Category Archives: Wnt10b

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.

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.