Category Archives: Pfizer

Updates from the 2015 WCHR and Related News

The 9th World Congress for Hair Research just ended in Miami and there is a surprising lack of online publicly available information regarding key developments. Some companies often publish their presentations on their websites several days after the end of such conferences, so I will update this post in the next week as new information comes out.

Update: 9th World Conference for Hair Research abstracts now available online.

Update: Below is the unbelievable before and after image from Histogen’s Dr. Gail Naughton’s presentation that everyone is talking about (Edit: Image was later removed from source site).

Update: Samumed’s poster and Samumed’s slides.

Update: Hellouser’s Youtube channel.

Update: Hellouser’s interview with Histogen’s Dr. Gail Naughton.

Update: Spencer Kobren’s interview with Histogen’s Dr. Gail Naughton, including all her slides.  Very encouraging and an absolute must see!

Update: Hellouser’s interview with Replicel’s Dr Rolf Hoffman and Lee Buckler.

—  Update: Spencer Kobren’s interview with Replicel’s Lee Buckler.

— The best place to get updates remains Hellouser’s thread on the HLT forums.  He is apparently back in Canada and fatigued at present, but will slowly update that thread (or perhaps create new threads on different companies in that portion of the HLT forums).  He is going to load his audio files somewhere outside the forums too.

Samumed came out yet another press release today, summarizing its presentation at the Miami Congress.  I am getting more optimistic about the company’s unique SM04554 topical product that tackles hair loss via the Wnt pathway.  At present, the company has only concluded that the product is very safe based on its recently completed 300 person trial (interestingly, one of the co-organizers of the 2015 WCHR, Dr. WIlma Bergfeld, was involved in this trial via the Cleveland center).  Actual data on new hair growth will come out as it becomes available, which I am hoping will be in early 2016.  The conclusion of the press release is encouraging, even if not pertaining to humans: “SM04554 has been shown to generate new hair follicles and increase hair count in multiple animal models.”  At the same time, we have to be wary from past experiences that all these press releases could very well be just a means to attract publicity and funding.  The final product could at best always end up being no better than Rogaine.

— I am disappointed that the 2015 WCHR Twitter account has been completely silent during and after the Congress.   It is unlikely that they will publish anything this week either, but maybe it is still worth keeping an eye on that account before it ends in Twitter purgatory. Maybe “Helllouser” should get the account now while no-one has it and then tell the Japanese organizers of next year’s Congress that he will do a much better job of updating it?

— I discussed Allergan twice in this blog recently (see here and here) and it seems like the company is now definitely merging with Pfizer. Together, the new entity will be by far the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.  Too early to tell how if at all this will impact the release of Allergan’s Bimatoprost and Setipiprant drugs to treat hair loss.

— Replicel usually publishes its latest presentation on its website and announces them via its Twitter account.

— Histogen remains the big mystery.  A few months ago, most people had given up on it. Then things changed and I wrote this post. Now “Hellouser” is saying that he was very impressed with their presentation.  I am really looking forward to his interview with CEO Gail Naughton.

Bimatoprost Results are Finally Out

At the beginning of this year, I published a detailed post on Allergan’s Bimatoprost product. In that post, I stated the following:

My feeling is that Bimatoprost may result in slightly superior results to Minoxidil, but nothing extraordinary.

***I am pleased as well as slightly disappointed to say that I was probably correct (read the rest of this post).

At the end of January 2015, Allergan was supposed to have finished its phase II clinical trials regarding using Bimatoprost to treat scalp hair loss. However, those results have not as yet been published, although…

Allergan Finally Releases Some Results on Treating Hair Loss with Bimatoprost

On November 4, Allergan published two interesting pdfs on its website that can be downloaded. On pages 16 and 17 of one of those pdfs, there is a surprising and unexpected summary of the initial results of using Bimatoprost to treat people with hair loss. I am assuming that these results are from the earlier mentioned clinical trials. (Note that the pdf also includeds some information on Allergan’s more exciting Setipiprant product to treat hair loss).

It seems like Bimatoprost 1% and Bimatoprost 3% both result in slightly superior hair growth in comparison to Minoxidil 5%, based on an “Expert Panel Review” and based on an “Investigator Global Assessment.”  Hopefully the experts and investigators involved in those reviews are unbiased and not employed or funded by Allergan.

Funnily enough, Bimatoprost 1% has slightly better results than the higher dose Bimatoprost 3% according to the “Expert Panel Review”, although the “Investigator Global Assessment” finds the opposite to be true as one would have expected. When it comes to actual volunteer opinions based on non-scientific self-assessments, Minoxidil results seemed to be slightly better than Bimatoprost results.

We Have Become Spoilt

The overall mood of hair loss forum members regarding this news has been slightly pessimistic per my analysis. On the one hand this is very surprising considering that to date there have only ever been two FDA approved drugs to treat hair loss on the market (Finasteride and Minoxidil), and Bimatoprost will match or slightly exceed the results of one of those two (Minoxidil) and work via a different mechanism.

Just a few years ago, millions of people around the world were delighted that Minoxidil (Rogaine brand) was finally released in a foam version. The old liquid version was extremely irritating for many people and often dripped down people’s foreheads. Last year, women were also pleased that Rogaine had finally released a 5% version for females. All in all, there are numerous people out there who find Minoxidil to be very useful to slow their hair loss progression and sometimes even halt it entirely. I hope that Bimatoprost finds similar success.

On the other hand, I am not surprised at all by the pessimism. In today’s extremely fast paced world where groundbreaking medical and technological advances are announced on a weekly basis (and popular smartphone brands come out with new versions of their bestselling models almost every year), many hair loss sufferers expect a 100 percent foolproof hair loss cure immediately, or at the very least, a new hair loss drug every six months!  Nothing less is worth getting excited over. While not particularly impressed by these results, I am still pleased that we could finally have a third FDA approved weapon in the fight against hair loss, and one that acts via an entirely different mechanism (prostamide F2α analog) to Finasteride or Minoxidil.

Other Notes

— Even if Bimatoprost does consistently produce superior results to Minoxidil with no significant side effects, we are still at least 2-3 years away from actual product release. However, lower dose versions of Bimatoprost have already been in use for eyelash growth (via the brand name Latisse) for a few years now. I am guessing that some hair loss forum members will continue to try to make their own higher dose versions and play around with topical delivery mechanisms for the scalp, although the current cost of Bimatoprost makes it very prohibitive at higher doses for the vast majority of us.

— In my post on Allergan from a month ago, I was thinking that it was worth buying the company’s stock. Since then, AGN has gone up by 10 percent!  The main reason for this is due to the fact that the world’s largest drug company, Pfizer, has recently expressed interest in purchasing Allergan for around $120 billion. The primary reason given is that Pfizer would then benefit by drastically lowering its tax bill by adopting Allergan’s headquarters in Ireland (US corporate tax rate = 35%, Ireland corporate tax rate = 12.5%). I think that the two pdfs that Allergan has just published give even more reason for Pfizer to acquire Allergan. However, it remains to be seen if the US government will allow Pfizer to get even bigger than it already is and at the same time pay far less taxes to Uncle Sam.

— Allergan plans to commence further clinical trials for Bimatoprost on scalp hair in the first quarter of 2016.