on the internet about this interesting subject matter. The end goal “holy grail” of this research will be to implant the new hair follicles into balding regions. Here is the official company video outlining the technology and the goals behind this partnership.
— Cassiopeia (Italy) updates us on its topical anti-androgen product Breezula (formerly called CB-03-01). Also see my past post on this subject. It seems like even if phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials succeed, this product will not come to market before 2021.
— Samumed’s Dr. Osman Kibar’s presentation (a small part of it is on hair loss) at a recent conference organized by the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine. He received many compliments on Twitter for his presentation.