Follica Sheds More Light on Hair Re-Growth Invention

3/30/11

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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  • McJ

    There’s some pretty big stem cell breakthrough news regarding human stem cell therapies but Xconomy won’t let me post the link.

    • disappointed

      It’s actually not a major breakthrough. There are multiple groups that have been able to culture human ES and iPS cells in xeno-free media. This is another approach and the authors would argue that making it simpler to culture human ES cells would lead to easier time producing a therapeutic cell type (e.g. retinal cells) it’s quite leap. It’s still unclear if early stage embryonic stem cells will translate to a therapeutic product since the ‘breakthroughs’ are now in the field of reprogramming one adult cell type into another. I’m not down on stem cell therapy, I’ve worked with embryonic stem cells longer than I care to think about. For basically biology, useful – therapy-wise there are so many other (likely better) options to focus on.

      • McJ

        Hey, I’ll happily defer to you on that one but it certainly seemed to indicate quite a sea change to me, Well, the doc at the end of the article said something like ‘opening the door to medical applications for stem cells’.

      • McJ

        Dang nabbit, Xconomy – sort out the damn links problem please!

        I was trying to re-post that yahoo link again.

        Anyway, if you would be so kind as to indulge me (yet again);

        Both Follica and Histogen are both basically using stem cells or have treatments relating to stem cells, yes? Now, Follica seemed pretty darn confident at the start (And I realize most start-ups kind of need to be) but it surely wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that they’ve hit some kind of roadblock (Unless of course they surprise everyone with some sort of good news this year) relatively recently.

        Could a discovery, like the Minerva Bio one, perhaps have any bearing on say someone like Follica? Or is that a conjecture too far?

        I keep seeing the word ‘novel’ used in relation to the Minerva Bio discovery and I do seem to remember Follica using that word a lot too.

        Stem Cell treatments being the relatively new science that they are, I would’ve thought that any news like this would be a real boon to companies like Follica and Histogen. New pathways and understandings and that kind of thing.

        • disappointed

          Ask away, but sometimes it is difficult to convert a discovery into lay-speak and in a short paragraph on this thread.

          Yes to stem cells if we are talking Aderans and the now defunct Intercytex, but they are/were using much much later stage stem cells, stem cells with a very restricted potential (e.g. they would not have the potential to become muscle, bone, liver, etc.). The Minervas discovery is interesting, but mostly of short term use to those in basic research. Though there is no law stating a researcher must use Minervas patented method of keeping their stem cell growth media animal product free? Why animal product free? If you were to take embryonic stem cells and convert them to pancreatic cells with the intention of transferring them to a patient with diabetes, any contamination of the cells with e.g. serum from cows, growth factors from pig, etc. etc. would result in a massive immune response. What Minervas is arguing is that A) they can allow those basic researchers studying embryonic stem cells (not the adult stem cells of interest to Aderans) will have an easier time growing cells in their less complex, animal-free media and B) as a result of using animal-free media future companies using therapies won’t have to go to extraordinarily expensive, tedious measures in order to grow therapeutic levels of embryonic stem cells.

          Histogen and Follica are two different approaches altogether.
          Histogen is scalp injecting purified proteins secreted from a specially treated cell line. The idea is the special cell line is grown in low oxygen conditions (think bone marrow, or early stage embryo) to simulate a ‘foetal’ environment. As a result the cell line produces a mixture of proteins are supposedly at the ratio that a person’s scalp environment would not have been subjected to since early in life.

          With Follica it’s a combination of wounding and the addition or a protein (or small molecule drug) that would also achieve an early stage environment.

          While the Minervas tech is interesting, simple (needs to be verified by other researchers), it doesnt directly affect research in hair regrowth. Keep in mind that online journalists seem to run with whatever sounds sensationalistic. There will likely be thousands of papers published this year in the field of stem cell research.

          • McJ

            Thanks! – really good perspective on that. Oh well, there’s more waiting to be done!

            The only other bit of news is that Daphne Zohar is speaking at the Convergence Forum in May but I guess it’s best not to expect a whole bunch out of that. Would link it but Xconomy haven’t fixed their link problems yet.

  • McJ

    Google ‘minerva biotechnologies’ and look up the yahoo article on it. Interesting stuff.

    • Artista

      Thank you McJ !! I cant wait to review this article based upon your comment-”There’s some pretty big stem cell breakthrough news regarding human stem cell therapies”.

  • myattitude

    What are this board’s current opinions on a time of a release? Aderans look like the most solid treatment but Histogen more likely to come out before? But what are YOUR opinions, and why?

    • julian

      my opinion is that Allergan will release its latisse version for hairless sooner than any of this companies, but theirs will be effective just for mild cases were the hairs are just thinning and maybe won’t change much the situation for real bald men. These ones will still have to wait for a miracle real breakthrough product, which I don’t think has been invented or discovered. Wish I was wrong..

      • herzog

        What he said. Allergan first. Then maybe Histogen in 2015. Aderans sometime after that and lastly Replicel even further out.

