Interview with Stemson CEO Geoff Hamilton

I have covered Stemson Therapeutics (San Diego, USA) and its founder Alexey Terskikh (see interview) since 2015. My last post on the company was updated in 2020 when they raised $7.5 million from Fortunis Capital and Allergan.

Since then, Stemson raised another $15 million in series A funding, courtesy of AbbVie (which acquired Allergan in 2020).

Geoff Hamilton

Stemson Therapeutics’ CEO is Geoff Hamilton. In July 2021, he  wrote an interesting post on Linkedin titled “Stemson Therapeutics is working to make hair loss a problem of the past.” It was interesting to read about the origin of the name “Stemson” (portmanteau of “Stem” and “Samson”).

Key section:

Per Mr. Hamilton, curing hair loss is inordinately complex and will involve a multi-disciplinary approach, including:

  • Cellular reprogramming.
  • Biomaterial engineering.
  • Tissue engineering.
  • Machine learning and analysis of biological data.
  • Robotic transplantation solutions.

In a recent article, Dr. Cenk Sumen (Stemson’s Chief Technology Officer) discussed other difficulties. He stated that companies such as Stemson that are working on induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) therapies face problems getting tailored equipment for automation.

Earlier today, San Diego based “Market Podcast” published an interview with Mr. Hamilton on YouTube. Thanks to reader “Jan Miedza” for notifying us and even posting the first comment to that video.

From the interview, it is clear that Stemson is still years away from getting a product to market. They are yet to even start human clinical trials. However, the company is professional, well funded and supported by biopharmaceutical industry behemoth AbbVie. They have hired world class scientists, bioengineers, bioinformaticians and more.

Moreover, Dr. Terskikh’s research has already been going on for over a decade (including in Russia). Also of note, Dr. Hamilton mentions several times how biotechnology and stem cell research today is significantly ahead of where it was just a decade ago. His company’s progress is benefitting from these recent technological advances.

50 thoughts on “Interview with Stemson CEO Geoff Hamilton”

  1. Marc you need a break or a permanent one from this site and others like it! you’re obsessing you just answered your own question and repeat the same stuff it’s not healthy mate I know hair loss sucks. But Obsessing is the side effect of these sites it’s just a big tease not mentally healthy like others have said. These treatments and cures will not come out anytime soon. Cheers mate.

    1. Marc and Mjones would be best friends in real life. In case there is no hair loss cure for another 10 years, they should at least get one benefit from having visited this site so often and try to connect with each other. I would be happy to act as an intermediary.

      1. As opposed to a lot of sentiment over the years about conspiracy theories or that companies didn’t care enough or really focus on a cure for hair loss, I have always thought the real reason for lack of faster progress is exactly what Hamilton said: “curing hair loss is inordinately complex……”

  2. Lol but it’s the Truth the CEO said it himself they need more years of r and d which is probably 5 to 6 more years before they get to human trials and that’s if there successful. And then another 5 to 6 years conducting human trials and there’s still a big Chance it won’t work. Anyone with a rational mind can see the likely release date 2036

    1. Yep your right. Some people prefer to live in hope instead of being realistic about it. Only more disappointment for them I guess.

      I learnt all the news coming out of these hairloss companies is bs. They are just trying to gain gullible investors

  3. Good stuff, though nothing too surprising. I’ve been bullish on Stemson for several years now, and remain so. Hamilton called out the lack of interest in hair loss in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, and he’s right. Most of the companies that have worked on hair loss over the years are just complete jokes. Stemson actually has the people, funding, and technology to solve this problem. They’re legit.

    What they’re trying to do is undeniably difficult; if they succeed it will be a milestone in the history of regenerative medicine. But I’m optimistic. There’s no fundamental reason this approach can’t work, it’s just an engineering challenge at this point, and the most critical piece of the puzzle is already solved (generating new hair cells).

    I think the current situation is analogous to the semiconductor industry in the early 60s. The transistor has been invented, the integrated circuit has been invented, and now people are working on building the first microprocessor. A lot of work remains, but the building blocks exist.

    I’ve always thought the commenters on this site waiting on the edge of their seats for Stemson or Tsuji to come out and announce they’ve perfected the tech and started human trials were getting way too ahead of themselves. But I do think it’s entirely reasonable to think this could be on the market by the end of the decade, five years probably being an absolute best case scenario.

    That’s not ideal for anyone, but there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel after decades without any real progress.

  4. A “CURE” without any type of surgery/injections is probably going to be genetic based, as i mentioned in the previous post comments. Genetics is still progressing everyday, not just a little bit but a lot. As i mentioned, the BRCA #1 gene is now proven to be a high risk of prostate cancer in males.

    If most males have the 5α-Reductase gene, then why do only some of us lose hair? there is more research to be done here.

    There is also a 5ar #1 gene and a 5ar #2 gene.
    So far what we do know is that 5ar is what converts testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone

  5. The last American scientist was Robert Oppenheimer
    which took several years to make atomic bomb
    Those who need 10 or more years to cure alopecia are anything but NO scientists

    1. The only point that you ever got across to me every year is that Follica and Cotsarelis are the cure :-) You gave me hope year after year and I assumed that you are a biotech industry CEO or a high up official in the FDA! Yet you want me to show you and Marc more compassion per your lengthy comment that I deleted!

      1. Yes I do admin. That’s why you created a website. To support the hairloss community. Dont understand what the problem is. But I get it. You have to be right since its your site. I never said follica was the cure lol, I just said it would be the next fda approved drug;) I dont see anything else coming even with all follica delays.

  6. Hi Admin, thanks for the short update.

    I highly believe in StemsonTx – they bring everything on the table what is needed. It also seems as if they are looking at every small detail – like they are preparing a solution ready-made for hair-transplant surgeons and scalability of all items needed. This would guarantee a quick market-release AND availability after trials. It would be terrible if we had to wait another 3 years just because they weren’t able to distribute the stuff!

