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Follica Sheds More Light on Hair Re-Growth Invention

Xconomy Boston — 

There’s been some buzz on the Web in recent weeks about Follica’s technology for treating one of the most common maladies of aging in men—male pattern baldness. The company, which got its start in offices of PureTech Ventures in Boston in 2006, sheds some light on its internal research in a patent application, published March 17, that involves the use of lithium treatments for stimulating growth of new hair.

But don’t get too worked up about this patent filing. William Ju, the president and CEO of Follica, told me that the recently published patent describes one of multiple areas of research underway at the company. He declined to say specifically at which stage of development the firm was in with the lithium treatment. The patent was filed on September 10, according to an online record, so it’s not really clear from the patent application where exactly this approach stands today in the company’s research and development pipeline.

The patent follows others that have detailed the use of separate compounds for use in treatments to generate new hair follicle growth, including one that included epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors. Though the company has said it’s doing human testing overseas, there’s no clear indication from the firm which approaches are showing the most promise in treating baldness or which ones are most advanced.

“We have a variety of programs, both pre-clinically and clinically, to investigate how we can get hair to grow,” Ju said in our recent interview. “This patent is one of the areas we are investigating, and for business reasons, I can’t get into too many of the details.”

In Ju’s defense, it’s not often that biotech startups are asked to comment on patent applications (like the one that covers lithium treatments) that have not been awarded by an authority such as … Next Page »

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  • Z79

    Apparently follica started working on a new site back in may -11. Guess it never became a reality for some reason.

    • curious

      Wrong, this is a project overview. What you see is a timeline and action plan for what seems to be a powerpoint presentation. Why this looks like a website is because it is but for legend inc or whatever they are called. It is what they use for their own internal projects, a blog system to keep track of their projects, most likely drupal or wordpress. Most likely the client has access to this site (because it notes that “everything on this site is a WIP and unproofed”) so that they can keep track of the process as well. What this does mean though is that Follica is or has given out new information or has done or will do a presentation on the info that they have, which looks like it is directed toward investors (just a guess).

  • McJ

    Good find Z79, very interesting. Where do you guys dig this stuff up? I’d be inclined to agree with ‘curious’ in that it strikes me as being a presentation rather than a new website layout.

    So, in all probability, like curious said, they’ve either presented this stuff to someone (or some group) or they will present this to someone or some group.

    I wonder how does Histogen’s recent news affect any potential Follica news/announcement? Assuming of course they have news but I think it’s likely Follica are still working away. You’d have to assume that if Histogen get out of the gates first, they’d reap the majority of the rewards.

  • Metsie

    Wasn’t that around the time that tehy finished up with phase 2 and possibly heading to phase 3 ?

    • Curious

      Histogen and their HSC juice, or whatever it is, is still in Phase 1: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01501617?term=histogen&rank=1

      But who knows how fast they can push through the phases since they are working out of Asia, specifically the Philippines. Obviously they are going to want to push this through faster if it really has such good results, because those results are money.

      • herzog

        That’s not what it says. It clearly says phase I/II.

        • curious

          The way I read it is in terms of rows. So HSC would be in Phase 1 and the Device would be in Phase 2. If you can read it any other way that makes sense let me know but as that’s as I read it now. Also given the fact that there were only 56 patients I’d say it was a Phase 1 study.

  • McJ

    It’s been 6 days since Histogen broke the news of their latest results – results that could prove to be a huge leap in terms of folks getting their hair back – and not one media outlet (big media outlet that is) has reported it.

    Seriously, the media has such an atrocious tendency towards laziness and sensationalism. Studies that are years off get attention with headlines saying ‘Potential cure blah blah blah’ and here we have what looks to be a treatment that gives cosmetically viable results and we see nothing from them. Nada!

    Still surprised that biotech mags/online publications haven’t reported it either. Unless I’m missed something.

    • herzog

      That’s partly on Histogen. They need to pay for PR people. They don’t need broad exposure right now. They need a business partner. Then they can decide on a business plan ie: how they want to be perceived… what their messaging is… how they position themselves in the market. Companies control their presence in the media more than you think.

      • McJ

        Fair point. But still, it’d be good to at least see someone like Xconomy or Fiercebiotech, who have reported on them in the past, to maybe seek an interview or at the very least report it.

    • C

      Your hair perhaps?

  • herzog

    More great news. Alllergan’s Bimatoprost treatment works on hair and is completing Phase II study by New Year’s. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2223620/Common-eye-drug-lead-baldness-treatment.html#ixzz2AR1Hbay3

    • McJ

      Again, interesting find. Something to keep an eye on in the new year for sure.

      Is it just me or does there seem to have been an increase in advertisements for the likes of Rogaine online, on TV and in print media in the past 18 months or so? I even noticing more attention in print media being given to hair transplant surgery.

      I suppose what I’m getting at is, do these folks suspect or maybe even know that something is around the corner and are trying to milk these (fairly medicore) methods before they become extinct?

      • herzog


  • Curious

    Okay, question for you guys. Regarding Histogen and Aderans, what phases are they in. I’m honestly confused and am unable to find a clear answer.

    • McJ

      From what I can gather, Histogen are going into further phase II trials as their last trial was a phase I/II.


      And if they go well, phase III I guess.

      Aderans, no idea, I’ve never taken them especially seriously but I’m sure somebody else on here knows.

      • julian

        if they go well… well, it sounded like they’ve already gone well, don’t they?

        • McJ

          Cautiously optimistic. You never know what roadblocks are ahead but things with Histogen do look good.

  • C

    Shave it and move on.

    • juliano

      I wish it was so simple! if it was none of us would be here I think… sorry

  • McJ

    I was badmouthing some outlets recently for not reporting on Histogen – the always reliable Fierce Biotech did:


    Nothing new in it per say but, unless anyone has more info, I assume there will be further phase II trials or do they go straight to a joint phase II/III trial or something?

  • Pedrao

    I saw histogen´s results…
    I think cotsarelis is our only hope

  • Artista

    Peadro. Show me what you saw

  • McJ

    Artista, dude is trolling something serious.

  • Curious

    Okay so here is another question/s: I was reading some forums and ran across a video of Histogen (don’t ask me to find it again, please) and it had a rough price estimate for treatment (something to show their possible profits to possible investors) – $5000/ for 2 injections or treatments (I’m guessing you get these around the same time).

    Here is my questions for you guys.

    1. Do you think that is going to be the price for the treatment?

    2. Do you think Histogen (if it works of course) is going to be a treatment that you are going to need to have done repeatedly?

    I ask these questions because I know that one of the major factors of men treating their MPB is because of high costs and also inefficiency of treatments. That said I know transplants costs about $8000 – $12000 depending on the damage done. While $5000 would be a huge discount as of right now, having to have multiple treatments (did the study have multiple treatments?) done at $5000 a pop will definitely not be in the price range for most people (ie making it a product that only the rich will be able to use and in effect losing their huge profit margin they claim they are going to have)

  • Pedrao

    Artista : I´m sorry my friend… It wasn´t my intent disappoint anyone here with pessimism.

    Here is where I Saw the results:


    The problem is the efficiency of it isn´t what I was expecting about it

    • Curious

      Thanks for sharing. I need more time to dig through this and don’t have it right now but I will check it out this week. From what I can tell though is that there is no difference here between what they have told us (aka there is nothing new except that the Dr. is both the CEO and sits on the board… definitely a conflict of interest). If you can point me to something in the “presentation” I’ll be happy to comment on that though. As of now, this is how where I see Histogen: These are results from Phase 1 trials or 1/2… whatever you want to call them. They still need to do Phase 2 trials and from what I understand about statistics in general is that 56 (or however many it was, rather low number) patients aren’t going to give you standard results… it’s a tipping point of testing to see if the treatment should be taken further. From what I can tell the INITIAL results are relatively good and seem to last for a relatively long time (compared to having to take a pill or apply a topical constantly).

      But in general, where are these “results” that you are looking at, besides the fact that they are now considering the fact that people in their 40’s would be highly interested in this product (again after only 56 patients… I’ll start really considering these statistics seriously after they hit around 500 people with consistent numbers). Again, thanks for sharing, next time take the less “reactionary” method by sharing the link with your original post.

  • curious

    Okay so my thoughts after looking at the link.

    No this isn’t the miracle cure to grow your hair over night but I don’t find much new info here that is outside of what they have shared in the past. But I do have some notes.

    I’m not unimpressed by the results at all considering this was a Phase 1 (1/2) trial. Who knows if they can make it better but I’m guessing they can improve the treatment.

    These results only go out 36 weeks (only about 8 months). While I’m not one to make any definitive conclusions, we might be looking at something that only works for roughly that time period and then it falls off but I’m willing to wait to make that decision until they provide more info. I will say that I think it is interesting with the Vertex studies that even at week 36 the total hair count continues to increase. I suggest everyone look at the numbers themselves as again they aren’t amazingly impressive but are something to keep an eye on (they are on page 12 and 13).

    I’m not entirely sure how many patients of the original 56 have “completed” the study. If you look at page 22 it states that the IND study (intial study) only had 10 patients but of those 10 only 4 have completed it. Who knows why but that will skew the numbers if patients do not complete the trial.

    The pictures of the results are pretty amazing to me although 3 out of 4 are women. As far as I can tell with those pictures is that this product is working. I say this because I don’t expect anything to grow hair over night or even in 3 months back to a full head of hair. If I could choose to have it one way or the other I’d prefer that my hair grow back in naturally and avoid the shock of all of a sudden having a full head of hair (one of the reasons I don’t like transplants). I look at it like this… how many years did it take you to lose your hair? Would it be appropriate to think that maybe we should cut that time in half to grow it back? I think that would look more natural and eliminate the need to tell everyone that you had a treatment done… sure there will be the people that notice but in the grand scheme of things I think it would be much less than the next guy who had a transplant.

    Lastly, I think that this treatment at the very least will be a once a year thing (which isn’t bad in my opinion if you can keep your hair). The price I found before, $5000 for dual-combined treatments, will not be a feasible if we need to cough it up every year. So either they will declare this too expensive and not produce it OR will drop the price.

    Just my thoughts.

    • disappointed

      It obviously depends on the individual. Personally I would think that I was afraid to tell someone I had a treatment or that my hair came back at an astonishing rate that there are deeper issues. People can go on about the reasons for wanting hair back but I think it comes down to the fact that a new car with clean paint job looks better than one that’s scratched up and dented. Performance wise shouldn’t matter but I remember when I bought a new car and got rid of the old one how nice it felt. Again, depends on individual. Personally I wouldn’t care if my shoes or jeans were 10 years old but I just like the look of having my hair as thick as it was a few years back.

