Category Archives: Thorn Medical

Brief Items of Interest, April 2016

Hair loss news first:

— We start with Samumed and its Turkish CEO Osman Kibar being featured in a Forbes magazine cover page story and article that everyone was talking about last week. Turkish media also picked up on the story.  I did not realize that Mr. Kibar was such a good poker player (I do not agree at all with some hair loss forum members who have said that winning and placing second in his first two tournaments is just luck, especially when considering that the second tournament had 3,000 participants). More importantly, I did not know that Samumed is potentially valued at $12 billion (so Mr. Kibar is worth $4 billion with his one-third ownership stake), an unreal number for a company with somewhat unproven products and potential.  Further proof that the biotech sector is extremely overvalued.  As far as Samumed’s SM04554 hair loss product goes, the article does not divulge anything new that would raise my optimism level above what I gauged in my last post on the subject.

— Two weeks after I write the most sarcastic and innuendo filled post that I have ever written on this blog, the main subject matter in that post actually makes what seems to be a logical and wise move! Thorn Medical bought a majority stake in Okyanos Holding, the leading stem cell therapy center in the Bahamas.  In that sarcastic post from two weeks ago, I pegged Okyanos as being legitimate.  Note that Dr. Irum Khan’s previously subpar website has now also been revamped with some additional information on how she adds stem cells during a FUE hair transplant procedure.

— Two important studies were published in Japan in the past several weeks.  One on the never-before-heard-by-any-normal-human-being topical penta-peptide Gly-Pro-Ile-Gly-Ser (GPIGS) and another on the somewhat less esoteric Wnt-10b.

— The UK’s Mirror had an excellent article on the dangers of getting bad hair transplants and the importance of picking an experienced surgeon and adviser. Also see my post on the dangers of getting hair transplants in foreign countries such as Turkey.

Pfizer and Allergan have scrapped their merger plans after US tax rule changes limited potential benefits.  I mention this news because Allergan has two important hair loss treatment drugs in the pipeline in Bimatoprost and Setipiprant (search the “Categories” menu on this blog for posts on those products).

New positive PRP and hair growth study from Spain.

— New study summarizing 11 older LLLT studies concludes overall favorable results when it comes to hair.

— Histogen’s Gail Naughton will be making a presentation for 25 minutes in Boston at the 5th Stem Cell Product Development and Commercialization Conference on April 27th at 2:15 pm.

Hasson & Wong updated their topical Finasteride page at the end of March.

— French spiderman climbs an office tower to call attention to hair loss.  Well done monsieur.  The French are supposed to be among the best in the world at realizing the important things in life: for example, hair loss day was celebrated/mourned in the country on March 24th 2016 per the last sentence of that article.

— Someone from the HLT forums asked me via e-mail to help in publicizing a group buy of ingredients to make Dr. Brotzu’s lotion.  I never participate in group buys, and I do not like posting about them since I do not want to be responsible in case someone purchases a dangerous ingredient from some unreliable international vendor. Nevertheless, I will make an exception here and encourage blog readers to visit this link and decide for themselves.  As always, I am not a doctor or medical professional, and I take zero responsibility in case the group buy ends up being something illegal.  I have done no research about the ingredients involved in this group buy.

And now on to medical items of interest:

Salamander’s are known for their limb regenerative abilities.  And now, a team from Australia claims that a stem cell therapy that is capable of regenerating any human tissue damaged by injury, disease, or aging could be available within a few years due to the development of new techniques.

Garage labs of DIY gene hackers.  I want my own, but am not rich enough to quit working, and am a bit lazy to learn something so different from my day job.  Hopefully some day.

Implant lets paralyzed man play guitar.  I suspect that hair loss and paralysis could both be cured around the same time by the end of 2020 at the latest.

Mind transfer to a computer very possible by 2050.  Very popular story on Reddit based on number of comments, but I think they have this same kind of mind uploading story every single month.

The convergence of programming and biology.

— Two new breakthroughs in diabetes treatment: one makes sense,  but the other is a bit of a surprise.  For probably the 4th time on this blog, I will repeat that the UK’s much maligned gossip rag “The Daily Mail” seems to be at the forefront of covering important hair loss and medical news stories.  I am always impressed by them.

Gene therapy that restores eyesight in some to be tested on humans.  Everyone seems to be having an easier time moving from testing on animals to testing on humans in comparison to hair loss researchers and companies:-(

First 3D printed drug Spritam (for epilepsy treatment) now FDA approved for sale in the US.

Stem Cell Research Related to Hair Finally Arrives in the Bahamas

This post was borne out of necessity just like the prior one due to: numerous mentions about this story in the comments to the last blog post; several e-mails to me about this development; and threads on all the hair loss forums about this news.


