A New Dawn In Baldness Treatments?

Today’s “The Telegraph” newspaper from the UK has an interesting article titled:

Are we witnessing a new dawn for baldness treatments?

Unfortunately, the article is behind a Paywall, but I have highlighted the main points further below.

Baldness Treatments.
Current Baldness Treatment Recommendations.

Interesting New Baldness Treatments

As is the case with all such clickbait titled articles, a lot of the information is not new to us or is exaggerated. Nevertheless, I do believe that the past 5-10 year period has been the most groundbreaking in hair loss research history.  And this article has some interested new information.

Dr. Coen Gho

Amazingly, the first ten paragraphs of the article are devoted to Dr. Coen Gho and his Hair Science Institute! For anyone who has been reading about hair loss treatments for more than 15 years, Dr. Gho is a legend as well as highly controversial. Please read my past post on Dr. Coen Gho and his hair multiplication technique.

Dr. Gho’s method attempts to avoid donor area hair thinning by only using part of the follicle during a hair transplantation procedure. It supposedly works by stimulating the stem cells within that small piece of tissue to generate new hairs. At the moment, this supposedly yields two hairs from a single follicle fragment. However, Dr. Gho is now developing a separate technique that could potentially generate 10 hairs:

“Gho has just gained approval to test the technique in female patients in research studies. If all goes well, he hopes that it may be possible to offer it as a treatment in the next four to five years.

Right now a typical treatment involves taking grafts from 1,400 hair follicles, which means 3,000 new hairs,” says Gho. “Can you imagine what we can achieve if we could use those same grafts to generate 10,000 hairs?”

Please note that there is significant debate and controversy about Dr. Gho’s technique and its efficacy.

According to Dr. Gho, current hair transplant demand at his clinic is 3-4 times higher than before the Covid pandemic. This makes sense per various hair transplant statistics. All my hair transplant advertisers also backed out this year since their clinics are too busy through Spring 2022. They do not want to keep rejecting new patients! Zoom, Teams, FaceTime, Instagram and more have really pushed people into getting cosmetic surgery at a record rate.

Cassiopea and Riken

In this article, Cassiopea CEO Dr. Diana Harbort is quoted as saying that there is a major need for a novel hair loss treatments. She gets weekly e-mails from people trying to enroll in trials for the company’s hair loss product Breezula.

Riken and Dr. Tsuji are discussed in great detail, especially his attempts at crowdfunding (they only need $3.2 million). According to Dr. Tsuji:

“As soon as we can get the funding, a clinical study could be started within a few months, and a pay-to-participate clinical program could begin within two years in Japan.”

Dr. Ke Cheng and Exosomes for Baldness

Of most immediate interest to me is a section on exosomes as being one of the new array of baldness treatments. It is preceded by a discussion of PRP for hair loss.

I have covered exosomes in detail in three past posts. There was also a presentation on this treatment at last month’s ISHRS conference (where it was discussed favorably, albeit with warnings about new FDA regulations).

In this latest Telegraph article, the author interviewed Dr. Ke Cheng  from the Cheng Lab at North Carolina State University. Mr. Cheng is a professor of regenerative medicine and his research interests include exosomes and micro-RNAs. His team published a paper on exosomes and hair growth in 2020:

Cheng Lab Exosomes
Exosomes hair loss treatment paper from Cheng Lab.

Dr. Cheng’s Lab is using exosomes from healthy hair follicle cells (which also contain microRNA) and injecting them into balding regions of the scalp. These “fresh” exosomes send messages to the hibernating cells to promote hair regrowth.

“So far Cheng has tested this approach in mice and found that it can achieve a six to seven-fold increase in hair growth compared with traditional hair loss drugs such as minoxidil. He is now conducting experiments to see whether the same results can be achieved in human hair cells in the lab.”

Dr. Cheng plans to start clinical trials in “the next five years” and is actively speaking to venture capital firms. Kind of a strange time frame, since so many hair transplant surgeons already offer this treatment.

Even with strict new FDA regulations, it seems like some doctors are still treating patients with exosomes. Note that these extracellular vesicles are derived from another person, so are not classified as autologous in nature.

CD83 Molecule, Hair Loss and MalliaBioTech

A new  biotech company in Germany named MalliaBioTech is working on a topical hair loss treatment based on the CD83 molecule. Thanks to “Marcus” and “James” for sending me several of the below links.

CD83 and Hair Loss

On October 27, the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) in Germany published an important page on their site titled:

“FAU project wins funding for remedies against hormone-related hair loss.”

An soluble CD83 based active ingredient newly developed at FAU leads to new hair growth. The FAU researchers from the Department of Immunomodulation and the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital Erlangen received the m4 Award for this project on October 21, 2021.

So far, this CD83 (see gene card) based active ingredient has not shown any side effects in pre-clinical studies. The video of this work can be found in this article and is also embedded at the bottom of this post.

CD83 Hair Growth
CD83 hair growth before and after. Screenshot from video.

MalliaBioTech

The research team is led by Dr. Alexander Steinkasserer, who I e-mailed for more information. His co-researchers include Dr. Dmytro Royzman and Prof. Dr. Carola Berking. Their new company is called MalliaBioTech, and it received EUR 500,000 via the m4 Award. It is officially called the m4 Award from the state of Bavaria.

“The new product has the potential to conquer the large unfulfilled market of hair loss.”

In contrast to existing hair loss treatments Finasteride and Minoxidil, this topical treatment based on a soluble form of the CD83 molecule:

“Stimulated the formation of new hair follicles and thus induces new hair growth.”

While the current pre-clinical work is in mice and yet to enter  human clinical trials, this research represents yet one more new method to tackle androgenetic alopecia. We read about at least five such major new hair loss cure related discoveries every year, so reader skepticism is warranted.

When I first heard about CD83 for hair growth, I assumed it would be for alopecia areata. This is due to the frequent  use of the word “immune” in tandem with CD83. However, the new German research clearly indicates that this treatment will work for hormonal hair loss (aka male pattern baldness).

Hair loss news blog. Hair cloning for baldness.