Category Archives: Rapunzel

Brief Items of Interest, August 2016

Hair loss news first:

Update: Histogen gets funding from China and also targets the Chinese market.

Kyocera updated its article on the biggest news of this year in the hair loss world.  They plan to conduct clinical research in Japanese fiscal year 2019 (i.e., between April 1st 2018 – March 31st 2019) and put the technology into “practical use” in 2020.  Interesting quote:

“While various methods are under evaluation, Kyocera’s piezoelectric technology is of particular interest as a means of discharging small amounts of viscid cells in a precise manner during the cell processing process.”

PGD2 inhibitor Fevipiprant could be a miracle treatment for asthma.  I am still hopeful that Setipiprant will be better than expected when it comes to treating hair loss.  Worth listening to Kythera CEO’s interview here if you haven’t already.

— More evidence that enhancing the β-catenin signalling pathway in dermal papilla cells allows faster and denser hair growth.

— New findings from a Stanford University (US) and A*STAR (Singapore)’s Institute of Medical Biology collaboration:  Wnt signalling plays a critical role in hair follicle stem cell maintenance. Interesting quote:

“Compounds, particularly those which have already been established to be Wnt activators, can now be tested against cultured HFSCs to see if they do stimulate hair regrowth. The scientific community may also be able to culture HFSCs more efficiently by tweaking Wnt signalling to the optimal levels.”

New interview with Replicel CEO Lee Buckler.  Important part is around three minutes in.

— New article that covers Dr. Christiano’s company Rapunzel as well as other relevant subjects including Samumed, Vixen/Aclaris and Dr. Joseph Greco.

— Hairlosstalk is interviewing Dr. Gail Naughton of Histogen this week.  Unfortunately the questions are already finalized, but its still worth a gander through this thread.

— New study from China: “Hair follicle and sebaceous gland “de novo” regeneration with cultured epidermal stem cells and skin-derived precursors.”

Cellmid to enter US hair loss treatment market.

— Dr. Cole’s office sent me an update on PRP and ACell recently.  I think they sent out a mass e-mail on the subject since its contents were also pasted in here.

— Joe Tillman discusses his Dr. Cooley PRP treatment results.

Healeon Medical is starting a new clinical trial in Honduras that will “evaluate the safety and efficacy of the use of a biocellular mixture of emulsified adipose-derived tissue stromal vascular fraction (AD-tSVF) and high density platelet-rich plasma concentrate (HD- PRP) as compared with adipose-derived cell-enriched SVF (AD-cSVF) + AD-tSVF and HD- PRP concentrates in treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL).”

— Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is conducting the “first ever FDA-approved study in the US on the use of fat-derived stems cell for the treatment of hair loss in men and women.”  If you are near Miami, perhaps worth a visit.

On a less serious train of thought:

Eat curry to prevent hair loss.

— He says that black guys do not always pull off the bald look.  I still think he pulls it off.

UK celebrity funnyman divorcee gets a hair transplant to prepare for online dating so as to not look like a thug.

When Homer Simpson got hair due to a miracle drug call dimoxinil.

Our lack of body and scalp hair may have allowed our species to thrive.

And now on to medical items of interest:

— Last year I discussed the inspirational Zion Harvey after he got a double hand transplant.  He had lost both his legs, both his hands and his kidney to a childhood infection.  One year after his double hand transplant surgery, here is the result:

Chinese scientists to pioneer first human CRISPR trial.

— “Bio is the new digital.”  Great article from Taiwan that is a must read after translation.  Boston is to biotech what Silicon Valley is to information technology.  In the hair loss world, it seems like New York and San Diego (see here) are far more important than Boston, but perhaps we will see some surprises from Boston soon?!

— Two stories on aging in the Economist in the past week.  Here and here.

Excellent article on human enhancement.

Dr. David Sinclair’s presentation on ageing and lifespan extension.

— At least androgens have some benefits such as telomere length extension.

Dr. George Church on the future of genetic engineering.