      Socially, I think only jerks would make a big deal of hair growing in quickly. With social media, changes in culture and so on people are way less sensitive to anyone getting procedures. Hell, you can see TV shows now where people get ‘extreme makeovers’ or tattoos and piercings you’d never have thought of 20 years ago.

      • curious


        I hear you. I guess the point I was trying to make is that IF and I mean if we can grow our hair back, I wouldn’t be upset at all of it took a year or 2 to grow it back completely. I think it would look more natural that way but more importantly, shit, if I can grow hair back and have it take 2 years then so be it… obviously that means it will grow in slowly and the situation will be positive from the start date of the treatment. In other words, if Histogen requires multiple treatment over a few years I’m okay with that if it works and is at least semi permanent (10 years or so). But who knows, it could wear off after 6 months. I know that everyone is different but again I think the shock of all of a sudden having a head full of hair does deter some from getting hair transplants… in the end it is way too obvious, where a treatment that gets at the root cause of what is going on I would think would take a bit longer than just plugging in new hair. Okay sorry for the ramble. I guess the point is, maybe I’m a bit more understanding and patient than the next person who has to have their hair back tomorrow or else it isn’t effective.

  • McJ

    Good post ‘curious’ but I think the term ‘miracle cure’ or even ‘cure’ is possibly the wrong terminology.

    I think that you’ll always be troubled with the fact that whatever made your hair fall out in the first place will still be at play – DHT I guess although it apparently reduces over a man’s lifetime.

    The term ‘viable treatment’ is perhaps a better one – i.e cosmetically pleasing and something that will last several cycles.

    But it is really too early to tell and the whole pricing thing is moot. It isn’t even out yet. Counting chickens and all that. Still I think Histogen is a good reason to be optimistic and you just can’t know what Follica might come up with.. Maybe nothing but maybe something.

    Slightly separate but related topic – what kind of impact (if any) would a viable hair loss treatment have on the US economy? Given that it’s in the billions and assuming (big assumption I know) a treatment came from either Histogen or Follica, would that be a good thing? Any economists out there?

    • curious

      Yeah, I guess my sarcasm with the term miracle cure didn’t come off too well. But in all seriousness I agree with you that cure isn’t good term to use.

      Also agree with you on the point of pricing. The reason I bring it up is because they posted that price awhile back (counting their chickens… lol). AND these companies like giving the reason that their product will be good in the market is because other options for hair treatment are too expensive and inefficient.

      • McJ

        Yeah I hope it’s reasonably priced too – but that first wave of new treatments are likely to be expensive. But if it’s effective then they’ll clean up whatever,

        Also I’m a bit wary when they start quoting prices before it’s even out. I do like Histogen and they’ve been very up front about things but they’re jumping the gun slightly with that I think.

        • disappointed

          This is not atypical. If someone told me they had a new cancer drug that was going to hit the market I could tell you years in advance it would cost ~$60-80K a year/patient. Simply because that’s what new/experimental cancer drugs often cost for a year of treatment.

          They have prices in mind on day one. And pre-day one, like pre-year one when fundraising is underway and people and investors want to know what the cost is. It could be off but doesn’t really matter, the business development guys are paid to look at what out there, operating costs, etc. and come up with some #. They could all be cynical and say the tech probably won’t work, in which case the cost to consumer is zero $…. But seriously, any solid treatment for any health condition will be pricey. The key is that the therapy is a treatment, Histogen is a service company. Think of the overhead costs of having doctors and nurses delivering the stuff piecemeal vs stuff that’s sitting on a shelf. I personally hate service models because of potential lack of uniformity but with gene correction, stem cell work…. it’s how the next wave of therapies will be delivered. They key is for the tech to be so good a chimp could deliver it.

          • McJ

            That’s really interesting – I take your point about the new or experimental cancer drug pricing.

            Do you remember Z79 posted something recently that seemed to indicate that Follica readied a presentation that seemed to be for investors?

            Assuming it was a presentation for investors, how much more info would they have been privy to than say, the average punter who wants more hair? There’s a lot of argument as to how much they really are in the game but assuming they are, they’d have to give projected release dates and pricing etc, yes?

          • disappointed

            Yes, and again, those estimates were in the heads of the founders before the company was even funded. For example, when I’ve pitched technology in the past it was a given my partners and I would have to have a first year milestone list, projected costs, unique IP position and, what you’re asking about – what the market is. Pricing on any final product though really needs the attention of a business development person and deeper inroad.

            By deeper inroad I mean Histogen would have had lots of ideas and enticed the investors. Histogen would (is) likely to have board meetings once every 6-8 weeks. Once they got rolling and knew their burn rate on R&D, rough idea of how much product was needed for a patient, reception from potential customers, etc. they could come up with ideas on release date and pricing. It’s not different than a mom and pop operation, just more elaborate.

            *Caveat – it’s biology, so unexpected things happen. Just like any other company Histogen may push back the timelines. But if overall progress is there and fairly steady then OK, by then investors have put in so much $$ they won’t pull out. When it gets scary is if there are 5, 6…. 7+ board meetings of bad news, then the tough decisions are made.

            Hopefully Histogen’s investors have deep pockets, are happy with the progress, and realize that there are plenty of people who would pay for even a so-so treatment option. Especially if the treatment is convenient and doesn’t involve surgery or e.g. heart or liver damage.

            It can get very frustrating to everyone involved at the company when a deadline is not met for unforeseen reasons. That’s always why they have to be weary about making announcements. In some board meetings the science nerds say they want time because of a hiccup but can do better. As long as it’s not happening every meeting, the investors can be very forgiving. But outsiders don’t see all the ‘sausage making’ and overnight you can have a football stadium’s worth of potential customers wanting to burn the CEO in effigy because the product will take two more years to complete.

          • McJ

            Fascinating insight there, thanks for that.

            The ‘sausage making’ aspect of it all is interesting –

            It would seem that so much speculation out there is based on emotion rather than fact. I’ve fallen into that trap too in the past and do my best to educate myself on the issues.

            In some respects I can see the wisdom of Follica not keeping potential customers updated because of the ‘biology, expect the unexpected’ factor. I do like that Histogen keep up with the updates but the downside is the whole ‘Stone him!’ attitude when dates or targets aren’t met.

            Patience is tricky when it comes to potential hair treatments.

          • disappointed

            Yes, there have been plenty of times I’ve been at the bench and thought success was in my grasp and then things fell apart. Once the mechanism is figured out, then we gauge everything clearly. But, it’s not like that in biology, we still don’t know all the working parts in the engine, and may not for many years. So something as seemingly innocent as injecting a single purified region in a region of the scalp could give more questions than answers. THe Follica guys were set with mice, reproduced their results and published in a high profile journal. However, that was mice – so technically the early stage stuff in humans is a combination of implementation and research, whereas we all wish the basic discovery phase was over and it was merely a matter of safety+delivery.

            For my part, all I’d want to know (to get that boost in morale) is not X many hairs are grown per injection. Instead, at a very fundamental level, does treatment in human parallelthe work done in mouse? I think that’s where the frustration lies – they have the patents and they lose nothing by coming clean on that aspect. It could very well be that they won’t do the proper wounding or use a high concentration of drug/wnt until they get to Phase II, and they they can safely make a comparison.

            But trust me, I can relate to their employees and to any of the companies we post about. The scientists want to succeed, make a lot of $$ and be recognized for success. The motivation may be to help patients and it may be simply to further career but the guys who call the shots week to week are not thinking of just getting by. Maybe for the technicians, but for the PhDs and MD who run the show they will do anything to avoid failure. A failure would make it tougher for Cots, or HIstogen founders, etc. to get funding for another venture and is a black mark on their resumes. There is more at stake for them than anyone.

            I’m less patient than most. And can’t wait for the day that treatments are so widely available because they’re easy to reproduce that any hospital can provide them.

          • McJ

            I’ll drink to that!

            Yeah, for me the confusing thing about Follica is that they may have already passed phase II or a version of one of their treatments passed phase II – according to some of the research/digging that some of the guys on here have done.

            But then again, how do we really know what exactly is going on there? I do remember Xconomy brought up with Daphne Zohar the issue of one of the patents but the response was something along the lines of ‘We’re not going to comment on that’.

            I suppose the thing that heartens me is that it’s become a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’. I don’t know how likely it is that Follica will spring some glorious surprise on us in the next 6-12 months but all we can do is wait. The Roland Lauster thing also seems to hold an awful lot of promise too.

          • Aleluia

            there is a japonese research too. I really think that until 2020 we´ll gonna see some important things happening

          • curious

            I disagree. 7 years is a long time out, especially considering that we will have a number of technologies starting or already have complete phase 2 studies soon. I’m not saying we will have it tomorrow but I’d say there is a good chance before 2020 that we will see something that is new in regards to hair loss.

          • curious

            Roland Lauster… is that similar technology to Replicel and Aderans? Growing cells in a lab and implanting them?

  • Aleluia
  • McJ

    Hey ‘curious’ – answering up here because it bugs me having to scroll down so far. Yeah Lauster is at BTU and I think it’s basically implantation but I also think it’s different from Replicel and ADR. Take a look at this vid from last year;


    I’m not technically minded enough to know what the differences are but I’m pretty sure it’s still early days with this approach,

    • curious

      I think I saw this when it first came out and I as well don’t have the technical patience to understand the difference.

      It keeps me hopeful though. It seems like every time I check this site (which is more and more often) there is a new technology coming out regarding hair loss.
      …and just want to say thanks to everyone for keeping me up to date with this stuff. I tend to miss more than I catch.

  • Froggy

    It is pretty old news (maybe someone already post it) but I found this:

    It seems that Follica completed their phase 2 in Germany on july 2011. But since then nothing (no phase 3).

    What do you think about this? Did they failed? Are they working on a new process? Are the searching for founds? Are they hiding they are on phase 3 by using another name (let’s dream)?

    Because we know they are still active (from the post made by Z79):

    • Mr. Z

      I can only speculate, of course. But, i don’t think it looks too good for Follica. There is no sign that they initiated a phase III or even a phase IIb. Considering that they finished the one in Germany almost a year and a half ago, they had plenty of time to start up something new. Plus, there is some evidence indicating that they had a couple VP’s leave the company and a number of bench scientists. And there’s been no annoucements for new funding. Seems like they are stalled or not progressing.

      Sucks, they were my favorite to come through with something. Maybe they’ll surprise but i doubt it.

    • Mr. Z

      I can only speculate, of course. But, i don’t think it looks too good for Follica. There is no sign that they initiated a phase III or even a phase IIb. Considering that they finished the one in Germany almost a year and a half ago, they had plenty of time to start up something new. Plus, there is some evidence indicating that they had a couple VP’s leave the company and a number of bench scientists. And there’s been no annoucements for new funding. Seems like they are stalled or not progressing.

