Lund, Sweden, March 7, 2018: Follicum AB (“Follicum” or “the company”) today announced that the first patient has been treated in the Phase IIa clinical trial in Germany with its lead candidate FOL-005 on 60 patients with hair loss. The study is conducted at Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science (“CRC”) in Berlin and bioskin, Hamburg, Germany. The global market for pharmaceutical hair loss products for both men and women is estimated to be worth $3 billion. The available drug products have unwanted side-effects that limit their use.
Patients with hair loss will often consult their family physician first. Hair loss is not life threatening, but it is distressing and significantly affects the patient's quality of life. The pattern of hair loss may be obvious, such as the bald patches that occur in alopecia areata, or more subtle, such as the diffuse hair loss that occurs in telogen effluvium. As with most conditions, the physician should begin the evaluation with a detailed history and physical examination. It is helpful to determine whether the hair loss is nonscarring (also called noncicatricial), which is reversible, or scarring (also called cicatricial), which is permanent. Scarring alopecia is rare and has various etiologies, including autoimmune diseases such as discoid lupus erythematosus. If the follicular orifices are absent, the alopecia is probably scarring; these patients should be referred to a dermatologist. This article will discuss approaches to nonscarring causes of alopecia.
Things get interesting when we discover a patent which was filed by Sangamo in May 2017 titled “Targeted Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia.” As with virtually all patents, the lengthy text of the patent is difficult to read or to create a concise summary from. An intriguing aspect of this news is Sangamo works in several technology spaces, including previously mentioned genome editing and gene therapy, either would make an advanced type of hair growth therapy we have never seen before. One caveat to mention is the company’s pipeline does not currently display any indication for alopecia, meaning the therapy is not fully developed yet, so it will be some time before trials begin. We certainly hope to hear more from Sangamo Therapeutics as soon as possible about their interesting development for hair growth technology.
"Others are taking hair follicles out of human scalp and growing them with dermal papilla cells," Cotsarelis says. "If they grow in culture, you might be able to recombine them with skin cells and form new follicles. This would let you expand the number of follicles you get for a hair transplant. This may not be that far off -- five to 10 years, maybe. There's very good evidence you will be able to do that."
Know the different types of wigs. Synthetic wigs are easy to style and are less expensive than human hair wigs. On the other hand, wigs made from human hair have a more natural look and feel, and are more preferred by those with permanent cases of hair loss. Though they take longer to style, human hair wigs are worth an investment if you plan on wearing it for a relatively long period of time.
Two clinical trials have been ran as a proof of concept for Histogen. Terminal hair count and hair thickness noticeably increased after just 12 weeks. Due to this success, Histogen plans to conduct a Phase 1 Clinical Study in the United States. This will be an injectable which when injected into the scalp will stimulate dormant hair follicles and induce new hair follicle formation (think Botox but for hair follicles instead of skin cells). HSC660 is an ongoing female hair loss trial that will run for 22 weeks and a late stage (Phase 3 trial) for men has initiated in Mexico. Histogen founder Gail Naughton even went so far to reveal commercialization, “We’e in very late-stage negotiations with some huge retail partners,” she says. It may not be a magic bullet, but it would sure be nice to have an alternative/supplement to Rogaine that actually stimulates growth.
Pfizer Reports Positive AA Trial Results – A JAK3 inhibitor and a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TYK2/JAK1) have shown statistically significant results in a phase 2a trial conducted by Pfizer. The company announced the results on September 15, 2018 at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology Congress. Subjects of the trial received oral doses of the drugs over a 6 month period. The TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor showed the greater efficacy, improving hair regrowth by 49.5 points on the Severity of Alopecia Tool scale, compared to an improvement of 33.6 points by the JAK3 inhibitor. However, Pfizer has apparently decided to move forward with its JAK3 inhibitor due to 2 adverse events in the TYK2/JAK1 inhibitor cohort during the trial. Pfizer’s JAK3 candidate, PF-06651600, was also recently granted Breakthrough Designation from the US FDA for treating alopecia areata.
Fenugreek. Fenugreek seeds have been found to help in treating hair fall and hair loss. They contain hormones and protein that rebuild the follicles and stimulate growth of hair. Soak a cup of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Grind it to a paste and apply on your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it stay for 40 minutes, and then rinse. You can do this every day for a month.
I have only used this twice, but in that short time of use, I believe my hair shedding has increased. In fact, immediately following the last use my hair seemed to be coming out more than I had seen prior to ordering the shampoo at all. Experiencing hair loss, thinning, or excessive shedding (especially for a woman) can be very distressing, and to purchase a product in hopes that it will help to curb or even reverse the issue only to find it exacerbates the problem is INCREDIBLY stressful. I was hopeful about this product, given the overall reviews, but I'm afraid to use this product even one more time, for fear of making my hair loss worse.
However, this partnership ended in 2007 due to potential safety issues since SHH can potentially also cause basal cell carcinoma cancer. P&G was not willing to continue with the drug development work, since even a very minimal risk of developing cancer is not worth it for treating a cosmetic problem such as hair loss (at least in the eyes of government). Interesting comment from the at-the-time CEO of Curis:
After the new article featuring Medipost’s hair growth cosmetic was published, Jay Lee PhD of Medipost, began chiming in on the comments section. He first shared that Medipost is currently engaging in a larger clinical trial for the CM3 product which would include higher scale Norwood’s. Then, in a following comment he revealed that Medipost is developing a potentially more advanced hair growth product as well. Here are his words:
While there can be numerous reasons behind the thinning of your hair, including certain hairstyles, excessive chemical processes, hereditary factors, and nutritional deficiencies, the most common is aging. But why does hair become thin as we age? Well, as we get older so do our hair follicles. With age, the size of hair follicles begins to shrink, meaning the rate of hair growth begins to slow down and, in some cases, ceases completely. Another reason for thinning hair lies in the production (or lack thereof) of estrogen as we age. Aside from regulating the reproductive system, estrogen plays a big part in hair growth. So, when we begin to produce less estrogen, there's less available to stimulate new hair growth (especially after old hair has shed), ultimately resulting in thin hair.