Category Archives: Prostaglandin D2

Brief Items of Interest, May 2016

Hair loss news first:

There have been a huge amount of hair loss related news items of interest in the past month.  Several of them probably deserved their own blog posts.

— I did not realize that GSK was launching Dutasteride in Japan via the brand name Zagallo (to treat male pattern hair loss) and that this plan was delayed in late 2015.  I did, however, cover the favorable Japanese clinical trial results last year that are mentioned in that first link.  Now comes word that Catalent’s French plant has been cleared to restart production.  So there is a very high chance that Dutasteride will finally be approved to treat hair loss in 2016 (one year later than I was hoping), 14 years after being approved to treat enlarged prostates in men. (Edit: in fact the drug was already approved for hair loss treatment in Japan on September 28th 2015, and even approved in South Korea around 2010!  Hopefully the US and EU will finally follow suit in 2016.).  It would be the third ever drug to be approved to treat hair loss, almost 20 years after the second one (Finasteride/Propecia) was approved and almost 30 years after the first one (Minoxidil/Rogaine) was approved.  Make sure to read the Dutasteride testimonials post and related comments.  FYI — If you are worried about Finasteride (Propecia) side effects, do not even consider taking Dutasteride. The side effects from the latter are guaranteed to be worse for most people.

— Since quite a few of the reader comments to my past few posts have mentioned Kerastem, I am giving high importance to Christopher1’s thread on hairsite regarding his Kerastem treatment in Switzerland.  He had the treatment in early February of this year for $8,000.  Unlike his well covered failed experiment with topical JAK inhibitor tofactinib, this time he went to a professional clinic (more reliable in my opinion) to get the Kerastem treatment. Per his latest post from three days ago (which has surprisingly still not received any replies), he has good news to share and I quote:  “After having brought you some bad news about my Jak inhibitor trial, I finally have some good news for you. It’s not great, but it’s very good.  My hair has stopped falling out. It stopped about three weeks ago, which was a bit over 2 months after my Kerastem treatment.”  Note that this is only one data point and there has been no regrowth and we do not know how long this cessation in hair loss will last.  The rest of his post indicates that this is the first time in 15 years that his hair has stopped falling out.  I find Chrisopher1 to be a highly reliable and sincere person, or else I would not mention him to start off a blog post.

— Scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York recently found the molecular pathways responsible for creating the color of skin and hair.  They found that a signaling pathway known as Edn/EdnrB interacts with other pathways (in particular, with the Wnt signaling pathway), which in turn causes the proliferation of melanocyte stem cells (McSCs) that are involved in the earliest stages of skin and hair pigmentation.  This suggests that targeting Edn/EdnrB signaling in McSCs can be a therapeutic approach to promote hair pigmentation retention.

— A new paper from China titled “Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activates melanocyte stem cells in vitro and in vivo.”  Research was done in mice.

— An update on research at Japan’s Yokohama University under the leadership of Dr. Junji Fukuda.  Translation required, and yes, it is in mice only for now.  Short interview with Dr. Fukuda in there that is partially lost in translation.  Thanks yet again to our wonderful Japanese blog reader and commentator “nosyu” who updates me regularly about developments in Japan that are not covered by the English media.  The Fukuda Lab lists hair regrowth as one of its key areas of research.

— Update on Thorn Medical’s further plans in the Bahamas.

Topical methyl vanillate (a plant derived natural ingredient) increases hair count and hair mass index by inducing Wnt10b mRNA expression in the scalp.  According to the study, methyl vanillate has recently been shown to activate the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which has become a key target in the treatment of androgenic alopecia by numerous researchers in recent years.

— I was not planning to cover this public relations type piece on Dr. James Harris, but I liked the ending: “And when Harris predicts the future of his profession, he sees stem cells and growth factors – not plucking and planting.

More good publicity for Samumed and its CEO Osman Kibar.

— I am always impressed by hair loss sufferers who go through impressive regimens and post regular updates.  The latest example is “westonci” on HLT who is supposedly going through the whole of SwissTemple’s prostaglandin protocol that I have mentioned on this blog several times before.

— Talking about PGD2, an interesting new study from South Korea just came out today and provides yet more evidence that prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and its nonenzymatic metabolite, 15-deoxy-Δ-prostaglandin J2, inhibit hair growth.

— For those in the United Kingdom, Dr. Steven Edgar is now prescribing topical Finasteride in the UK (his e-mail address is in that thread).

— An interesting new hair product from a company named “Reason to Believe” will soon be produced in North Carolina, based on the Alpha Keratin 60ku patent.  Hard to tell how good this product will be and how long it will last (I doubt it is permanent).

Can protein shakes lead to hair loss?

— “Baldy Viking” has some videos on dermaroller and onion juice!  I just saw only part of one of those…seems interesting and not entirely crazy.  I have become more of a believer in natural treatments for hair loss having at least some minor benefit.

— An interesting story of an Irish woman’s battle with alopecia cicatricial related hair loss since age 21.

Yet one more distraction for Dr. George Cotsarelis.

— In celebrity news, Rosie O’Donnell discusses her hair loss; it seems like golfer Jordan Speith may have had a hair transplant; and Charles Barkley has asked basketball superstar Lebron James to stop painting on his hair.  Search this blog for my past mentions of Lebron James if you are interested in this kind of news.

And now on to medical items of interest:

CRISPR breakthrough is most clever yet, and increasingly relevant to humans.

Scientist turn skin cells into heart cells and brain cells just using drugs.

Regenerating brains of the dead.  A more interesting take from my favorite Daily Mail.

Japan OK’s gene editing of eggs.  As long-time blog readers know, the Japanese have already fast tracked clinical trials for newer regenerative medicine and stem cell treatments, and earlier in this post I mentioned that Japan could be the first country to approve Dutasteride for hair loss treatment.  Everything is moving along fast over there and I am glad that we have both Shiseido and Dr. Takashi Tsuji based in that country.

— As expected, the first ever penis transplant in the US got widespread global news coverage yesterday.  I first heard about it via the radio in my car yesterday, then via a text message from a friend (wonder why?), and then again today via my yahoo homepage. Bill Gates must be horrified at global priorities.

— Now just imagine if this really happens in 2017?  I doubt it, but it would be absolutely ridiculous if that came to fruition before a hair loss cure.

— Alzheimer’s cure getting closer:

— Five-year update on face transplant recipient.

— MIT scientists and others create an artificial second skin:

— Histogen is also involved in skin care products via its growth factor technology in case people forgot.  Here is an update.

Doubling lifespan of embryos in petri dishes.

Maybe vitamin supplements are useful after all?

Biohacking in Brooklyn.

— I am a bit skeptical about Liz Parrish and Bioviva, but since I have mentioned her a few times before, here is an update and some reddit comments on the subject.

Rapamycin and more to make your dogs live forever.

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.