      Sucks, they were my favorite to come through with something. Maybe they’ll surprise but i doubt it.

    • Mr. Z

      But, the slide deck does look promising! I guess there is the possibility that they don’t need anymore trials. They did say they intended to use FDA approved drugs, so perhaps their clinical data to date is enough for approval. The points in the summary sound really good!

    • Pedrao

      Well… something gone wrong with follica´s research. In 2007 they said they´ll have some treatments on the market in five years with that WNT research… I´ve never heard again in that thing (WNT) and hope that this PGD2 won´t became the new WNT frustation

      • Mr. Z

        I did some poking around and was able to find a senior scientist profile on linkedin that is still active and has Follica listed as their current employment. It’s obviously not much, but does give “some” indication that they are still in business. I was worried due to a number of profiles i came across that have follica as a past experience, including some from upper management.

        Follica was speculating about the five year time frame. At the time they hadn’t even started clinical trials and no clue what type of difficulties they might encounter. .So, +/- a year or two and they’re good in my book :) But, like others are saying, they need to give some type of indication of what’s going on..

  • McJ

    You get to a certain point where, realistically, you need to get some sort of interview or soundbite regarding Follica from someone who actually works at Follica.

    I’d agree that it doesn’t exactly seem promising at the moment but we’re outsiders looking in so we’re really just left guessing.

    I’m unsure of the protocols regarding all of this but given that so much information slips out onto the internet and given what some folks have already found out, what harm does it do Follica to give some sort of update… Or even for Xconomy to ask for an interview or something?

    Again I’m assuming at this point that it’s a fair thing to ask given the initial media blitz surrounding Follica and what people have been able to uncover online. Can anyone with experience of biotech chime in on this? Am I way off base?

    • disappointed

      Most biotechs in Follica’s position do not give updates, or interviews. At best their investors will give a press release that seems like it’s written by someone working at a high school newspaper, with very simplistic explanations of the tech. And of course, lots of promises.

      The problem here was that the work was simpler to understand as a general concept (e.g. think how hard it is to grasp “wound scalp to grow hair” vs “use of a small RNA to modulate levels of receptor X to allow muscle uptake of glucose through pathway Y”). So, prior to any venture capital investment, that high school reporter (Matt Lauer?) had an easier time grasping the concept. The work was flashy and news worthy since lots of guys and girls get hair. As a result, Matt Lauer or whoever went ahead with discussing the possibilities even though the work was in it’s infancy. Yes, infancy, even with a Nature paper.

      Then, Cots had the interview, with no prior industry experience and no experience translating such an early at-the-bench find to a therapy. He makes a big claim, on NBC, and then with all the attention, the Nature paper, etc. gets funding for a company. Have you known Cots to give detailed interviews since the founding of Follica? No, since it’s a lot easier when you’re an academic nerd blabbing about your work vs discussing work done at a company with shareholders, confidentiality agreements and legal liabilities.

      Even now, if you caught Cots at a science conference and in a good mood, he may discuss some topics but likely he’d not give up anything. Everyone keeps asking “why the secrecy when Follica (but really Cots) were so open before?” It’s simply not his company to blab about. He’s a scientific advisor and founder. As such, he wants his stock to be worth more than toilet paper. Cots has to let Follica do the best they can without making claims or talks about the company results as if they are his. Cots can still conduct basic research, but the CEO and really the chief science officer and chief medical officer have to take the work in the direction they think best based on unique patenting, ease, highest rate of return.

      As an exercise you can even look at all the early stage biotechs that Puretech or any other VC group have invested in. How many of those companies are out there blabbing about results on a regular basis? Scratch that, how many academic groups are on NBC after they have a Nature paper? The Cots phenomenon was likely due to the fact that a lot of business and life in general is often run behind the scenes by white males with thinning hair.

      • McJ

        So I’m pretty much way off base there ;)

        That seems to be a fairly comprehensive and accurate run down of the situation to me. Thanks for that.

        The only thing I’d add there is that Cotsarelis perhaps shouldn’t have been so quick to go to air with the whole PDG2 thing given the media blitz surrounding Follica’s initial announcement.

        I realize he’s probably just looking funding for research and that sort of thing but he had to be aware of the potential for hyperbole regarding PDG2 especially in the wake of Follica – Cue the sensationalist and lazy headlines that immediately followed the whole PDG2. Then cue everyone getting super excited. And perhaps – time will tell – maybe that excitement will be justified,

        Anyway, I guess the main point is we won’t hear from Follica until we do…or don’t. Ah, the waiting game…… Waiting game sucks.

        • disappointed

          It sure does. I agree 100% that Cots jumped the gun with regards to PDG2. It’s tantamount to every group making incremental findings in a myriad of areas in biology suddenly reporting “that’s a wrap!” He’s got a tiny lab but hair loss is an area that receives a lot of attention. When Ian Wilmut cloned Dolly the sheep in 1997 he was the center of the universe and it sounded like he would cure all disease. Same with Yanagamichi at U. of Hawaii (I mean, U. of Hawaii, really?) when he cloned mice over several generations. Interesting achievements, much the same way Cots finally broke the ice on the search for smoking guns and hair loss, but way way premature to start lining up customers.

          (by breaking ice I mean Cots showed that even with older tech, it was a realistic goal to compare bald vs hairy scalp and identify key players that have gone haywire)

          More than one university I’ve been at had a checklist of what to say and what not to say when dealing with the media. Hair loss therapy is a small field so anything Cots does is magnified.

  • Z79

    Just thougt I would post another sign of life from follica. Last month they filed for “Follicabio” as a trademark: http://trademarks.justia.com/857/46/follicabio-85746801.html

    • disappointed

      Interesting, but unfortunately doesn’t mean a whole lot. Everything at Follica will go forward as if all is according to plan. Follica is not a publicly traded large corporation where large amounts of lay offs would make the news, services end, etc.

      It’s generally all or none at biotech startups. For example – if up until now Foll. Bio hadn’t purchased e.g. a web domain name, and the scientists were nervous as hell about lab results, investors could easily be optimistic with talk of “oh don’t worry, once we get series B we’ll get a robotics specialist to improve efficiency.” The company would go forward and Foll. Bio would spend money on a domain name, set up a simple web page, etc. You don’t spend week by week in a small biotech thinking “should we buy that chemical compound? if we do then we’ll have a 5 year supply on our shelves and the company may be out of $ in one year”. No, you go forward as if the company will be 100% successful.

      If things were to go south then, at best, Follica may lay off some employees and try to make the next milestone with a skeleton crew. At worst, the board members would have an emergency meeting and bam, close the doors, everyone is out of a job. Sell off whatever is available so the venture capitalists can recoup a tiny bit. But until that last day, life would go on and experiments, purchasing, etc. would get done.

      • McJ

        Is there possibly anything as to why they filed so recently? I mean, why didn’t they do that ages ago? I’m reaching but ya know, what the hey?

        • Vikki

          Seems they DID file for one in 2009:

          Which has just been canned due to, “No statement of use” being filed.

          But this recent application seems to have registered 2 trademarks; ‘Follica’ for ‘Medical devices, namely, medical modalities to induce epidermal disruption, for hair growth treatments’, and ‘Follicabio’ for ‘Pharmaceutical preparations for hair growth treatments’.


          Looks as though they’re still alive, anyway – possibly they’re planning to use different trademarks for different business areas – Follicabio for the drug side of things, and Follica for medical devices (must be some kind of novel wounding process).

          Don’t really have any idea of the significance of this, though.

          • McJ

            That is interesting – bit odd too, Abandoning one and then filing for two separate ones recently. I’d love to think that there is a good reason for that.

            Then again, ‘disappointed’ seems to have a pretty good grasp as to what goes on at these biotechs so perhaps we are getting over excited.

            Still, I guess it’s better than nothing. Of course, hearing from the horses’s mouth is the real proof but telling us what’s happening isn’t there deal.

          • Aleluia

            This isn´t a sign of anythingBut Yeah. it´s better than nothing!

        • disappointed

          No, timing of filing is not relevant. My last company we didn’t even buy a domain name until 6 months into the business. And I think it was a year + before we even bothered with business cards. Even greater than a year before we bothered to ask our landlord to put a sign with our logo outdoor. Looking way too much into this.

          The company is what, 10-20 employees at most? There is no sitting around and wondering what if the company fails. People can jump ship if they want (that is each scientists personal choice), but those at the company are getting paid and will push forward regardless of what things look like (good or bad). That is, as long as the investors don’t pull the plug. Usually, biotechs burn through the series A and if a series B can’t be raised, they are toast. Until that time, any employee present is paid to succeed and do their job.

          The point still is, no biotech sits around with scientists moping and neglecting web sites, trademarks, etc., or conversely giving them attention, because failure or success is certain. Until the doors close, the assumption of success is there though the reality is most biotech startups fail.

    • julian

      maybe a sign that they’re preparing to market finally…. great find Z79!!!

  • curious

    So looking at clincaltrials.gov, Aderans tested their DO formula with minoxidil… any ideas on that?
    They are concluding a long study on CN formula in February and a shorter one with the same stuff in the Spring sometime, I think March.
    All of those tests are phase 2. Any comments, predictions, thoughts… conversation?

    • julian

      I don’t put much faith in Aderans, I don’t know. So they are using minoxidil in their formula? that’s funny… it doesn’t sound good to me…

      • curious

        I don’t think they are using minoxidil in their formula, it seems that they just want to see how the 2 work together. I don’t read this as bad news but more of just a single test they decided to try. This might be in the same light of transplant doctors having their patients use minoxidil for a month after their surgery. The science behind aderans is to literally implant new cells into the scalp so that they grow hair… they possibly want to see if minoxidil could be used as a fertilizer to help the new cells. I’m drawing a comparison to gardening where you plant seeds in soil and add fertilizer to help it in the initial stages so it can grow by itself later on. Obviously this is not a sound scientific theory as the 2 fields aren’t the same but that is basically what transplant surgeons do (IMO) so why wouldn’t it be reasonable for new technologies to boost their initial growth phase to help the end results.

      • Froggy

        Maybe you are right Julian. But to me Aderans is our best hope:

        1) They have a lot of $

        2) They invested more than 200 (or 250) millions from THEIR OWN MONEY several month after they had begin phase II (so they knew a lot about efficacity).

        3) The concept is more than well documented and by several (I mean a lot) of researchers. If you look at some of their publications they have A LOT of foot prints refering to researches from the 90’s (so with a lot of feedback).

        4) If you read the Aderans publications they know exactly what’s happening with their process: what kind of cells are interacting with each others, when (day by day), and how. Some others companies thinks that their process is working because they see news hairs but they don’t know exactly how it works. For exemple I don’t really think that Follica know exactly how their process works.