Gene therapy cure with a money-back guarantee.

— Using a patient’s own stem cells and a 3D printer, scientists have genetically engineered a “living hip” that will cease pain.

— Cornea cells successfully grown and implanted to cure blindness in animals.

Peter Thiel is a fan of parabiosis.

Update on Dr. Frankenstein.  Full body transplant scheduled for December 2017.

— Scientists just created nanorobots to travel the bloodstream and fight cancerous tumors.

Brief Items of Interest, April 2015

Although a lot of important developments have occurred in the hair loss world in the past several weeks, I have not been excited by most of them. I did not think any of the below warranted a separate post.

— A few days ago, the New York Times had a fairly detailed and interesting article on hair loss, with the focus largely being on women’s hair loss. The article includes quotes from well known experts frequently mentioned on this blog such as Dr. Joseph Greco, Dr. Carlos Wesley and Dr. Angelo Christiano. It seems like Dr. Christiano has helped start a company (called Rapunzel of course!) where she will focus on hair multiplication via cell culturing. I am not too excited about this as yet since clinical trials are 1-2 years away, and in essence this is yet another “cure is five years away” type venture (and even that timeline is optimistic based on the assumptions that she raises the requisite funds and that each stage of clinical trials progresses as planned). The one redeeming factor is that Dr. Christiano is very passionate about helping women with hair loss, perhaps largely because she also suffers from hair loss and wears a wig.

— The other interesting item from the above mentioned New York Times article was an explanation on why Latisse (Bimatoprost) will probably not work as well on the head as it does on eyelashes.   According to the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Melissa Piliang, a well known hair loss researcher and dermatologist, Latisse works by shifting hair that is in a resting phase into hair that is in a growth phase. However, while 70 percent of eyelash hair is usually in resting phase, only 10-20 percent of scalp hair is usually in resting phase. I wonder if that 10-20 percent potential new growth is enough to make Bitamoprost at least as good as Minoxidil when it comes to scalp hair regrowth?

— Cellmid, a company that I discussed earlier this year, just announced very good results from an independently conducted trial of its FGF-5 inhibiting drug évolis ONE. I would be a lot more excited about this product if were not based on naturally occurring botanical extracts and if there were more positive anecdotal forums posts from existing Australian users of the product. I just do not believe that any natural product can considerably benefit hair loss, especially when it comes to regrowth.  In any case, their CEO Maria Halasz has Tweeted to me that the product will be in pharmacies (I presume US-based ones) in May.

— Italian company Cosmo Pharmaceuticals changed the name of its yet to be approved CB-03-01 topical anti-androgen product to Breezula per a March 25, 2015 detailed company presentation. Strange choice of name. The company also changed its own name to a more Italian sounding Cassiopea in April 2015.

— The two main stories in the hair loss world last year both involved JAK inhibitors reversing alopecia areata. The before and after photos in both cases (see bone marrow cancer drug Ruxolitinib and arthritis drug Tofacitinib) were mind blowing and took the global media by storm. This month, yet another JAK inhibitor (an Israeli developed cancer drug Baricitinib) proved to have similar results, but the publicity surrounding this development was modest this time.

— Although related to the skin rather than to hair, cosmetics giant L’Oreal ‘s and 3D organ printing giant Organovo’s newly announced partnership in research is one to watch closely. The human skin is very closely related to hair, and L’Oreal has already made its presence felt in the hair world due to its much hyped yet to be released gray hair prevention pill (which has to be taken forever, and which won’t help if you already have gray hair).

— Finally, I was surprised that the crazy Dr. Sergio Canavero of the full body transplant (or “head transplant”, as has been falsely named by much of the media) fame has already managed to find a patient. So they are likely to proceed with this insanity in 2016. Even crazier, it seems like Dr. Canavero got over 100 volunteers asking him to be the first person to get a new body. I cannot imagine that this will ever work, but it is still worth seeing the below video. More on Valery Spiridonov. You can also read this interview with him and this one with Dr. Canavero.