So Samumed had yet another update two days ago. I was getting a bit annoyed and suspicious at seeing updates from the company every few days these past several weeks. Why can’t they provide all the information in one go if it has all been available for at least the past one month I presume? Is this manner of soap opera type suspenseful weekly updates just done so that the company gets greater visibility and google/public relations love? Or have I just become disenchanted by all the previous hair loss cure related companies that have done similar things in the past for years and then disappeared for good or re-appeared after lengthy breaks with yet more PR articles and presentations? It also seems like Samumed has only in the past month become active at providing press releases and sharing presentations on its website. Perhaps this is a sign that they could be sold in the coming year or are going to soon look for investors? All speculation on my part of course as I have negligible experience in the finance and investment arena.
In any event, I was 50/50 about covering this latest Samumed update in a whole blog post, but finally decided to go ahead after seeing something interesting. Samumed has 32 patents since 2010 according to Google Patent Search (note that some of the same patents are listed more than once). A majority of these patents involve Wnt/Beta-Catenin signaling related work, a crucial area of research in the hair loss world as well as in the broader medical world. More specifically, a majority of Samumed’s patents involve work related to the Wnt pathway modulation via the use of Indazoles or something called 1H-pyrazolo[3,4-b]pyridine. I will leave it up to the chemistry expert blog readers on here to figure out further details behind these compounds and how they alter Wnt signaling.
It seems like a majority of Samumed’s patents involve two people:
Both these guys seem to quite accomplished scientists and have mild hair loss per their Linkedin photos here and here.
We have heard a lot about companies involved in finding a hair loss cure via PGD2 inhibition, PGE2 increase, wounding, hair cloning, hair multiplication, hair regeneration, dermal papilla cell manipulation, fat cell manipulation, newer anti-androgen development and more. Samumed seems to be the most likely company in the world at tackling hair loss via the Wnt/Beta-Catenin signaling pathway and therefore it is worth following the company even if it keeps releasing information in bits and pieces.
As far as the latest press release that I mentioned at the start of the post goes, the key sentence regarding Phase II clinical trials for the company’s SM04554 topical solution is that the product:
“Showed statistically significant increases for both objective outcome measures: non-vellus hair count (a primary outcome measures) and hair density (a secondary outcome measures), using the pre-specified statistical model.”
I am not overly excited about reading the above, as “statistically significant” could just mean yet another Minoxidil or Propecia (or even Bimatoprost — see Results) type treatment. However, with no evidence of significant side effects, SM04554 could be a great product if it enhances the effects of existing treatments (as opposed to different treatments cancelling each other’s benefits out and impacting the same hair positively, even if working via totally different mechanisms).
The most encouraging thing I read was that in in vivo animal models, SM04554 has shown to generate new hair follicles. This is a very rare outcome for any hair loss medication or treatment, as in most cases existing hair is made stronger and recently miniaturized hair is brought back to life. We are long overdue for hair growth success stories in animal models being replicated in homo sapiens.