        4) The proof of concept was very impressive. For example the ball of hair with about 100 hairs just with some stem cells and some skin cells. Or Ji-gami even works on skin donated by WOMEN who had facelift (so without any hair).

        5) They are in time with their timeline (FROM 2010) just 2 or 3 month of delay in almost 3 years (so very few mistakes).

        6) 2 other companies / organisations are trying to follow them (Replicel and University of Berlin)

        7) The trials are made with A LOT OF PATIENTS

        8) They have a lot of patents.

        9) The trials are taking place in US not in small unregulated country.

        10) They share a lot with other doctors and researchers despite the fact that it seems that they are not seeking for money.

        And so on… It is late here I am going to sleep.
        And it is a long post so excuse me for my bad english (english is not my native language).

        • Aleluia

          here is the new aderans presentation…

          hard to say and sorry to tell, but no good results:

          the photos starts at 8min

          • McJ

            Don’t like being too negative about these things but I don’t think these guys were ever serious contenders. This seems to be good evidence of that unfortunately.

          • Froggy

            The photo at 08:52 (with the yellow triangle) is not so bad at all specially if you think that it is with just one injection of 4microliters on the tatoo. The 3 others injections are made on another tatoo.

            + 115 hairs with 1 injection of 4microliters. Not so bad.
            Maybe with more injections the results could be great?
            Let’s see in march or april for de final data of the last phase 2 which
            is an extension of Ji-Gami CN. Maybe they are testing another dosage
            (more injection = more hairs?).

            Phase 1: security
            Phase 2: DOSAGE

            But what is important is to have a cure as quick as possible.
            Don’t care the name of the lab.

    • Aleluia

      Curious. there are 11 studies there from aderans:

      in the new one:
      There´s a Inclusion Criteria of:
      “Agree to abstain from use of any hair growth affecting oral or topical medication including over the counter and herbal medications, minoxidil, finasteride or dutasteride during the course of this study; also agrees to abstain from shaving the head during the course of the study.”

      • curious
        • Aleluia

          No problem curious.

          I´ve taked a look in the study, and the study is to compare the efficacy of the the injection of aderan´s product VS. a bald area treated with minox:

          “A Phase 2 Study to Evaluate and Compare the Efficacy of Injections of Ex Vivo Expanded Cultured Occipital Autologous Dermal and Epidermal Cells vs. Dermal Cells Into the Hair Loss Area of the Scalp of Subjects and Synergy With Application of Topical Minoxidil”

          • curious

            hmm. Thanks for the clarification… that paragraph, I mean sentence is somewhat confusing admittedly. I do think that they are using both together though. The keyword that I read there is “synergy” meaning 2 things working together. Either way, the fact that they are taking it to that level doesn’t really give me any bad feelings. They have had tests in the past and as I see it this is a positive; direction (testing it with different variables) and finding out the best response possible. Also the fact that they continue to test their product independent of minox shows that this isn’t just a last hope action.

  • Curious

    So I wanted to respond to Aleluia ‘s post on Aderans’ new presentation and results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_JHbtXJ0a8

    More importantly I want to give some perspective.

    I agree that the results are not mind blowing but again I’m not a person that expects these companies to grow back a full head of hair in 6 months or a year. If you are looking for that I suggest you look into hair transplants. I like to remind people to think about how long it took to lose their hair (whatever amount it may be). For some of us it took 5 plus years to move just 1 level on the norwood scale, for others it took 3 and others it took 10. So my question is, would it be acceptable if it took 3 years to grow back that hair? How about 10? Remember regrowing hair is most likely going to be a progressive thing, we will have to work at the edges to move them further out (or in, however you look at it).

    Here is my other point as to why I don’t see this as negative results. While the hair growth is not amazing, I don’t think it is nominal at all… Aderans has not be over zealous with their treatments as Histogen has. Let’s say if this treatment stands as it is today. What Aderans is doing is not just growing back the hair for a short time like Fin or Minoxidil, they are creating new (well not new but whatever they call it) hair that isn’t going to flake off the instant you stop “using” it. They offer a treatment that you can go in one time (just once!) and see the same results as Fin (which has to be taken every day and has a list of potential side effects). I also want to say that you are not only growing new hair but you are also stopping the balding process… that is a amazing to me.

    Additionally, with Histogen, it is hard to compare. The two studies are far from equal but as far as the pictures they have shown Histogen seems to create a better cosmetic result but not a huge difference.
    For instance: Photo at 8:50 total hair increased by 115 hairs after 1 year (1 treatment) and photo at 10:20 after about half a year the crown is filling in with hair. Also it is hard to compare percentages to hard numbers. Aderans tells us that they are increasing hair count by X number, Histogen is increasing hair count by X%. Those two numbers could be exactly the same.

    All of those results, from Aderans, come from just 1 treatment and show that this treatment holds for a year. Where as Histogen already jumped the gun for multiple treatments to increase their results. As Aderans continues to test and considers multiple treatments, my guess is that you will see similar results to Histogen, if not better.

    I look at it right now as we can start combating hairloss with a one time injection that will last at least a year to the same effect of taking a pill daily that wears off as soon as you stop taking it. That is a good thing. Again if you want a full head of a hair within a year, I suggest you look into HT instead of HM. While we can set our goals high and shoot for the stars, we also have to be reasonable.

    • Froggy

      Curious, I agree those results are not mind blowing even if I would prefer better results (like you I think).

      But I think that it is not that bad (see my post below about this video) the timeline of this new forum is hard to follow.

      Since this post I thought about something else. Correct me if I am wrong (english is not my native language so understanding a presentation is harder than reading an article) but if I am right the photo at 8:50 (the one with the yellow triangles) represents 4cm² with +115 hairs. But let’s just count the terminal hairs so 98 hairs.

      So we have +24 hairs / cm²
      If more injections = more hairs (according to what we know it is possible, Aderans seems to think so even if they are not sure, but it is possible)

      So 5 treatments over lets say 5 months =120hairs / cm² = full coverage.
      I heard that normal hair density is between 100 and 300cm² depending on color and thickness (african, blond, asian hairs are different).

      I know I know it is pure speculations but from what we know nothing indicates that it is not possible.

      But again if Histogen, Replicel, Follica or anyone else comes with a cure bye bye Aderans ;-)

      • Curious

        Hey Frog,

        Thanks for the reply. I definitely don’t think you are pessimistic (think badly) about the results but the others that commented are a bit more. I personally think the results are good, positive or whatever you want to call it.

        I agree with you 100% about compounding the treatment (having multiple treatments). Although logically thinking about it:

        a. Compounding the treatment doesn’t mean multiplying the results. In other words, if you have the same treatment done twice it won’t necessarily mean you are seeing twice the results. Like any physiological trend, they tend to follow an exponential pattern (typically downward). So let’s say if you have the first injection and you see 24 hairs/ cm, the second you might see 18 and the third you might see 10. As with any graph it will level off at some number, but that number might be low like 2 or 3 hairs/ cm.

        b. Although I would like to think that these treatments are safe enough for an infinite amount of treatments I highly doubt it. Think along the lines of minoxidil of fin. You can definitely use more than directed BUT the side effects are amplified along with the results. With minoxidil I’ve heard of people getting bloated faces with dark circles around their eyes and with Fin… well everyone has heard the horror stories from just the regular doses (erectile disfunction).

        c. I don’t agree with your reasoning that if one treatment comes out, the rest are screwed. If you want a similar comparison, look at the hair transplant industry. There are tons of doctors out there competing with different techniques, not to mention that people still decide to us minoxidil or fin.
        An easier comparison is like looking at sportswear and Nike. Nike is obviously the industry leader but other companies continue to thrive even though Nike has a major control over the industry. Also Nike definitely wasn’t first on the scene. Reebok was founded in 1895 while Nike didn’t begin until decades later. It really isn’t about who is first but who has the best product and the best marketing. We will forever have competition because of that (just because you are the best today doesn’t mean you are the best tomorrow.)

        My last thought is that Aderans isn’t a flashy company even though they have connections with Bosley (they still have connections right?). I haven’t seen any information from them in awhile, especially a presentation like that. I’ve been doing some digging and the last one I could find was when they were starting phase 2 trials. This is huge speculation but I think they are coming out of their technological closet to tell us something and that something I think is that they plan on moving into phase 3 or that they are going to continue phase 2 (yet again) with compounded treatments. Looking at the way they have done things in the past it seems the timeline makes sense that they would most likely go into phase 3 next year or at least start recruiting for it (if they are confident with what they have). That is the one thing I like about this company: they take their time and play their cards right instead of counting their chickens before they hatch.

        • Froggy

          Like I said english is not my native language (I learned it at school several years ago) so it is hard for me to be clear (but I try to).

          You are right Aderans is open and I think that they are in line with the timeline from 2010. Phase 3 might beggin in 2013.

          When I say “bye bye Aderans” I don’t say that they are finished but that if I can I will use the first cure and maybe another one later if the results are better.

          I know that “Compounding the treatment doesn’t mean multiplying the results”. But in this case it is POSSIBLE:

          1) Once the follicle is awaken he is awake and it follow his cycle. (the results are continuous / permanent? I don’t know the right word)
          It is not like rogaine of finasteride which need continuous treatment and each treament don’t act every time on the same follicle so there is a lot of lost of efficacity: one follicle receives a treatment it beggining to work but then he receive nothing so it is miniaturising again and so on.

          2) From what I understood they inject cells which combine with the cells in the patient’s skin to awake follicle.
          But there is less injected cells injected cells than cells in patient skin. So when the injected cells are combined the other follicle cannot be awaken (there is no more injected cells to do so).
          But there still is cells in the patient skin that can be combined with cells from another injection.

          For exemple 1 injection have enough cells to awake 10 follicles. Once used there is no more cells to awake the other follicles so they are not. So you need another injection and those injected cells then awake the follicle that wasn’t by the first injection.

          3) You are right there is still the safety issues.

          4) According to Aderans themself it is POSSIBLE but not sure of course!

          I hope I was clear. It is hard to be understood using my poor english. But this forum is very quiet so I try to post. I hope I don’t bother you. Usually I just post infos (video, articles…). Sorry for my bad english

          • Nero

            Hi frog

            I didn´t understand this point:

            4) According to Aderans themself it is POSSIBLE but not sure of course!

            what does it mean??

          • Froggy

            Nero, excuse me for mad bad english

            What I mean is that Aderans doesn’t know if several treatments (or higher dosage) will improve the results but they will test it so admit that it is possible.

            It is something that they are talking about since the middle of the phase 2.
            For example at the end of the video that we are talking about theses days Dr Washenik say that the studies have only track the patients for one year with injections only at the beggining of the trial and he talks about the possibility of sequential treatments. You can also read something about this on the left under appeal to prescribers.

            So MAYBE several treatments will improve the results.

