Category Archives: Prolactin

Hope Medicine Trials and Fundraising

Hope Medicine LogoRead the bottom half of this post for a history of Hope Medicine and Bayer’s HMI-115. This treatment targets the prolactin (PRL) receptor to cure hair loss. Hope Medicine raised $56 million in funding in 2021. Their pipeline page is worth monitoring.

The initial reason for all this excitement was due to the spectacular long-lasting hair growth results seen in stump-tailed macaque monkeys. Per the clinical trial participant I mention further below, these monkeys are still being monitored and have not lost their hair over four years after prolactin receptor antibody treatment.

Prolactin Hair Growth
Hope Medicine and Bayer prolactin receptor antibody hair growth. Before and after in stump-tail macaque monkeys. The hair growth remained even several years post cessation of treatment.

Update: November 16, 2022 —  A November 2, 2022 detailed Reddit update from a trial participant (dose 1 and dose 2) in Australia is required reading. This 37-year old guy had his first two doses (in one month) of the prolactin blocker via injection. He, along with his female partner (age 46) will get treatment every two weeks for six months. So a total of 12 doses, all at Sinclair Dermatology in Melbourne. Note that while these are Phase 1 trials in Australia, the same HMI-115 product is scheduled to undergo Phase 2 clinical trials in the US anytime soon.

This Redddit user moeman32 seems completely legitimate and has been on Reddit for over ten years. He has also posted about Australia many times in the past. We all owe him major respect. He will do follow-up posts every two weeks. Note that all 20 patients in this Phase 1 safety trial are getting the actual drug (i.e., no placebo needed to test efficacy this time around).

“The vortex existing hair has filled out much thicker and quicker. The frontal scalp is now growing dormant hair. The hairline has definitely moved 15mm forward and the hair is a few cm long (havent had a haircut since before the trial). All in all, it is making a visible difference to my hairline.”

Update: June 22, 2022 — Hope Medicine’s website is now working. Thanks to reader “Pinotq” for letting us know. See their research section and pipeline pages.

Update: April 12, 2022 — For some reason, Australian Phase 1 trials for Hope Medicine’s HMI-115 are starting today. They will involve 20 participants and are expected to be completed in July 2023. The trials will be led by the renowned hair loss expert Dr. Rodney Sinclair. Also see his current clinical trials recruiting page hair section.

Update: April 14, 2022 — Lots of excitement on Reddit.

Meanwhile, US Phase 2 trials should start at any moment now (read further below). This difference in trial progression by country is very strange. Perhaps is has to do with some stricter Australian government requirements.

Update: January 26, 2022

Hope Medicine HMI-115 Phase 2 Trials

Hope Medicine just received FDA approval to commence Phase 2 clinical trials in the US for its HMI-115 product to treat androgenetic alopecia. HMI-115 is a human monoclonal antibody drug that targets the PRL receptor for the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. Last year, the US FDA also approved Phase 2 trials of the same drug to treat endometriosis.

The Phase II clinical trial of HMI-115 for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia:

“Will be an international multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. It will be carried out in the United States, Australia and other countries.”

Update: November 28, 2021

New CEO Henri Doods Interview

A reader sent me the below screenshot of Hope Medicine CEO Henri Doods’ Chinese magazine interview that I mentioned earlier. If anyone can translate into English, please post in the comments. Click on the image to expand.

Hope Medicine Doods Interview
Hope Medicine CEO interview.

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 recent 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.

HMI-115 PRL Receptor Targeting: Bayer License

“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. Update: See this page for much more on Dr. Xiao Ruiping.

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.

Prolactin, Bayer and Hair Loss

Update: Please see my new 2022 post on Hope Medicine’s trials. Some great initial results!

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.