Category Archives: Maksim Plikus

Amplifica Gets Moving

Among newer companies involved in trying to cure hair loss, Amplifica (US) is particularly interesting. It was founded in 2022 by Dr. Maksim Plikus, who I have covered many times on this blog.

New Agreements with Ingenza and University of California

January 26, 2023 — Amplifica signed an exclusive licensing agreement with “The Regents of the University of California” for a proprietary pipeline hair growth molecule (SCUBE 3) that has been in the news a lot lately. Key quote:

“This early-stage compound (SCUBE3) will now be referenced as AMP-601 and is currently undergoing pre-clinical testing at Amplifica.”

January 20, 2023 — Amplifica to collaborate with UK-based Ingenza in order to advance novel alopecia treatments involving the former’s signaling molecules and proteins.

November 14, 2022 — Make sure to watch this interesting recent video presentation by Dr. Plikus.

October 24, 2022

Amplifica

I previously mentioned new hair loss company Amplica in my post about Dr. Maksim Plikus’s research on the Scube3 molecule for hair growth. He partnered with Dr. William Rassman to create Amplifica. The latter announced his involvement via a Reddit comment in July 2022.

Amplifica Signaling Molecule
Amplifica announcement by Dr. Rassman on Reddit.

Earlier today, it was announced that Amplifica just completed a $11.8 million Series A Financing round. These funds will enable clinical development of the company’s lead products to treat androgenic alopecia.

These lead products are listed as “AMP-303” and “AMP-506”. The press release states that they expect to initiate first clinical trials in fiscal year 2023.

Amplifica
Amplifica.

Amplifica, Dr. Maksim Plikus and Hairy Moles

Note that Amplifica was first mentioned in a 2020 news article in regards to the new company’s interesting work in relation to hairy moles. At the time, a team led by Dr. Plikus discovered that molecules from moles that grow excessive hair can induce follicle growth when administered anywhere on the skin.

Make sure to also read my past posts on Dr. Plikus and his many areas of hair loss research breakthroughs. His team is based at  the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Amplifica is yet another new company added to my main page on hair loss research around the world.

SCUBE3 Signaling Molecule for Hair Growth

I have covered Dr. Maksim Plikus a few times on this blog in the past. I have also discussed Hedgehog signaling and hair growth in detail. Yesterday, a University of California team (led by Dr. Plikus) discovered a critical signaling molecule SCUBE3 that stimulates hair growth.

Update: July 29, 2022

Yet another update just came out (h/t “YoYo”). I like the phrase “digitize the hair“.

Update: July 18, 2022

New video titled: “UC Irvine scientists discover a possible cure for baldness.” Starring Dr. Maksim Plikus (h/t “YoYo”). And yet another one.

Update: July 7, 2022

Dr. William Rassman provided an update on Reddit on July 7:

 SCUBE3 Signaling Molecule Trials via Amplifica
Amplifica is a biotechnology company that was co-founded by Maksim Plikus and Dr. William Rassman. They plan to begin SCUBE3 clinical trials by the end of 2022.

SCUBE3 represents one part of the interconnected hair growth loop that also includes the hedgehog pathway, dermal papilla cells, TGF-β and Wnt5a. This interaction is shown in the below diagram from this latest research.

SCUBE3 Hair Growth
SCUBE3 signaling molecule stimulates hair growth. Source: Development Cell.

July 1, 2022

SCUBE3 Signaling Molecule Stimulates Hair Growth

University of California, Irvine (UCI) led researchers have discovered that a signaling molecule (which they call SCUBE3) potently stimulates hair growth. Most importantly, it may offer a therapeutic treatment for androgenetic alopecia, which accounts for 90-95 percent of hair loss cases in both men and women.

The actual study was published yesterday in Development Cell. The study team included health professionals and academics from UCI, San Diego, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

“UCI has filed a provisional patent application on the use of SCUBE3 and its related molecular compounds for hair growth stimulation.”

This study discovered the precise mechanism by which the dermal papilla cells (fibroblasts at the bottom of each hair follicle) promote new growth. According to Dr. Plikus:

“We revealed that the SCUBE3 signaling molecule, which dermal papilla cells produce naturally, is the messenger used to ‘tell’ the neighboring hair stem cells to start dividing, which heralds the onset of new hair growth.”

In people with androgenetic alopecia, dermal papilla cells start to malfunction. One of the reasons behind this is a major reduction in the normally abundant signaling and activating molecules. It seems like SCUBE3 protein microinjections are sufficient to induce new hair growth.

However, note that mice were involved in this initial work. The research team microinjected SCUBE3 into mouse skin in which human scalp follicles had been transplanted. This induced new growth in both the dormant human hair follicles and surrounding mouse follicles due to “hyperactivated” dermal papilla cells.

Per co-first author and UCI postdoctoral researcher Christian Guerrero-Juarez, these experiments provide proof that SCUBE3 or derived molecules can be a promising therapeutic for hair loss.

According to Dr. Plikus, there is a strong need for new, effective hair loss medications. Naturally occurring compounds that are used by dermal papilla cells for hair growth “present ideal next-generation” candidates for pattern baldness treatment.

More detailed research on this subject will be conducted in the Plikus Lab and at Amplifica Holdings Group. The latter is a biotechnology company that was co-founded by Plikus and includes Dr. William Rassman on its team. For more on Amplifica, see the section in this article titled: “Amplifica Treats Baldness with Mole Molecules.”