FOXO4, Anti-Aging and Hair Growth

I previously wrote about FOXO4 in a post in March 2017 that covered Dr. Peter de Keizer and his groundbreaking findings. In brief, interference via a newly created modified FOXO4-p53 peptide caused senescent cell apoptosis (death) in mice. Subsequently, the mice became younger and healthier. Most importantly, the mice regrew thick and robust coats of fur.

In the above study, the FOXO4 peptide was created in a D-retro inverso (DRI)-isoform conformation and named FOXO4-DRI. The anti-aging and hair growth related findings of this work were widely covered by the media in 2017. Dr. Keizer thereafter started his own biotech company called Cleara Biotech.

Senescent Cells

I have written about senescent cells (undesirable) and senolytics a number of times in the past. In an interview with Dr. de Keizer, he mentioned the following:

“If you remove the senescent cells, it means the (neighboring) stem cells can differentiate again, supporting tissue rejuvenation.”

Also make sure to read my related post on NAD, NMN and Resveratrol for aging reversal.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

Earlier this week, an anti-aging breakthrough from Israel was widely covered in the media. Apparently, giving pure oxygen to older people while in a hyperbaric chamber increased the length of their telomeres by 20 percent. More details here.

This development is impressive because it resulted in both:

  1. Telomere Elongation. And:
  2. Senescent Cell Reduction.

There have already been other methods via which people have increased their telomere length, including TA-65, exercise, diet and caloric restriction. However, this new hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) protocol led to elongation of telomeres at higher rates in comparison to existing interventions.

Using FOXO4 for Hair Growth

I was not planning to write about the above findings from last week as there did not seem to be any connection to hair loss.

However, earlier today, reader “egghead” posted a new link to the same story. More importantly, he made an astute observation in regards to the video at the bottom of the just mentioned Aljazeera link. He watched it entirely, and found an example of hair growth from FOXO4-DRI in the second half of the video.

Unfortunately, I cannot embed the video here, but below is the most relevant screenshot:

FOXO4-DRI Hair Growth.
Using FOXO4-DRI for hair growth.

FOXO4-DRI

Apparently, many people have been taking commercially available versions of the FOXO4-DRI peptide. Both for longevity reasons and, in rare cases, for hair growth. The above screenshot is from someone named Darren Moore and you can read his story on his site. Also see this article on his before and after hair growth.

Although Darren initially regrew his hair and it became darker, it seems like he lost most of the gains per this interesting 2019 video about him. During a brief perusal of Darren’s blog, I noticed that several commentators posted that they saw darker and fuller hair when taking FOXO4-DRI. There is also a 29-page group buy thread on this subject on the longecity forum.

I am surprised that people trust this untested and expensive chemical. It is even on sale on Amazon. Who knows if there are any long term side effects. In an interview on Linkedin, Dr. Keizer stated the following:

“We have now also received emails from people from America, for example, who have already bought the drug, the anti-aging substance FOXO4-DRI. You can now get it on the market in China. For a thousand euros you can buy ten milligrams and that is enough for a third of one treatment.”

I am not sure how the product that Dr. Keizer and his team developed (and patented) can be replicated by these Chinese labs. Even US companies such as Bucky Labs sell FOXO4-DRI for “scientific research use”. I assume all commercial versions of the drug have minor differences.

My Thoughts

I would not take this product in the hopes of re-growing my hair. Too little anecdotal evidence for that as of right now. Not to mention that the price for a full dose treatment is quite prohibitive. However, this whole FOXO4 subject matter is worth following in the coming years.

In an e-mail, Dr. Keizer told me that they were certainly not going to ignore hair growth results during their future research. However, cancer treatment and anti-aging remain their top priorities.

Perhaps localized senescent cell destruction in the scalp region will be possible via topical products in the future? Maybe this could then regrow hair via enabling nearby hair cells to function properly again?

TissUse Smart Hair Transplants in Japan

Update: November 17, 2020

See the bottom half of this post for more details on Smart Hair Transplants (SHT) and J.Hewitt.

The TissUse team published two interesting new studies in 2020. The first from April was related to hair growth in reconstructed human skin. The second just came out this month and discusses the microfollicle as a model of the human hair follicle.

TissUse Responses Regarding J.Hewitt

More relevant, reader “PaulR” corresponded with TissUse several weeks ago and below are their responses.

Hello,

I have been interested in TissUse’s new hair cloning technology for the past few years. I am aware that J.Hewitt has a license to test this technology in Japan. I have e-mailed this company, but have not received any reply. I have a few questions about the process of this new technology.

Question 1) Are the pre-clinical tests complete for this technology? I have not read about any animal tests. Does this mean that such tests need to be completed before human trials can commence?

Answer 1) Animal tests have not been performed so far. However, animal tests are not required in Japan to initiate first in man trials if one can show solid in vitro data proofing safety of the method. Japan is unique here as other countries or regions like the US or Europe would require animal tests.

Question 2) I read online that J.Hewitt had planned on conducting a clinical trial last year. But this doesn’t seem to have happened as they cannot find a cell processing company. Do you have any information about when human trials will start? Can we expect this to happen in 2021, or are we a few more years away from trials?

Answer 2) The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the timeline of J.Hewitt. They are now continuing to look for a GMP manufacturing unit with the required capabilities to produce the transplants. If this is successful we believe first trials can start in 2021.

Question 3) TissUse is obviously a very innovative company. Are you confident this technology can change the ways current hair transplants are conducted? Does your company see this being available to clients in Japan in the next few years, or is it 5-10 years away?

Answer 3) Japan takes a unique approach to these new cell-based therapies and is actively promoting their development. It is therefore possible that the technology can be available in Japan in the next couple of years should the clinical trials be successful. The outcome of the first clinical trial will very much define the timeline for a potential market launch.

GMP Manufacturers

Also of note, two months ago, I contacted TissUse too and got the below reply:

“J.Hewitt is in discussion with a couple of GMP manufacturers for the SHT technology. We expect to hear of the outcome of these talks soon. Apparently it is still difficult to find a manufacturer due to the ongoing Corona crisis but J.Hewitt definitely made some progress here.”

Best regards,

The TissUse Team

April 22, 2019

TissUse and J.Hewitt Partnership

Earlier this month, Germany’s TissUse entered into an agreement with Japan’s J.Hewitt that may have significant implications for hair loss sufferers. This agreement is in regards to the licensing and further development of the former’s Smart Hair Transplant (SHT) technology in Japan.

TissUse Smart Hair TransplantFuji Maru from Japan first noticed this development and has covered it in detail here. He has been in contact with the company’s CEO Jon Knight.

TissUse also has a press release page where you can find the story towards the top for the time being.

Among the main scientists who developed TissUse’s technology is the well known Dr. Roland Lauster. He is now on the company’s advisory board. In the past, Dr. Gerd Lindner also used to be on that list.

As has been mentioned numerous times by myself and many others over the past several years, Japan’s government is heavily promoting regenerative medicine in the rapidly aging country. One of the main ways it is doing so is via speeding up the usually lengthy and expensive clinical trial process (which is common in most developed countries).

Smart Hair Transplants

In the case of SHT, the process is autologous in nature. So clinical trials are possibly not required, or will be fairly short in duration if required.

Smart hair transplants theoretically provide unlimited donor hair. By isolating cells from the dermal papilla and then culturing and multiplying them, this procedure supposedly forms neopapillae. According to TissUse:

“Neopapillae are the precursors of hair follicles which have been shown to grow hair follicles under controlled conditions in vitro. Each of these neopapilla has the potential to form a brand new hair follicle.”

Hair loss cure news blog. Hair cloning and hair multiplication developments for baldness.