Category Archives: Luis Garza

PGD2 Inhibitors/Antagonists: the Next Big Trend at Hair Clinics?

Of all the numerous groundbreaking developments that have occurred in the hair loss cure research world during the past 3 years, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals and its Setipiprant prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) antagonist (inhibiting) product have easily been among the five most exciting developments to look forward to.  For a better understanding of the link between male pattern baldness (MPB) and PGD2, this 2014 paper from the famous Dr. Luis Garza and Dr. Ashley Nieves is excellent reading as is this 2012 paper from Dr. Luis Garza, Dr. George Cotsarelis and others.  In the simplest of terms, prostaglandin D2 levels are elevated in balding scalps, and inhibiting PGDcould prevent baldness from progressing.  In order to do this, you target the PGD2-GPR44 pathway (since PGD2 binds to the GPR44 receptor).

What excited me even more so than the research behind this subject matter is the following 2015 audio interview with Kythera founder and at-the-time CEO Keith Leonard.  When I first heard it, I felt like he really knew what he was talking about, was sincere and was very excited about the “elegant” science (via research from Dr. Cotsarelis and his team at the University of Pennsylvania) behind this product.   Unfortunately, it seems like Mr. Leonard is no longer with Kythera. Moreover, when I checked Kythera’s website today, the pages with a listing of board of directors and management were opening as blank placeholders.  I would not read too much into Mr. Leonard’s departure, as the release of Setipiprant is still at least several years away in a best case scenario. To learn more about Kythera and Setipiprant, read my post from 2015 in its entirety.

Private Clinic Made PGD2 Inhibition Products to Treat Hair Loss

What made me think about this subject matter this week after several months of forgetting about it was an interesting new article published three days ago coming from India.  Apparently a local clinic named Hairline International Hair and Skin Clinic” is now offering PGD2 inhibitor therapy for hair loss.  The article is full of typos, bad science and ads.  Just like my take on the recent development from the Bahamas from a few weeks ago, my immediate reaction is that this Indian clinic’s product is likely to be totally ineffective and a sham. Nevertheless, this development is not surprising at all considering that so many hair loss forum members have been experimenting with similar homemade products for several years now (see links in next section).  So perhaps such a product is not too difficult to manufacture/compound?

Are we about to see more hair loss clinics offer proprietary products that inhibit PGDor is this just a one-time thing that will spread to very few other places?  A decade ago, very few hair loss clinics offered lasers or platelet-rich plasma therapy to treat hair loss, but now both are commonplace worldwide.  Can PGD2 inhibition therapy follow a similar path?  With PGDtherapy, I do wonder how much the patent held by Kythera negatively impacts the chances of other competing proprietary products from hair loss clinics becoming popular and legal, especially in the US?

Homemade (“ghetto”) PGD2 Inhibition Products to Treat Hair Loss

There is a good chance that Setipiprant will significantly aid patients with androgenetic alopecia.  The only problem is that clinical trials for Setipiprant will not be completed for several years. So not surprisingly, many people on hair loss forums are creating their own versions of Setipiprant/PGDinhibitors and testing them, or purchasing them from oftentimes sketchy vendors. The vast majority seem to have tested these “ghetto” products with no groundbreaking results to report.  However, as is always the case with such experiments, a majority of people are probably not even remotely correct in getting correct ingredients, dosages, vehicles and more.  In any case, I will leave you with some links to the said hair loss forum threads further below.

Also note that I plagiarized the “ghetto” term from “Swisstemples” who I have mentioned on this blog several times before.  He has what seems to be an excellent page on his site regarding “The Postaglandin Protocol.”  He also has a page on things to buy and use (where he uses the term “ghetto protocol” that includes some products to combat PGD2.  I do not take any responsibility if you do what he suggests and get nasty side effects.  I would never try any of this myself unless I had a really good chemist friend.

Note that people use various essentially synonymous terms for the products that they are trying in some of the below links, including “PGD2 receptor antagonist”, “PGD2 blocker”, “PGD2-GPR-44 receptor antagonist” and “CRTH2 receptor antagonist”.

— An excellent poster from the 9th Congress for Hair Research last year  (thanks “Hellouser”) can be found here –> “CRTH2/DP2 Antagonists Reverse Hair Growth Inhibition Caused by PGD2.” Main authors are Cotsarelis, Hsieh, Nace and Zheng.

— 51 page and growing HLT thread titled “dedicated Setipiprant log.”  Seem to be overall negative results, but I have only read 3-4 of those pages.

— BTT thread on homemade  PGDinhibitors.

— HLT thread on whether anyone is still on PGDblockers?

— HLH thread on OC000459, a CRTH2 antagonist.  Also see Oxagen.