            If it is possible (again we are not sure, it is only possible) like I said:

            +98 terminal hairs on 4cm² = 24 hairs / cm² so with 5 treatments you can have about 120 hairs / cm² = almost full coverage.

            But of course there are still safety issues and the possibility that the following treatments are less effective that the frist one. Only trials will tell (maybe the extention of the Ji-Gami CN expected for March or April 2013). Let’s hope.

        • Aleluia

          As you said, there isn´t a “reasoning that if one treatment comes out, the rest are screwed”, and I agree with this. Maybe in a few years we can use histogen and aderans injections and have some good results.

          And thanks for your exposure, first time that I looked the aderans´s presentation I´ve been frustated because I was expecting pictures of a full hair head, but looking better, they´re in the clue

          • curious

            Definitely. Glad you are seeing things in a better light now. I think if I saw a full head of hair to appear over 6 months or a year I’d be a little skeptical. With this type of treatment I think that it can eventually get to the state that you can grow back a full head of hair but I also think that it is always going to take time unless you do something drastic like get a hair transplant.
            Right now though I do see their treatments being a very viable option, even if it doesn’t get any better than it currently is. I say that because I’m banking on the idea that this is compoundable. While it might not be able to bring back someone that is fully bald, it can stop and reverse balding to an extent… great technology for the future. I’ll just put it this way: If I knew that I could get a transplant to cover the area I wish to cover and then supplement it with this and know that I would not have to get further transplants I would definitely take that idea into serious consideration. Again that’s me… my main fear is to have to keep throwing a large amount of money down the drain with the chances of not being able to keep it going over a lifetime (ie. if you aren’t able to keep coverage of the rest of your head after your transplant… that would suck and why I am not interested in transplants).

  • Artista

    If all of you had expected to see a full blown head of hair on these test subjects in a phase 2
    test then indeed it would NOT be ‘mind-blowing’.
    I personally
    thought it was a very good ‘results’ presentation.
    before/after photos @ 10:16 showing 2 bald crowns stood out to me. You
    can see an OBVIOUS difference in the circumferences especially at
    10:19 . That is hair regrowing /
    regenerating on ‘slick bald skin’ Keep in mind that these results are
    of the applications. The photos at 9:04 are VERY GOOD too. ..I cant
    wait to see what the phase 3 results show in the relatively near

    • curious

      Nice response. What are your thoughts about going into phase 3? I see two possible situations: Aderans staying in phase 2 to do additional tests for compounded treatments. Or Aderans addressing that issue in Phase 3 with the compounded treatments.

      The only reason I would even consider asking about Phase 3 is because the last time Aderans presented was before they were going into Phase 2. Not necessarily a great lead to go on but Aderans has shown that pattern in the past.

      Also at one point I think it was Shooter who said they were starting Phase 3 recruiting but I was skeptical of it then because clinicaltrials.gov only has phase 2 studies up there.

      • Herzog

        Yes, shooter said they were going into phase 3. However, this video confirms they are going into a 4th phase II trial, this time with 400 patients, showing results final quarter of 2013. I’m hoping they go into phase III right after. This would put them on track with their 2010 forecast for coming to market in 2015.

        • curious

          Didn’t watch the full video, where does it say that they are doing another phase 2 trial?

          • Herzog

            you should watch :-)

          • curious

            Okay… well thanks making me watch the whole video… I guess I may have learned a little more about Aderans and their product but you’re wrong. I’ll assume that you are speaking about the slide/ info that he gives at 6:45. There is not “400” patient 4th trial. What he is referring to is that they have 400 patients total as of September 2012.

            I’ll give you the direct quote: “…and then entered a phase 2 stage of development which is where we are today. So we are in the latter stages, we’ve enrolled around 400 subjects in an interative series of protocols, uh, looking at the ability of these Ji Gami cells to induce hair growth in men and women with, uh, androgenetic alopecia.”

            Next time do us a favor and give evidence/ links/ time codes (if it is a video) with your claims. Helps us waste less time. As of right now Aderans is not claiming to go into further phase 2 trials… in fact they did not say anything about further trials except that they are looking into compoundable treatments.

            On a side note it is awesome that Aderans has data from phase 2 trials that are now 3+ years old.

    • curious

      I also can’t stop wondering if these results are similar to minoxidil/ fin in the way that the results will fall off after the product is not being used or if Aderans is unlocking the follicles back to a normal state in which they are able to continue through hair cycles. That… would be amazing.
      Any thoughts?

    • ZZ

      Artista, Having followed several forums for a number of years now I would like to add that much of what each of us sees depends on our perspective. As you know, there are those who are always unreasonably optimistic and those that are always unreasonably negative. However, there are many who’s perspective is generated from a combination of their Norwood state of hair loss and their expectation of what they would consider a minimum level of expectation of what they would like to regrow. It is of course different for each of us but for example if you are a Norwood 365 and want a full head of hair, you might be bitter and depressed after raised hopes for Follica, Replicel and even those recent pics from Aderans. At the same time, if you had a different set of expectations, you might be happy with the progress of Aderans. Similarly, if you are thinning but still have a fair amount of hair (judged by your own mental yardstick), you have every right to be ecstatic about any number of prospects in the pipeline. For example, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that Aderans, HSC or a PDG2 inhibitor could halt any further loss and regrow anywhere from 5% to 20% in the very near future. I don’t know about the rest of you but for me, if you still have an acceptable amount of hair, whatever that means to you, the mental weight of knowing that you are gradually thinning away and that you will have less hair next month than you do today is a nagging burden that I would be ecstatic to be relieved of. That in and of itself would be priceless. It is no doubt true that each of these companies is presenting their numbers in the best light and showing only the best of their pics. We do not have an undeniable breakthru yet but we do have undeniable progress. I can tell you from my own experience that I have been using Latisse now for 6 months and in the crown (only 3 drops), I do believe that I am getting at least as good of a response as what you see in the Aderans pics. And it appears to be happening exactly as described in the video starting with a reduction in the circumference. Results at the hairline however are not determinate. It’s not mind blowing but it is progress and I think it only gets better from here. And any product from Allergan or others is likley to be much more potent and optimized for penetration. But I’m not just talking about the PGD2 inhibitors as each of these companies seem to be pecking away from slightly different angles. While progress currently seems only to be able to revive follicles that have not been damaged beyond a certain point, I don’t believe it unreasonable to presume this puts the collective state of knowledge at a new closer vantage point from which to get to that “real” breakthru.

      • curious

        Like the comment. It is definitely about perspective and your Norwood status. I like what you said though. There is no evidence of an undeniable breakthrough yet but there is undeniable progress. To me that speaks to the exact situation at hand. I only say this: For those who are expecting an undeniable breakthrough, do you think it is going to come before undeniable progress?

  • Vikki

    …taps fingers….

    • McJ


      I wasn’t going to post this but, what the hey;



      I was trying to figure out why the second link didn’t correspond with the dates in the first link but the second link must relate to places outside the US. Other than that, I was trying to figure out when the last patent was filed as opposed to being published.

      So basically, there’s nothing to really discuss because there ain’t no news darn it!.

      • Aleluia

        It´s good to see that follica is still working.

        I really thought they´re done, because:

        1) No news.
        2) if you see Shikha Barman profiles at linked in, she says that:
        Now: Chief Technology Specialistna Patents Etcetera
        Last: CEO and CTOna Integral BioSystems, LLCAnteriorVice President and Head, Pharmaceutical Developmentna Follica, Inc.
        Senior Executive Director, Drug Developmentna Follica, Inc.

        She doesn´t work anymore there but she´s still in follica´s website.

        there´s another new from follica that some friend show us:

        • Mr. Z

          That’s interesting Aleluia! Why would they be filing for a trademark? I want to guess that they’ve intent to use it for commerce….which would be amazing news. But, for some reason it never seems like the optimists win when it comes to hairloss. Does anyone have any insight into the tradmarking process? When does a company do it? Is it something they do just to cover their bases from an IP point of view or is it something that you do before coming to market?

      • julian

        when will these patents become products?????? is it all that work for nothing yet??? why is this company so secretive? we never know.. they never tell.. the others have their schedules pretty much open to the public but follica is like they’re making a nuclear weapon.. what the F** is with these guys?? what are these f** hiding so much???? I’m pissed off already!!! F*** THEM!!!!

        • McJ

          I hear ya. You should read the latest comment from ‘curious’ a few comments down.

          It’s gonna happen but it’s gonna be a wait. Who knows what might happen or break through in the next year. Progress is annoyingly slow sadly.

        • Froggy

          “what the F** is with these guys?”

          To me there are 2 possibilities:
          1) Follica failed. They have absolutly nothing.
          2) On the other hand. They are sure to have a cure so they indeed making a nuclear weapon but against baldness.

          Let’s hope it is the 2nd possibility and as soon as possible.

  • Boston
    • Aleluia

      No Cotsarelis on this research….
      But it´s very good to see new people against hairloss

    • julian

      I really believe that the way is this way.. it is all about this chemical pathway and interaction of signals and when the right keys are finally pushed, they will be able to resuscitate all and every follicle in a bald slick shiny head.. The others, aderans, histogen, replicel and even follica will be all but cosmetic aids only.. the ultimate treatment or cure most likely is hidden in these codes, like what happens with allergan’s latisse… when they find how to make it do the same with hairs of the head, which they’re trying already, the problem will be solved. Like in the last research by Cotsarelis which travels by the same road. HTs, hair cloning and transplants of any kind are just cosmetics, a little more than wigs, for me. The real thing is within, encoded, hidden, like a treasure!!

    • McJ

      Anything else revealed in the fuller article? I see Luis A Garza is mentioned here. Interesting because of his work with Cots in the past.

  • Aleluia

    considering what Dr. Cotsarelis said about miniaturized hair follicles that aren´t dead, i really believe that a new correct treatment could work in the same way in a guy NW3 or NW7

  • C-dide

    Every day i pray to some company discovery the cure for this disease…
    I can wait until 2020. Then I´ll shave my head and became a monk

  • McJ

    No real news that I can see but this is happening in January;


    Daphne Zohar is at it and that’s about it. Probably not even likely Follica will get a mention but it’s slim pickings all over.

    • julian

      good find but nothing will come out of it for sure. These guys are stuck, they can’t make hair grow, forget about them!

  • julian

    2012 is gone.. no hair whatsoever.. let’s see what we’ll find in 2013..

    • We’re all doomed!

      Apparently, the world will soon be gone…

      • julian

        the world hasn’t ended.. shit.. that would have been the end of baldness, definitely!!

    • Pedrão

      Yeah… 2012, no good hair news

  • kojak

    Follica… 2 years since their last “news”.. what do they have? or do they have anything? 2013 could well be the year that we find out finally..