On this blog, I have in the past mentioned a few times how stem cell and other modern oftentimes untested medical procedures can take place rapidly in developing countries with lax to nonexistent (or easily pliable) regulations.  Recently, we saw an example of this when Liz Parrish decided to travel to Colombia for her gene therapy treatment.  While all of us keep talking about how great Japan’s new regulations will be for the advancement of regenerative medicine and stem cell treatments, we have forgotten to keep an eye on Central and South America (the Caribbean region in particular) where things will likely move even faster.

The Bahamas and Peter Nygard

In recent years, the Bahamas has become a significant area of interest when it comes to stem cell treatments.  I found the below somewhat cheesy Peter Nygard video from a few years ago interesting when I first saw it.  I finally have a reason to include it (keep reading after the video to know why):

The Bahamas, Okyanos and Favorable new Stem Cell Treatment Related Regulations

Okyanos Cell Therapy in the Bahamas is probably more reliable than Peter Nygard’s company.  Besides having a regularly updated blog, in 2015 Okyanos became the first company in the Bahamas to receive regulatory approval from the National Stem Cell Ethics Committee (NSEC) to provide adult stem cell therapy.  More here. Also see this latest piece on stem cell treatments in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas as a Secretive Tax Haven

This week’s biggest news story regarding “The Panama Papers” has also found a few cases of people with hidden funds in the Bahamas. In fact Investopedia’s list of top 10 Caribbean tax havens ranks the Bahamas as number 3.  If you have the money, it seems like anything is possible in the Bahamas.

Guns for Hire in the Bahamas

In fact the Bahamas has an extremely high homicide rate considering that it is home to less than 400,000 people.  Peter Nygard was even accused of hiring hitmen to get rid of a rival recently.

And?

So why have I devoted space to all of the above, part of which reads like a gossip magazine column?  Well if you are a shady character or operate a shady company or deal with an untested and unproven technology that has no rigorous scientific backing, there is almost no place on earth where you would rather be than in the sunny Bahamas.

Lo and Behold

Lo and behold, today out of the blue came one of the most brazen announcements ever in the hair loss world (brazen because of the below quotes in blue).  UK based Thorn Medical plc announced the launch of a joint venture company called “Tricogeneca Limited”, with IK Clinics (also of the UK).  The new venture will provide stem cell treatments for baldness…. in the Bahamas of course.  The founder and director of IK Clinics is someone named Dr. Irum Khan.  On Thorn’s website, they discuss the Bahamas stem treatment approval for Thorn from March this year.

In the above linked press release, Thorn Medical’s accomplished CEO, the balding Jack Kaye, states: “We are delighted to establish this joint venture with Dr Khan. She has had great success in using stem cells for hair regrowth and we are keen to further promote this amazing breakthrough to make it available internationally, whilst carrying out further on-going development.

In that same press release, Dr. Khan states: “Our initial focus has been on treating men, where we’ve had a 100% success rate and we’re now refining our techniques for curing alopecia in women, which, although still at an early stage, has so far shown similar success.

Dr. Mahmood Bashir, who heads up Thorn Medical’s stem cell development and treatment efforts, said: “Although current techniques are still in their infancy, with only 10% of the new hair follicles cultured remaining alive, we can culture sufficient
quantities in the lab to provide a complete cure for male pattern baldness.”  [My note: Considering the number of totally unrelated businesses that Thorn Medical is involved in, I am amazed that they can culture hair follicles… something that numerous highly specialized scientists have failed to do reliably].

And for the icing on the cake, I defer back to Jack Kaye: “With our recent stem cell licence in the Bahamas and this new venture, male pattern baldness will soon be a thing of the past!

There you have it!  After all these decades of numerous super intelligent scientists working on a cure for hair loss around the world, we are finally home sweet home, four years earlier than I expected.

Dr. Irum Khan

Since Mr. Kaye stated that Dr. Irum Khan has had great success in using stem cells for hair regrowth, I went to her website.  Not a single mention of stem cells anywhere whatsoever on her site.  She offers scalp micro-pigmentation (SMP) treatments, hair transplants and medications, but no cell based treatments.  Her website has a menu titled as “Blog 2”, and clicking on that takes you a to a haphazardly created page on thread facelifts.  Clearly, her website would not be out of place in the Bahamas.  FYI: websites based in the Bahamas end in the extension .BS (I am very proud of finding that one)!  For non-English speakers, here is the meaning of BS.

On a positive side, Dr. Khan does seem like a nice person.

Back to Thorn Medical

It seems like Thorn Medical is very soon going to raise capital via a £350 million IPO.  According to another recent article, Mr. Kaye states that he expects the company’s value to double to £700 million by the end of the year.  So he thinks that his company’s partner has forever cured hair loss per his earlier quote, and he values the benefit of such a cure at around £350 million max over the course of this year?  My guess would be that it should be more like $35 billion, but I am no financial expert.

Back to the Bahamas

Joking and sarcasm aside, I guess it is great to have rogue nations such as the Bahamas where anyone can get away with anything when it comes to medical procedures (not so great for the initial scapegoat patients).  If you have the funds and the willpower, I suspect that you can single handedly influence national regulations in countries throughout the Caribbean.