Ramatroban (a PGDreceptor antagonist) that many people seem to have purchased from iron-dragon.  I have no idea about safety and legality issues.

— Note that Kane from China was offering his version of Setipiprant in the past, but I do not know the current status.

— Seems of interest regarding CRTH2.

PGD2 Regimen — Cetirizine + Water.

— An interesting recent HLT thread on CRISPR type gene therapy to fix the three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)  — rs545659, rs634681, and rs7167 — that have been found to be responsible for this PGD2 sensitivity.

Resvertarol and PGD2?  Not sure about this one.

Quercetin and PGD2  video.  Not sure about this one either, but many other hair loss forum posts on this subject.

Brief Items of Interest, August 2015

Hair loss news first:

— A very interesting radio interview with Dr. Luis Garza regarding his team’s latest groundbreaking findings on triggering organ and hair regeneration. See my recent post on those findings.

— On July 30, it was announced that the University of Arkansas (along with several other entities) was issued a patent for a new hair loss drug based on work done by Dr. Joshua Sakon and three others. The patent is titled “Fusion Proteins of Collagen Binding-Domain and Parathyroid Hormone.” Arkansas based BiologicsMD holds the exclusive license to this technology, and their related hair loss drug will be known as BMD-2341.

Samumed is recruiting for a 50-person supplemental clinical trial for its SM04554.

— George Cotsarelis gets yet one more patent approved (this one related to FGF-9 and hair growth). Filed in October 2014 and approved in August 2015.

— For several months, Spencer (aka Spex) has been experimenting with using Bimatoprost on his previously sparse eyebrows. He uses the Lumigan brand that is designed to reduce high pressure in the eyes. He recently added the above page on his site, and it is well worth checking out the before and after photos on there. Many hair loss sufferers have been waiting for months to hear about the delayed results of the clinical trials of Bimatoprost when used on scalp hair. While I have been skeptical that the drug will do much beyond what Minoxidil already does for scalp hair, Spex’s eyebrow results are very encouraging. Bimatoprost, if approved for use on the scalp, will entail a drastically higher dosage compared to what Spex is using on his eyebrows.

— An optimistic conclusion from a molecular biologist: “In any case, I think that treatment for baldness is now a matter of quite a short period of time.” Article rambles a bit, perhaps because the writer is not a native English speaker.

— I am surprised that there has not been much new research coming from Israel when it comes to hair loss. The country has a booming start-up scene, and from my observations, Jewish people seem to suffer from baldness at an even higher rate than Caucasians (who in turn have much higher rates of baldness compared to Asians). In any case, this new 3D printed comb for hair loss project from Technion University in Israel seems interesting (you need to translate), although I would not be surprised if we never hear about it again. FYI — For any readers in Israel, here is an article from 2011 with names of local hair loss experts and clinics that you could consult.

— Some interesting thoughts on platelet-rich fibrin matrix from Dr. William Lindsey.

— In June, Dr. Alan Feller started a controversial thread on the HTN forum regarding strip (FUT) hair transplants still being more popular than FUE hair transplants. That thread has taken on a life of its own, and I only read it this month since I do not frequent those forums too often. Based on my own research, I do not believe that strip will remain very popular, and it already might be less popular than FUE considering that doctors can now just purchase the ARTAS robot and start practicing FUE with little past experience in doing so. In any case, Dr. Feller raises some interesting points in that thread, and I wonder if FUE transaction rates are really that high in the hands of experts?  If I was getting a hair transplant today, I would go for FUE.

— A very useful update from a Japanese resident regarding AAPE and HARG treatment in Japan.

— An interesting study (on mice), where pluripotent stem cells from whisker follicles differentiate and grow into new hair when transplanted to the spinal cord.

— Comedian Matt Lucas has suffered from alopecia universalis for most of his life. A nice story on him helping a young boy suffering from the same here.

— Somewhat related to the above, scientists use cells created from hair follicles to repair damaged nerves.

And now on to medical items of interest:

Things are getting creepier and creepier and at the same time evermore mind-boggling each month.

Nearly complete brain developed in petri dish by Ohio State scientists. This was major news yesterday and today.

— United Therapeutics and genetically engineering pigs in order to transplant their organs into humans. I find it absolutely fascinating that you can insert human genes into animals and that scientists are able to increase the number that they can insert every year. [FYI — the founder and CEO of this company is the amazing MTF transsexual Martine Rothblatt, who also co-founded Sirius XM satellite radio and has a law degree].

Young blood is what we all need.

Body-hackers. Worth clicking just to see the image.

— A pro designer baby article worth a skim-through. The Chinese will probably stab at this first.

A list of the top 11 3D-Bioprinting companies.