Sirnagen CosmeRNA for Hair Loss: Releasing in 2023

Now we really have a reason to get rid of Kim Jong-un. South Korea just keeps on adding groundbreaking companies working on hair loss treatments. See my page on hair loss research around the world for some of the main names. My latest three blog posts all cover new groundbreaking work from South Korea. Truly remarkable and entirely unintentional.

CosmeRNA from Sirnagen Releasing in 2023

This post covers a new topical hair loss product called CosmeRNA, whose website is now live. It is made by siRNAgen (South Korea), a subsidiary of Bioneer (South Korea). I briefly covered this company in the past, but now it deserves its own post.

The reason I am writing this post is due to a great new interview with siRNAgen CEO Dr. June Park. Both these new developments were sent to me by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. Key quote from Dr. Park (also see her Linkedin):

“The first SAMiRNA product will be available for sale in the first half of 2023. We had an unconventional route to commercialization by developing a hair loss cosmeceutical product. CosmeRNA, named after cosmetic RNA, provided an early validation of our platform’s potential as a topical cosmetic product for androgenetic alopecia (hair loss).”

They wil not need to conduct clinical trials since this is a cosmetic product! The actual release date is likely to be in early 2023 per another quote in the same interview. After first being done in South Korea, CosmeRNA’s safety study was repeated in Europe by Dermatest in 2022. Note that SAMiRNA is shelf stable in a solution for a year, so it can be applied topically.

Ms. Park anticipates the product launch to occur some time in early 2023. They will focus on the European market first due to the region’s more streamlined cosmeceutical trial and approval process. It is called Cosmetics Product Notification Portal (CPNP).

Note that I previously briefly covered siRNAgen Therapeutics in my post on OliX Pharmaceuticals. The latter is working on a hair loss cure involving RNA interference (RNAi) via asiRNA (asymmetric small interfering RNA). The aim is to reduce androgen receptor (AR) expression on the scalp.

SAMiRNA, Androgen Receptor and Hair Growth

siRNAgen is also working on reducing AR expression and regrowing hair. However, it is doing so via treatment with self-assembled micelle inhibitory RNA (SAMiRNA) nanoparticle-type siRNA. See their site for more on small interfering RNAs (siRNA).

They published an important study on this in Nature Journal in January 2022. The encouraging title of this paper is worth posting: “Weekly treatment with SAMiRNA targeting the androgen receptor ameliorates androgenetic alopecia.”

The product they use for androgenetic alopecia is a topical called AR68. It is classified as a cosmetic ingredient and will be called Cosmerna-68. In the above mentioned paper, they have before and after photos of a patient that I pasted below. The chart on the right shows the actual percent improvement with AR68 0.5mg/ml treatment versus placebo. They also state the following:

“In the low-dose (0.5 mg/ml) clinical study, AR68 was applied three times per week for 24 weeks, and through quantitative analysis using a phototrichogram, we confirmed increases in total hair counts. In the 24-week long high-dose (5 mg/ml) clinical study, AR68 showed average additional hair growth of 1.3-1.9 hairs/cm2 per month, which is comparable to finasteride. No side effects were observed. Therefore, SAMiRNA targeting AR mRNA is a potential novel topical treatment for AGA.”

Sirnagen CosmeRNA AR68
Sirnagen CosmeRNA SAMiRNA AR68 hair loss treatment. Source: Yun, SI., Lee, SK., Goh, EA. et al. Sci Rep 12, 1607 (2022).

Edit: The higher dose AR68 5mg/ml before and after photos are here.

Is this a miracle? Most likely not for most severaly balding people people. However, just as with finasteride, some people could see stellar results. And for those who are just starting to go bald, this could be a much needed non-DHT inhibiting product with few if any side effects.

I am not a big believer in cosmetics, but this latest interview with siRNAgen CEO June Park is encouraging. She comes across as very intelligent and sincere.

OliX Pharmaceuticals RNAi Hair Growth Success

In 2021, I wrote a post on microRNA (miRNA) and hair growth. In there, I also discussed messenger RNA (mRNA). And now we have RNA interference (RNAi) as a hair loss treatment, thanks to OliX Pharmaceuticals (South Korea).

Update: November 22, 2022 — OliX just published preclinical research on its androgenetic alopecia treatment program, OLX104C. The results are very encouraging. Actual study is here and the researchers demonstrated:

“Efficacy of androgen receptor (AR) reduction, hair loss inhibition, and long duration of action in primary cultured human follicle dermal papilla cells (HFDPC) and rodent models of hair loss.”

They call this technology “cp-asiRNA targeting AR” and “AR-targeting asiRNA (cp-asiAR)”. The asiRNA stands for asymmetric small interfering RNA.

Olix siRNA Hair Growth
Olix siRNA Hair Growth. Source: Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Update: May 27, 2022 — OliX just raised $45 million and their androgenetic alopecia product (OLX104C) will enter clinical trials later this year.

Update: August 2021 — OliX gets Notice of Allowance from US Patent and Trademark Office for OLX104C.

OliX Pharmaceuticals RNAi Hair Loss Product OLX104C

OliX Pharmaceuticals (South Korea) just made a major announcement. Their RNAi based hair loss product OLX104C successfully grew back hair in mice following just one single injection. The mice were suffering from androgenetic alopecia due to them being given excess dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

“We are advancing a novel and potentially durable approach to treating hair loss” — CEO Dong Ki Lee

OliX Pharmaceuticals RNAi Hair
OliX Pharmaceuticals and its RNAi product OLX104C. Before and after hair growth in mice.

In this preclinical study, OLX104C was administered topically to a mouse model via an injection. The before and after photos are amazing. Interestingly, they compare the results to the anti-androgen Flutamide.

More importantly, OliX is the real deal. Their news page is very impressive with regular significant developments. This includes raising $37.2 million in December 2020 (h/t reader “James”). They also received US FDA Phase 2a approval in November, 2020 to treat hypertrophic scars.

siRNA

On OliX’s pipeline page, they state that small interfering RNA (siRNA) has limitations in terms of stability, delivery and toxicity. This is not a problem with RNAi therapeutics. Edit: Per the patent, they are using asymmetric siRNA to inhibit male pattern hair loss gene expression.

Update: OliX signs agreement with LGC Biosearch Technologies to accelerate production of asymmetric siRNA for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. Dr. Lee will present at today’s SMi’s 12th Annual RNA Therapeutics virtual conference. He will discuss OLX104C at this event. OliX plans to initiate clinical trials of OLX104C “by 2022”.

Update: January 2022 — A new South Korean company named siRNAgen Therapeutics (a subsidiary of Bioneer) is developing a SAMiRNA based hair loss product. SAMiRNA is a new type of siRNA nanoparticle that does not result in innate immune stimulation.

Update: March 2022 — Bioneer updates us on its new CosmeRNA product. Looks like they might launch it in South Korea and Germany (plus EU) this year.

“Cosmerna is the world’s first short-interfering RNA (siRNA) gene technology-based functional cosmetic for alleviating hair loss symptoms”.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world will take mRNA vaccines during the next several years. In effect, this will speed up scientific progress and cause many to not worry about long-term side effects. Perhaps a mistake, but I will selfishly not complain too much if it speeds up the realization of a hair loss cure.

Hair loss treatment and cure related news updates.