Category Archives: Prolactin

Hope Medicine Trials and Fundraising

Hope Medicine LogoHair loss cure or treatment development related funding is really starting to boom. And most encouraging of all, China is finally joining the fray with Hope Medicine and Kintor.

Update: September 20, 2021

Hope Medicine CEO Henri Doods
Hope Medicine CEO Henri Doods.

Reader “Karl” just notified us that there is a brand new cover page interview of Hope Medicine’s CEO Dr. Henri Doods in a Chinese magazine “tradetree.cn”. If anyone can gain access to it (see here) and translate into English, please try. Not worth purchasing as yet in my opinion.

Per Karl, Phase 2 clinical trials for hair loss product HMI-115 are planned for Q4 2021 (but no proof anywhere else). This matches what we expected per the prior updates that I discussed in May (see further below). Note that HMI-115 is the same as Bayer’s prolactin receptor antibody. Hope Medicine has the rights to the development of this product.

May 9, 2021

Hope Medicine (China) Raises $56 Million

Until now, Kintor Pharmaceutical (China) was the main reason for the excitement. However, this weekend, the participants on this site’s hair loss chat are discussing Hope Medicine. Out of the blue, this startup company received $56 million in a Series B round of financing. Investment firms Qiming Venture Partners and Grand Flight Investment led the way.

Other investors include: HighLight Capital; Sinovation Ventures (a venture capital firm led by former Google China head Kai-Fu Lee); and Trustbridge. More here.

Phase 2 Trials for HMI-115 (Bayer License) in 2021:

“Previously, HopeMed signed an exclusive license agreement with Bayer AG on the development and commercialization of a human antibody (HMI-115) targeting the prolactin (PRL) receptor for the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. At present, HMI-115 has completed phase I clinical trials in the European Union, with positive safety results. The global multi-center phase II clinical trials for androgenic alopecia and will soon be launched.

Ruiping Xiao
Dr. Rui-Ping Xiao

Note that I first covered Hope Medicine in my 2019 post on its partnership with Bayer in regards to the prolactin receptor. The company was founded by Dr. Rui-Ping Xiao, the dean of the College of Future Technology of Peking University. Apparently, she is also an associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The most unusual part of this story is that Hope Medicine’s official website (hopemedinc.com) has not worked for weeks. I have e-mailed several of their employees, and will update this post if I get any response.

Increasing Hair Loss Company Funding

  • This latest news comes just one month after we heard that Aneira Pharma received $25 million from Valkyrie Group.
  • South Korea’s Han Bio also seems to have received enough funding to open its new dermal papilla storage plant in May 2021.
  • In September 2020, Stemson Therapeutics received $7.5 in additional funding.

Prolactin, Bayer and Hair Loss

Update: Seems like the Bayer and Hope Medicine partnership I discussed in this post was in relation to the former’s BAY 1158061. The product is a potent monoclonal prolactin (PRL) receptor antibody.

Prolactin and Hair

I have read in the past that very high pituitary hormone prolactin (PRL) levels (hyperprolactinemia) can cause hair loss. However, the research is not totally conclusive as far as I can tell. Moreover, a lot of the existing studies seems to look at alopecia areata, stress related hair loss, or pituitary gland disorders. Rather than the dominant form of hair loss: androgenetic alopecia. Nevertheless, perhaps there is more to this subject matter than I originally thought based on the below development.

Moreover, some detailed studies have supported targeting PRL to regrow hair in androgenetic alopecia sufferers. For example, this one from 2006 concludes that new therapeutic strategies for the management of hormonal hair loss in men and women could make use of recently developed PRL-R antagonists.

Bayer and Hope Medicine Collaboration

A new biopharmaceutical company from China named Hope Medicine (HopeMed) has entered into a partnership with Bayer (Germany). It could have significant positive implications for hair loss sufferers (and also for women with endometriosis).

Hope Medicine will develop and commercialize a human antibody targeting the PRL receptor for the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. See Bayer’s patent for a prolactin receptor antibody for male and female pattern hair loss.

According to the above news, data published by a Bayer team and others points to a “yet hardly recognized role of prolactin/prolactin-receptors signaling” in male and female pattern hair loss disorders.

Key quote regarding the antibody drug that has already been developed and gone through Phase 1 trials:

“The antibody was effective in stimulating hair growth in aged stump-tailed macaques. It nearly doubled the number of terminal hairs after 6 months. Even in previously fully bald areas, and showed a sustainable impact even after 2 years post treatment. Notably, the stump-tail macaque model is considered one of the rare predictive animal models for male and female pattern hair loss in humans.”

The current research and drug development study is a result of a close collaboration between Bayer scientists and researchers at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) at Peking University. The main scientist involved at IMM seems to be Dr. Rui-Ping Xiao. More on her in this interview.

More on Hope Medicine’s funding status and other related info.