    • lompa

      I think it didn´t work like they´ve expected.

  • Ryan

    Excuse my language, but in January it will be 5 fucking years since we first arrived on this messageboard, half a decade and still nothing.

    • Aleluia

      Maybe PGD2 is something…

      but only time will can tell us

      • disappointed

        There are a few companies in clinical trials. You really can’t ask for more than that in this current system. Some life threatening diseases have literally nothing in clinical trials whereas people with hair loss have 2? 3? Those researchers have spent years getting to where they are now. It would be nice if the FDA was abolished (I don’t have a Libertarian view in all areas of life, but limiting the FDAs power would be a good start). I think we should have the option to ‘frankenstein’ a treatment or whatever, the government doesn’t own our bodies. However, companies also want to sell a product, and if they don’t have the extensive data brought about by clinical trials there would be a lot of resistance.

        • disappointed

          Then again, if Aderans had an open invite it might be a frenzy. But I can use the word IF a million times over – those mostly useless individuals at the FDA probaly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That company in Mass. that recently got transgenic Salmon approved after an incredibly long battler, and there’s a chance that might even fall apart though the FDA may have finally given in. Do you realize how old that tech is? Hair growth with stem cells on the other hand is breaking some barriers. Everyone agrees autologous stem cell therapy is the wave of the future but nobody wants to invest in it.

  • Amém

    I really believe that until 2020 we will get some revolutionary treatment on market

    • disappointed

      Sounds good. Better make it 2030 or 2040 just to play it safe.

  • Curious

    So after recently receiving news from 2 major contenders Histogen and Aderans we are all down and out? I feel that we have taken a step forward in the process this year if anything. Yes some companies have fallen off but I think that was expected. So what now? We have 2 companies that are well poised to move into a more finalized product and many other nipping at their heels. Whether they go into phase 3 or further phase 2 studies both showing good results and it looks like Aderans will only get better. So I again ask everyone… what would be a revolutionary treatment? My perception is that if they can grow hair back on the head that will stay for a number of cycles from just one injection that is revolutionary. And more importantly they are raising the bar. On top of this I don’t think that these companies will stop if they see room for improvement, they all know that the goal line is not just a little coverage but full. If they get to those results any of them whether first or second they are in line to have a money making machine for the rest of eternity (assuming that men continue to be bald over the years). So where are we at guys? Are we upset that it is 2013? Are 2 companies showing good results bad news?

    • herzog

      My guess is that Allergan’s Bimatoprost treatment will be first to market.

    • disappointed

      Of course any forward progress is good. Even if it was ultra expensive. The first automobiles were not cheap.

      And I’m not arguing on this point but I wouldn’t emphasize that Aderans is raising the bar, more like lowering the threshold. It’s difficult enough to get to the point of growing hair back from stem cells, but any kind of stem cell therapy will be bet with resistance. This is especially the case when the end result is a cosmetic improvement and not a life and death scenario. But if Aderans produce a product, any product, the resistance for a alternative stem cell, transgene, etc. therapy for the same outcome will be lessened.

      Like I posted earlier, some serious disease conditions have absolutely no therapy available, let alone a well funded company on the way to Phase III clinicals. Best to save $ in expectation of an expensive (albeit cosmetically acceptable) therapy.

      • Curious

        I don’t follow with “lowering the threshold.” What threshold are they lowering exactly? One from people who are against using stem cells? Sorry I’m just not following your point.
        When I say raising the bar I mean it. What I am referring to here is both efficacy and in terms of treatment. So for instance if you look at minoxidil and finasteride. Both these products offer your something but have huge disadvantages as well to the point where most people don’t see them as viable products to use for hair loss. They need to be taken/ applied everyday, they have some pretty harsh side effects and their efficacy is directly proportionate to the time you take them (your “new” hair falls out as soon as you stop taking them). This is comparison to Aderans. A one time set of injections, sides as of yet are unknown and the treatment holds at least for a year (it will be interesting once they release data with the hair cycles). That said even if they recommended multiple treatments for the best efficacy my guess is at most 4 times a year (purely speculation). All of that is “raising the bar”. If these treatments are reasonably priced I can’t see why people wouldn’t consider it an improvement and my guess is that most people using minox or fin would cross over or at the very least use this as their main treatment and continue to supplement with whatever other treatment they prefer.
        Cosmetically speaking the best part of this treatment right now is not that it works amazingly better (yet) but that it seems to endure over time. They are sure to have more studies coming out that test compounded treatments, including additional treatments after a year. My bet is that the results will continue to get better and the hair count will go up from the original baseline as they add more treatments whether compounded (multiple treatments in a short period of time) or additional treatments after initial treatment (one every year).

        I also want to say that eventually our bodies level out chemically/ hormonally so that if we were able to get our hair cells to start producing again we would not have to continue these treatments forever, just until we balance out. That might be a 20 year period but for some of us that might be worth it. That said, if these treatments are going to be used like that (purely speculation) over a 20 year period the companies will have to take that into consideration when setting a price. If the price is well beyond hair transplants overall cost (12k to 20k over 20 years), I can guarantee you that most people will opt for the quicker solution.

        • disappointed

          Lowering the threshold refers to the acceptance from
          investors (and regulators to some degree) for this type of therapy. It’s about
          reducing risk. If investors witness several companies with some success in hair
          growth with different therapies they will more likely invest in new hair growth
          tech, vs a lot that has been rejected. The venture capitalists I know generally
          don’t invest in autologous stem cell therapy for the simple reason that it’s
          one shot at success. It’s not a broad method (e.g. mining for drugs that hit
          extracellular domains of receptors) where you can have one company with
          >> chance of success with drugs targeting leukemia, cholesterol
          receptors, etc. If Aderans fails, they don’t have 20 more stem cell types – one
          shot, hit or miss. However, if there is some success it tells VCs what we in
          lab have been seeing for years, that stem cells generally lead to SOME
          improvement. So likely worth the risk in some cases whereas now VCs are not
          doling out cash for these sorts of therapies (Follica of course the exception,
          but that venture fund is young and inexperienced).

          Drug companies (with the muscle to make these therapies
          reality) generally like something that can sit on a shelf like a pill. Yes, in
          a way Aderans is ‘raising the bar’ but you could say that about any new therapy
          that has some success. But is that really Aderan’s doing? Long term stability is
          stem cells 101, and that bar was raised/set some time ago with the use of
          marrow, umbilical cord stem cell, etc. transplants. Any result of Aderans won’t
          push people to avoid a drug treatment for hair loss. If it works, it works – a
          drug company may isolate a compound that grows hair amazingly well, and needs
          to be taken in pill form 3Xs a week.

          Yes, sure, added therapies may work. There is no law against
          using both an Aderans and Histogen type treatment (and hair transplant and
          propecia) all in the same year. That’s between the patient and their doctor(s).
          But big picture, 2013 is starting off very well for hair therapy. Pre-2000,
          investors would have taken a shot at an Aderans-like company all day long, not
          anymore. In that regard ‘the bar’ has for years now been set amazingly high, by
          greedy investors. Low paid PhDs in academia are expected to have a miracle drug
          before an investor, in this economy, will take a shot at investments. So
          starting 2013 with companies in hair growth trials is really a big deal.

          • disappointed

            Re-posted – with odd spacing issue fixed:

            Lowering the threshold refers to the acceptance from
            investors (and regulators to some degree) for this type of therapy. It’s about reducing risk for investors. If investors witness several companies with some success in hair growth with different therapies they will more likely invest in new hair growth tech, vs a lot that has been rejected.

            The venture capitalists I know generally don’t invest in autologous stem cell therapy for the simple reason that it’s one shot at success. It’s not a broad method (e.g. mining for drugs that hit extracellular domains of receptors) where you can have one company with >> chance of success with drugs targeting leukemia, cholesterol receptors, etc. If Aderans fails, they don’t have 20 more stem cell types – one shot, hit or miss.

            Drug companies (with the muscle to make these therapies
            reality) generally like something that can sit on a shelf like a pill. Yes, in a way Aderans is ‘raising the bar’ but you could say that about any new therapy that has some success. But is that really Aderan’s doing? Long term therapy is stem cells 101, and that bar was raised/set some time ago with the use of marrow, umbilical cord stem cell, etc. transplants. But don’t kid yourself – any result of Aderans won’t push people to avoid a drug treatment for hair loss. If it works, it works – out of nowhere a drug company may isolate a compound that grows hair amazingly well, and needs to be taken in pill form 3Xs a week.

            Yes, sure, added therapies may work. There is no law against
            using both an Aderans and Histogen type treatment (and hair transplant and propecia) all in the same year. That’s between the patient and their doctor(s). But big picture, 2013 is starting off very well for hair therapy. Pre-2000, investors would have taken a shot at an Aderans-like company all day long, not anymore. In that regard ‘the bar’ has for years now been set amazingly high, by greedy investors. Low paid PhDs in academia are expected to have a miracle treatment before an investor, in this economy, will take a shot at investments. So starting 2013 with companies in hair growth trials is really the big deal.

          • Curious

            I like where you are going but one thing to be said as well is that Aderans doesn’t need additional investors and hasn’t for quite some time. I think that in part is why they are relatively slow… they don’t have anything to prove right now because they have money to back up their trials and experiments. As well I never said that any advancement will push people to avoid any treatment (whether it be pill, transplants or injections). What it will do is push people to avoid lesser quality treatments, especially with treatments that have horrible side effects. That is to say if I can get the same results from getting an injection one time a year vs take a pill or any other treatment every day the decision is a simple one. But that isn’t to say that if a pill were to do the trick entirely, delivering great results with minimal sides… even if it needs to be taken daily, it is going to thrive based on the results. In the end it is about results. Money is hard to come by right now but if there are results there are results… people will throw money at that in a good or bad economy.

      • wiglued

        when there is proof of efficacy, and by efficacy I mean REAL efficacy.. not what we’ve seen until this moment, I bet things will move faster.

    • hairloser

      revolutionary treatment is one that gives a full head of hair back to a bad person.. anything that just adds a little more hair here and there is just for the ones that are beginning to lose hair.. I mean, for that we’ve got finasteride and minoxidil already..

      • hairloser

        ***bald person…

      • Curious

        Based on your own description of revolutionary treatment, it already exists assuming that you mean something that is a one time treatment and shows results within a year. Hair transplants are pretty close to what you are asking for and considering that they are available from a variety of doctors at a variety of prices I think you are looking pretty good.

