All the great news this year related to hair loss research, trials and potential cures has made people (including myself) very optimistic. However, a lot of hair loss sufferers are becoming excessively passionate about a select few companies (especially Histogen and Replicel) or about the results from a select few clinical trials. I therefore decided to write this post as a warning from past experiences of putting too much faith into any one or two entities. Something as simple as lack of sufficient funding despite successful stage 2 clinical trials can cause a company to stop pursuing highly promising products.
In the mid-to-late 2000s, two companies named Aderans (Japan) and Intercytex (UK) caused tremendous excitement in all the online hair loss forums. Both were involved in groundbreaking research related to hair cloning and hair multiplication. Moreover, Aderans’ research was led by the renowned Dr. Ken Washenik through the Aderans Research Institute, and he made numerous presentations about their technology at various conferences. Below are two of those:
However, in 2013, Aderans decided to liquidate its research institute. Spencer Kobren had a segment about this on his usually weekly radio show:
Intercytex abandoned its work in 2010 due to financial difficulties, despite positive results from phase 1 trials. According to the company’s website, “the Intercytex name and ICX-RHY were purchased by private investors and relaunched as Intercytex Ltd in 2010”. ICX-RHY is a skin repair product.
Spencer Kobren of The Bald Truth Talk show managed to interview Dr. Brett King, and Dr. King’s optimism is palpable throughout the session. A must watch video, especially the last five minutes of it.
Spencer talks about the inflammatory aspect of male pattern baldness, and Dr. King strongly feels that a topical formulation of this drug would likely be tested on patients with Androgenic Alopecia. That segment made me quite annoyed that Dr. Cotsarelis was so dismissive of this new development per the CNN article I linked to at the bottom of my first post on this subject. Per Dr. Cotsarelis, androgenic alopecia does not have an immune system rejection related component to it. I am not so sure about that, especially since so many of us hair loss sufferers get itching and psoriasis type symptoms along with the hair loss.
My favorite quote from Dr. Brett King in the video is:
It’s hopeful…it’s beyond hopeful.
I am not as optimistic as Dr. King as yet, and a topical formulation has yet to be developed and will be difficult to develop due to the large size of the molecule involved and consequent difficulty in penetrating the scalp skin. However, I find this whole development absolutely amazing and it seems like Dr. King is optimistic that a topical formulation will be developed once enough funding is available.
As Dr. King warns, nobody should be experimenting with this drug, nor buying it on the black market. This drug’s potential side effects make finasteride seem like candy in comparison. I would wait for the topical formulation to come out, as well as more reports to come out on the side effects experienced by the many more patients who will now surely start taking it (in trials and under doctor supervision) for alopecia areata and severe psoriasis.