    The most interesting questions atm are regarding the competitors: where is Tsuji, Epibiotech, J.Hewitt, HanBio (?) Yokohama reallly compared to Stemson in terms of timeline and technology? Years ahead, or behind? How serious are they even regarding a commercialisation?

    Tsuji could begin trials immediately as per their statements. Epibiotech is planned for 22, HanBio too. Tissuse could happen anytime soon.

    If I listen to Hamilton and hear how immensely complicated their enterprise is, how come Fukuda says his method is uncomplicated, robust, easy to scale and cheap? Is it that different? Or is it just smokes and mirrors to gain money from sponsors?

    From a distance: Korea and Japan are definitely in the pole position because of their unique laws. But Stemson seems to be much more professional as a business-venture.

    Your take admin?

    1. I agree with what you say Ben. I had super high expectations of Tsuji/Riken and never expected their unprofessional fundraising approach and delays of the past year. HanBio’s marketing is off the charts. We never see Korean companies so open. But I am skeptical of all after the Tsuji disappointment :-(

      Perhaps Kintor will surprise us the soonest with at least a moderately effect treatment. Stemson is the most professional no doubt, but 5 plus years away at a minimum it seems. Follica now looks at least 2 more years away. Hope Shiseido surprises us too. I forgot if Fukuda is working with any companies or just doing research at Yokohama. I though he worked with Shiseido in the past, but will recheck later.

      Edit — Also Yokohama (Kageyama + Fukuda):

      https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/yokohama-to-begin-hair-multiplication-trials-in-2023/

    1. Latest update said Follica will start Phase 3 next year. Already delayed few times in past. I would bet more delays down the road in getting to market.

      1. Thanks good to know. A shame they can’t offer up their device in the short term but that’s not their business model.

  7. Nice post admin!

    Do we know when Shiseido release their second phase 2 study results? I feel like I remember them saying September but looking at the enrollment, the first patient was enrolled in dec 2020 and it’s a year long study. So I dunno. Any ideas anyone?

  8. Do not be discouraged, if you have not had a hair transplant yet, most of you are sure that you have the possibility of covering your heads something (as in my case) and with a bit of luck keeping it for a few more years with antiandrogen medications and when the Alopecia continues to advance, in a few years surely there is nothing left for a real cure for alopecia. Good luck for all of you!!

  9. Fascinating stuff. Thanks for the interview. I started losing my hair in my early twenties, which makes me wonder whether any regenerated cells would be similarly programmed to “die off”…Presumably they would need to modify them in some way so they are immune to early senescence and the effects of DHT (?)

  10. I would take this with a grain of salt.

    For instance, I don’t see robotic transplantation as “required”.

    This guy is the CEO and may be pretty far away from the science.

  11. Admin please try to get an interview with the fabulous Pr. Xiao Rui-Ping.
    SMI is the treatment we’ve been waiting for, she is defo the woman who will save our scalps, she deserves more than one article on here.

    1. Hey admin, if I remember correctly these guys claimed they have basically cured hairloss. I know I shouldn’t get hyped but hope is what gets me through this.
      Would.be nice if someone could translate it.
      From what I understood this is similiar to what replicel was doing rather than stemson and tsuji right?

    2. Guys the only one who can save all our Norwoods in the near future is defo Pr. Xiao Rui-Ping and her BAY/SMI treatment so PLEASE now let’s focus on her team and their wonderful work rather than on the companies that have been mocking us for ages +@admin you’re the only one here that can legitimately get an itw with her so please do your best to get one, we need good news for the next 2 or 3 years!!

    3. Dear admin, should mjones and I get get our Hope’s up for this ? And is this hair cloning or is this a injectable like shesiedo ? Or is han bio doing both hair cloning and a injectable? Thank you for this news !

    4. I so want to believe. But I remain very skeptical.

      Everything that comes from seems sketchy and the footage looks like scenes from „The Office“.

      Besides my skepticism the concept is very intriguing. Autologous DP-cell-therapies are theoretically superb treatments. Extract, culture, inject. And HanBio wants to become an international transplant-hub and start to offer their treatment within 2 years.

      As far as I understand their treatment is the same or at least very similar to Hairclone. And Hairclone unfortunately always disappointed.

      1. My skepticism regarding all these new companies is off the charts. But I am surprised to see this level of frequent marketing and blogging from a Korean hair loss company.

        1. Is it really possible that these people are con-men? They would be unmasked pretty fast I guess (remember „Invitrohair“? – total scam). Both Stemore‘s and HanBio‘s news releases are coming so regular and often via seemingly neutral news-portals. But yes, it’s so hard to evaluate their reliability.

          I think Epibiotech is much more trustworthy than HanBio – their funding is strong (~ 15 million USD only this year) and the CEO is/was definitely a Professor in South Korea. I have to correct you though, admin: according to the CEO‘s interviews Stemore is not really new and was founded in 2015 and makes it therefore older than the Riken-project, Stemson and Hairclone.

            1. Sorry Admin you are right, you never said anything like that. I thought you referred „new companies“ to Stemore too. My fault.

              Anyhow, at least I found the researcher of HanBio, Professor Yoon Jeong-in, so there are now at least 2 people working there for certain:

              https://dept.daelim.ac.kr/cbe/cms/FrCon/index.do?MENU_ID=260

              Unfortunately I cannot find any business registry from Korea, the language is a big burden too.

  12. SM04554
    Thank you for your interest in Biosplice’s investigational drug, SM04554.
    Biosplice is not pursuing further independent development of SM04554 for androgenetic alopecia and is evaluating global out-licensing opportunities for further development and commercialization of this program.

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