        I really don’t see minoxidil and fin as realistic treatments considering their efficacy is directly proportional to the application.
        So here is my thoughts on a “revolutionary” treatment: A treatment that has to be taken no more than 4 to 6 times a year. The treatment is minimally invasive (if their are sides they are limited in both physically and temporally and no long recovery time is necessary). The treatment can be compounded (multiple treatments sees additional improvement) and a single treatment produces at least 20 hairs/ cm squared (I’m okay with this number decreasing slowly as additional treatments are added, meaning that additional treatments are slightly less effective – 15 to 20 hairs/ cm squared). Treatment needs to be as effective on completely bald areas. Treatment needs to create hairs that last at least 3 complete cycles. Overall the treatment needs to be cosmetically significant over a 3-5 year period (I’m okay with treatments that take time to grow back hair… I didn’t lose it in 6 months so I don’t expect to grow it back in 6 months). The treatment also needs to cost under or around $10,000 total per person and hopefully can be paid out as you go (pay at each treatment – based on 4 treatments a year over 5 years – 20 treatments total = $500 per treatment… considering something like an injection I really don’t see this as a big problem as it literally takes a one time doctor’s office visit, most likely under an hour if not half an hour).

        So there is my revolutionary treatment. And as far as I am concerned with that we are well on the right track. I’m still waiting to hear about completing cycles with histogen and aderans but aderans definitely gives me hope as it holds for at least a year according to their studies. In general I think if you want hair on your bald head in the next 6 months… transplants are going to be the golden ticket for quite some time. As we get deeper into the studies I see a viable treatment that can be used over a period of time that will have great results but not in 6 months. Balding sucks but realign your thinking so that you won’t be continuously disappointed. No company is shooting for a full head of hair from a single treatment right now save transplants.

  • Herzog

    Good news. Allergan is beginning the patent process for their Latisse treatment’s application tech. http://www.equities.com/news/headline-story?dt=2013-01-02&val=881023&cat=material

    • McJ

      Nice find.

  • McJ
  • julian

    I’ve tried Lumigan, same thing as Latisse, for some time and have seen no results… but maybe due to the way I was using or the quantity cause it is very expensive and it comes so little. Maybe they have enhanced the formula as well to suit better for hair from the scalp… hope it comes soon to market and that it really thickens the hairs, all of them..

  • Z79

    Apperently Follica has conducted 3 clinical trial since 2009.That is news to me.


    Senior Research Associate

    Follica, Inc.January 2009 – October 2012 (3 years 10 months)

    Studied hair follicle neogenesis and biology of the skin, in vivo drug delivery, developed SOPs for three clinical trials, analyzed wound healing in animal and human models, lab coordinator for R&D team of 9, lab safety officer

    • McJ

      Good, good find Z79. Hey Xconomy! I’m talking to you!

      Do you good people still ask Follica or any of their people for interviews or updates? Look at how many people comment on this thing, c’mon, be cool.

      This is an interesting piece of info but it’s only going to lead to further speculation and shots in the dark.

      Follica owe us nothing admittedly but it would be nice to know that you’re at least asking and they know we can find out about the above kind of info. Histogen have a fairly good PR approach ya know. C’mon Follica, be cool. Please.

    • disappointed

      That means they wrote up protocols/procedures for conducting potential clinical trials. It doesn’t necessarily mean they were ever submitted or those trial. Take it for what it is – a technician boosting her online resume (a bachelor’s degree and eight years as a technician in a few labs isn’t saying a lot). I know a lot comes up with Follica and their resistance to share a lot of info. Not every company has the same approach, but this is biology and patents are broad. In a lousy economy you can paint a bullseye on your company if you go around flaunting new finds and even early trial results.

      It’s not everyone’s approach but then again it’s not really the decision of the people who show up to work at Follica every day. It’s up to the CEO based on discussions at board meetings. So basically 90% investors (it’s their money) and the CEO, who in this case has never run a small biotech before. Nothing to do with Cotsarelis or anyone else. Don’t expect a change in policy.

      Though if you really want to be bold you could try to pry info out of this technician Jennifer via her llinkedin account.

    • julian

      3 clinical trials and where are they? should we call it auspicious or suspicious?

    • Mr. Z

      Geez, add another senior scientist to the list of who has left the company. That makes at least 3 i know of and two VPs; all in a short time frame. Not to mention that the climate in the pharma/biotech industries is conducive to job hopping right now…so these guys are leaving, most likely for reasons other than better offers. My guess is that this company is closing it’s doors. The shitty part is, they refuse to update their website. They still have Shika Bharman as the VP of pharma development and she is long gone. That’s pretty lame on their part.

      • McJ

        Please don’t construe this as a rose-tinted defense but they could’ve hired people to fill those positions and we just haven’t heard about it. That’s a possibility but in all honesty, I can’t say that it’s not a little disconcerting that some senior people have left. And that the site hasn’t been updated in a couple of years either is bothersome to me too.

        That being said, it would be worthwhile for the folks at Xconomy to ask for an update. After some folks dug up the info about the lithium patent thing a while back – in fact, the very article that we are commenting on now – Xconomy via Ryan McBride (who has since left for FierceBiotech) got an update of sorts. A no comment kind of update but at least they responded.

        I figure a bunch of people leaving merits some sort of comment or at least asking? C’mon, Xconomy? Am I the only one who thinks this is a worthwhile endeavour?

        Or am I being unreasonable? Follica do a have a significant amount of money to last them a while so I still don’t see them shutting up shop anytime soon, I certainly hope they don’t anyway.

  • Harold
  • McJ

    Linking to another site where people are just guessing doesn’t help. Nobody really knows what’s going on. In fact, ‘disappointed’ probably sums it up best a few comments down there. Although I suspect the technician has signed a non disclosure agreement.

    For my money, any chance of any sort of word, someone like xconomy or fiercebiotech need to grab an interview. That’s the only way any questions of ours are going to be answered in the short term. In the long term, we’ll know whether or not they are duds or have something truly viable on offer.

    I know that Bob Buderi did an update himself in 2010 after people had emailed him personally asking for the latest. Now, as expected, Follica didn’t say much. However, there is now a good size of info regarding Follica’s activities these past two years from various people digging on the internet from patents to linkedin profiles etc.

    If someone could collate all this stuff into a neat profile and asked Bob Buderi to look into it (and asked him nicely of course), then we might have a shot of getting some info. ‘Might’ being the key word here as Follica will likely say nothing but you never know.

    Other than that, we’re just dancing in the dark. And that is just plain frustrating.

    • hairraiser

      I wish, in this case, that long term could turn out to be short term finally.. but cannot count on that, so I just hope us to be surprised some day.. I think one guy that could try that, but I think he’s been trying already, is Spencer Kobren, from The Bald Truth.. he is as much interested on that as we are. But I really think that IF Follica has something they will hold it until the last moment when they consider it is the right time to reveal it.

      • McJ

        I guess that would make sense .And that ‘if’ is awfully big. I only suggested Bob Buderi as he has done it once before and Daphne Zohar has an Xconomy connection. That would be a half decent bet for something in the short term to allay fears etc.

        I guess if anyone, be it Histogen or Roland Lauster or whatever, has anything, it’ll be a six o’clock news front page type of story.

    • curious

      I’m not sure where the conversation got turned to Follica… I’m more interested in hearing about the next steps that Histogen and Aderans will take. Thankfully they have been relatively informative but as always it is just a matter of time. For the most part I just don’t see Follica giving any new information and I’m not sure that they have any (good) to give.

  • curious

    This is great info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqU9OZ4FPII&list=UUtj2aq9M3i4x5glRJKAx2YA&index=1&feature=plcp

    The good stuff with a doctor Ziering starts in the second hour (about 1:00:00). Histogen apparently about 2 to 3 years out. Also talks about robotics for FUE grafts.

    Really good stuff.

    • hairysoon ford

      anything that sounds promising is always welcome. Things seem so slow and never happening but one time, and it’s probably not so far off, they’ll start to materialize, maybe all at once. I really believe the end of this nightmare called pattern baldness, alopecia or whatever you want call it, is pretty soon. We’re close, and fortunate to be living this times. Our many many many predecessors lived and died with this curse.

  • iwantsomehair

    I have been reading more and more about the link between frequent ejaculation and accelerated MPB for those that carry the balding gene. Since the age of 15 I have ejaculated nearly every day for the past 12 years. For the past month I have refrained for any situation that might cause me to ejaculate. I have noticed that there is a tremendous slowing of hair loss. i would be interested if anyone here could conduct a study on their own to confirm/dispute my study.

  • McJ


    It’s mice yet again but it’s further advancing knowledge on this tricky son of a gun.

    It’s encouraging that this sort of focused research is taking place rather than stumbling upon a treatment. Still, I’d really love a Follica update. I know it’s slim but it’s not impossible.

    • disappointed

      There are many capable scientists who could throw their hats into the area of hair regrowth. Lack of funding to explore in this area is certainly not an obstacle if you look at all large labs in academia. The biggest obstacle I can see for any researcher getting into this area is lack of a good model organism. Or a decent model organism like macaques that would be a huge headache to work with. Equal to that is that those in the field want to focus on the big ticket items like cancer, you can’t blame them for that. Working on hair loss (and I feel this way about it) would be like working on the optimal way to culture fat cells for facial injection in cosmetic surgery applications. Sure, it could be profitable but less models available, less understanding on pathways, rarely helping someone in a terrible conditions, etc. and basically no the reason most got into research. It’s a complicated reasoning but if you talk to someone who is a full time researcher there is no simple short reason.

      As far as Follica the best bet is meeting employees at a conference. Generally people do talk a bit in those arenas, and they do have at least a year to file on IP even if they give a full blown poster presentation or seminar in front of a large crowd.

      • hairfool

        Sure cancer is a serious issue and if it was a matter of just choosing which should have a cure come first, that would have to be cancer. It seems even strange to compare these two. Cancer is a serious, life-threatening and fatal disease. Alopecia is a condition, I think it’s not a disease since, at least apparently it doesn’t affect a person, fisical at least, health. That said, I dare to say that, financially, an effective treatment for baldness would be much more profitable… just for the reason that this condition affects a much greater number of people and for much time as in most cases it starts in their twenties or thirties when they’re pretty young.

        • disappointed

          I am comparing the two because both require research funds and the people who have the skills to fix one situation are the same who would fix the other. The profit angle is interesting but not quite right. To get a simple immune stem cell treatment for cancer is insane, and that may only buy someone a few months time. But it’s a moot point, you aren’t going to convince tens of thousands of researchers (many who may be bald) to drop years of fighting disease and divert their energies to hair loss, or hair loss in general would have already been a thing of the past.

  • McJ

    Hey, if you’re ever at one of those conferences, please ask! Although I’m not sure Follica attend any of those. Any potential conferences in 2013 that they might be attending?

    • Hershey

      It´s very sad but it´s probably that follica is dead

  • McJ

    Any one else having trouble posting links?

    Anyway, I was trying to link to an article about crowdfunding on the Xconomy website by Luke Timmerman and was wondering if something like that could ever apply to Follica or Histogen. Any thoughts ‘disappointed’?

    • disappointed

      Nah, just won’t happen. The standard route because of the enormous cost is venture capital. Kills me, but that’s how it goes. Look at a cancer company like NovaRx. A researcher there spent years and years working on an anticancer therapy, had some success and then a billionaire stepped in and got them further along in clinical trials, but overnight owned 60% of the company and put his rich (but capable?) son in charge as CEO of the biotech.

      I think the crowdsourcing thing is cool but what is the short term payback to the person making a donation? A follica t-shirt? I am not joking, you could get people to invest but it would have to be some clever mode. E.g. if a company selling finasteride worked out a deal for a 5-10% stake in Follica in exchange for allowing ‘donations’ to research for every purchase of pills that could work out for both parties. But I’ve never heard of such a thing.

      Often you have to do all the effort that is painstaking and slow (lack of personnel, resources) in academia. After infusing grant money, some private funding, etc. you make it to phase II and then reach a crossroads, do you sell off to Merck and say goodbye to the company you help found? Do you get some rich dude to get your company to the next phase? All depends. If Follica shows their investors impressive results they’ll get plenty of funding, and Cotsarelis stake in the company will eventually be diluted down to a couple % at best. I mean, that’s the standard model.

      • McJ

        As always, hugely interesting. Thanks for that. I suppose I didn’t really reckon that it was applicable to Follica or Histogen but it was an interesting article nonetheless.

        I suppose I’ve always thought that, from Follica’s origins at least, they had longer term plans than just selling off to a major pharma company once they’d (hypothetically) hit gold with the hair loss thing in a phase ii or whatever. At least that was the impression I got when they talked about other applications of the technology being used for skin care and acne management etc.

        Given that the last round of financing was in 2008 (at roughly 16 Million or so), how long until a series C round of financing? Or I suppose to put it another way, is it possible to guess how long 16 million lasts?

        It’s also working on the (optimistic) assumption that things are progressing smoothly.

        • disappointed

          Follica may, but it’s a whole different game to simply test a technology by outsourcing to a FDA-approved contract group
          vs setting up an actual Follica clinic. The venture capitalists want a return on investment, they would not wait for Follica to set up hair loss service shops or whatnot in NYC and Los Angeles and then year by year slowly expand. The VCs are generally money managers, no matter how convincing an act they put forward about their love for a technology. The likely exit would be to sell to a massive company that can set up the infrastructure to service customers. No idea what the investors have as their target goal. What’s the total investment in Follica thus far? It also depends on the VCs, some large VC groups have such massive funds that they will toss in $30 million but can wait for 8-10 years for a half billion return on investment. Some smaller groups may inject $3-5 million and wait for a $30-50 million return, at best, in 3-5 years.

          I don’t know how much Follica has on hand or patient #, etc. but a lot of that 16 million will likely go to the clinical work. Yes, they’ll be doing R&D in the background, but the quickest way to cash is completing clinicals…. in the end they likely will only ever initiate one set of Phase III if they even get that far.

          As far as general company and cash flow, the rough estimate on burn rate in a biotech is about $250K per employee per year when you include overhead. So Follica really can’t expand their employee base by much unless they have something really specific in mind (or unless results are so amazing they feel confident in a series D). This also rests on the CEO and if he’s one of those types that spends and hires to act like he’s accomplishing something.

          • McJ

            Wow, I had no idea it was as much as $250K per employee. Really interesting insights there again, thanks for those.

            It’s certainly interesting to know about those little specifics and the reasons why they would opt for selling to a major pharma company etc and also just how big a role the VCs play in all of this.

            I Keep forgetting what a potentially big money game this is. Especially if they get results. I think Polaris Venture Partners were the big group that participated in the last round of financing. That was a series B I think.

            Also knowing that if a series D were to happen, that would likely augur well.

          • hairysoon ford

            series D.. when do this end, Z??

          • disappointed

            No idea what milestones they’ve set and if the investors are looking for something to market to big pharma anytime soon. Or if they have been trying to sell and have arrangement already in place but transaction won’t happen unless they meet goals 1, 2, 3. You generally don’t see things way beyond E but even a series F + have happened…. let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

          • disappointed

            Yes, keep in mind that is the average figured out whether it’s a technician makeing 50K vs a PhD at 80-100K when you add in health care, utilities, reagents used in the lab,etc. Every person you add gets costly. Not like academia where the university picks up so much cost but e.g. owns your intellectual property (as UPenn would have with the work done in Cots lab).

            Well, we can’t kid ourselves. Some drugs and/or services get so far in clinicals and the poof… it’s gone. That’s why private investors seem to be fine with funding company that are for space tourist flights – we know the principles of physics involved to get a group of people up out of the earth’s atmosphere but biology is still one messy b*tch.

            But all in all, if they’re ‘simple’ idea of wounding and/or wounding + drug is still moving along into series D I would take the side that they’re likely to get some product out. In theory nothing they have is by itself a massive danger for side effects so they may be in the same boat as Histogen. That is, they may prove to be safe and reproducible, but is there final produce sufficient to get people to pay what they need to get out of the red (they are what, 20, 30 million $ spent so far?) and into the black, and fast.

            Polaris is a young fund, they have no real track record, unless you count annoying lumosity.com commercials but that’s not a biotech. The good news is that they and others have probably given Follica what they need. Now the question is is the basic principle Cots published in Nature (which isn’t a very clearly defined mechanism) holds true to human. But I thnk others may have since published the correlation of wounding and growth of hair on human skin explants in culture.

  • Aleluia
    • hairsangel

      I wish I had that universal remote control like that movie.. so as I could forward ahead real fast and get where this will get us for once!!

  • McJ

    Ok, so there’s zero news that I can see on anything in the near term (ie the next few years) but someone sent me this;


    It’s not been tested in animals yet but it’s something at least.

    I know, back to waiting.

    • Curious

      I think that is a bit of an exaggeration or possibly complete false statement. With both Histogen and Aderans knocking on the door of phase 3… I bet we get to see at least the beginnings of a company going into phase 3 trials within the next year. Of course that is an assumption but so is the statement that we aren’t going to get news for a couple of years. From what I gather is that news usually comes in 3 month cycles. I bet our next update is going to be before mid-year and will let us know the direction that histogen and follica will be taking. Keep your heads up… I’m not sure why after Histogen and Follica release their data (or partial data) that show good results tat we aren’t going to get any news for the next few years… I’m on the opposite end… we’ll be receiving news shortly (the next few months).

      • McJ

        True, it’s not especially optimistic and it is a guess. Hope you’re right though!

        • curious

          I know these are probably just internet rumors but people are talking about phase 3 for histogen and aderans… If we make it to a phase 3 for any company I’ll be elated. And if we have 2… well I would ay success is around the corner.

  • McJ

    Is this a well known biotech conference? Anyone know about this? ‘disappointed’, any thoughts?


    Starts April 25 in Chicago. I can’t confirm it but I thought I saw somewhere Daphne Zohar listed as attending. Not too sure how solid that info is though.

    • disappointed

      It’s a well known conference but I wouldn’t call it a hard core biology meeting. It’s more a venture capital-business development networking type meeting. Existing biotechs can certainly meet potential investors and for people like Daphne they would look at the trends in what to invest.
      (here;s where you can insert a comment about how stupid venture capitalists are, and you’d be correct!).

      • McJ

        Ah, ok. Thanks for that, For the time being, we’ll just have to keep the fingers crossed I guess for some positive developments in 2013. Pessimistic as I get, I still keep hoping for a Follica surprise in 2013.

        I do hope Xconomy keep asking for an update.Us being loyal readers and all that ;)

        • disappointed

          Have you heard anything on Aderans? It seems that at least they’ve gotten over initial safety hurdles. I remember that some months ago there was a presentation of theirs on YouTube but wasn’t sure if it was mid-Phase 2 or at the end of their Phase 2 trials. I’m curious since they have the infrastructure and seemingly more funding than any other group.

          • McJ

            Nada. To be honest, I wasn’t especially wowed by them and I saw the video you’re talking about. I hope to be corrected though on that. Anybody who comes close to something safe and cosmetically pleasing is good with me.

          • disappointed

            Yeah, but the limits have to be tested. Unfortunately these are the limitations but in place unless it’s a clinical trial for a life and death drug. The interesting thing about Phase 2 is that injections were limited whereas on their website they mention that the process would involve 10-12 visits to the clinic in a year. That may just be a current estimate until more data is in.

          • McJ

            I do understand the limitations. I think. I mean, I was confused by the statements regarding Histogen initially. All this talk of 40% regrowth, or whatever the exact figure was, threw me because I was thinking – either the product grows hair or it doesn’t.

            But if they’re at phase II, I guess they’re still figuring out the kinks and working out compoundabilty and all that stuff. That being said, the technology behind Follica, if it works, would seem to be the product of everyone’s dreams.

            Failing that, Roland Lauster in Berlin talked a good game back in 2010. I’m pretty upbeat as this will be beaten eventually – and sometime in the next ten years or sooner – but until we see some radical before and after pictures, these guys are all talk.

          • disappointed

            It’s biology. R&D is carried out at bigger companies but usually the drive/creativity is less. You have to understand that in academia you can ‘play’ a lot more and have way more freedom since the monitoring is far less. In industry all the investors understand is 1+1=2. But if there is some hair regrowth (any really) then that is already a major breakthrough. With a template in place the ability to determine why e..g. out of 1000 stem cells transferred, only 50 convert to a viable follicle.

  • Aleluia

    It´s so sad… sometimes i think that all this baldness researches are just walking on circles.
    (but i still believe in dr. cotsarelis and his PGD2 research!)

  • herzog

    A small bit on Allergan, touching on their Bimatoprost R&D. Apparently they’re upping the dose in their clinical test. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/03/business/la-fi-stock-spotlight-allergan-20130304

    • McJ

      Good find. Quite a few interesting quotes in that;

      ‘Pyott said the firm will spend more than $1 billion on research and development this year and expects to secure “several regulatory approvals.”

      ‘Allergan is considering a higher dose to improve bimatoprost’s effectiveness in treating baldness, a move that would require additional testing and delay its approval.’

      • julian

        I’ve tried bimatoprost on the scalp but didn’t see any better… I suppose the dosage wasn’t enough tough, since it is very expensive and it comes so little, good enough for the eyelids but maybe too little for a head, or maybe because of poor absorption, I don’t know… I hope it is and that using lots of it, it will work just as it does with eyelashes, it would be great!!!

  • hairseeker

    about follica, these guys are 4 years without any update, no word about anything.. and we still keep hope that they can someday finally announce what we long for long very long since the times when they were so optimistic and not this silent… maybe one day… maybe never… How I wish I knew what’s going on…