        • julian

          Just wish this new latisse really can thicken remaining thin hairs and make them grow strong and long… that alone would be a miracle. If it could bring back to life those little almost invisible hairs, it would be a great cosmetic enhancement, no doubt.

      • ZZ

        Julian, I concur although I would add Nature Made’s s-equol as the next product to market most likely later this year. It has the potential to completely neutralize dht w/o affecting other hormonal balances and could be a game changer in the maintenance category thus making something like latisse more effective. You can read more about it by googling Natural s-equol. The product is being launched as a treatment for menopause but s-equol attaches to dht……you can check out the details under the research studies tab. You are absolutely correct that there has been no breakthru product to date. …….but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that there have been great advances in research hopefully taking us much closer to a breakthru than we might be in a position to know at the moment.

        • julian

          So this one could replace finasteride without its feared side effects, I suppose. Yeah, the more knowledge about a problem, its causes, etc, the nearer its solution. There will come a day when being bald will be just a matter of choice. But, this science could be a little faster like others.

          • herzog

            I’m not buying it, though I always respect your comments ZZ. S-equol is looking like another Saw Palmetto to me. Maybe more concentrated, but still just a “supplement” with barely traceable results (herbal supplements aren’t burdened by clinical studies or proof of results). Even still, if it DOES work then we are talking about a DHT inhibitor that is injested and effects the body systemically… why on earth wouldn’t that create systemic side effects? The hope is to inhibit DHT locally. That is, if we even have to isolate DHT at all. We’re discovering the specific mechanism of hair loss is a lot more specific than DHT.

          • julian

            I see, we need something really new, a breakthrough treatment indeed. this one is just more of the same thing. Follica was a promise in the beginning and they even announced themselves as a breakthrough and made everybody hopeful and then disappeared.. nobody knows what’s happening, lots of patents, no word never. It looks like a big house where you never see who lives there, nobody ever comes out or gets in. And you keep looking at it waiting to see if you can see someone sometime.

          • ZZ

            Herzog,
            I can see how you might lump this in the herbal supplement category and I would
            share your skepticism if I had not been following this compound for years and
            read many detailed medical studies. I haven’t had much luck in posting links
            here but with respect to the potency of s-equol here is a quote from one such
            article:

            “As a potent antagonist of
            dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in vivo, equol is also unique,

            in that we can find no other example of a compound
            that has selective estrogen

            action and yet also has the ability to be an
            antagonist of androgen action (22).

            It is interesting that the mechanism of its
            anti-androgen action differs from

            that of the anti-androgen drugs used in clinical
            practice to block the effects

            of DHT. For example, equol has no affinity for the
            androgen receptor (22)

            and therefore does not function as an androgen
            receptor blocker. It also does

            not appear to alter the synthesis of DHT in the
            way that 5α-reductase

            inhibitors do, but, rather, it appears to bind
            directly to DHT (22),

            and this effect is seen with both R- and S-equol
            (TD Lund, RJ Handa, ED

            Lephart, KDR Setchell, unpublished data, 2003). “

            With respect to how s-equol could not have
            systemic hormonal effects, I agree that such a statement sounds miraculous.
            However, consider that s-equol is produced naturally in the intestines by
            almost 60% of the Asian population and 20% to 35% of the population in
            general. There have been many studies of
            natural s-equol producers and there do no not seem to be any negative systemic
            hormonal effects. More specifically here
            is the results of one study:

            “Measures of reproductive and thyroid hormone
            levels remained within normal limits in healthy adult Japanese men who took
            either of two doses of a supplement of SE5-OH containing Natural S-equol, a
            novel soy germ-based ingredient under development for the management of
            prostate health, according to a new placebo-controlled study. In addition,
            measures of the men’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were within normal
            limits. These peer-reviewed safety data were presented at the Experimental
            Biology (EB) 2010 annual meeting. “The current study evaluated the safety
            and tolerance of SE5-OH containing Natural S-equol in healthy men. S-equol is
            under study to assist in the management of prostate health, as previous studies
            have indicated blood levels of equol are associated with reduced risk of
            prostate cancer in certain populations. This new safety study establishes that
            in healthy men, their concentrations of reproductive hormones as well as
            thyroid hormones remained within the normal range after 12 weeks of receiving
            SE5-OH containing Natural S-equol and the ingredient appears to be well
            tolerated.”

            I believe researchers first started studying
            s-equol back in 1984 but only relatively recently have they figured out how to produce
            it outside the body. I’m not saying this
            is a slam dunk as a maintenance breakthrough……. as all of us who follow the
            subject know by now the many many variables at work in causing mpb. But this is a summary of my perspective and
            why I include s-equol on my list.

          • herzog

            You’ve got my attention. I’ll put it on the list. I’m leery of this sort of thing since I tried Anastrozole for several months and actually gave myself hot flashes. This is somewhat different obv but pills in general put me off. A localized topical is what I’m hoping for. FIn messed me up pretty bad.

          • zz

            I hear you. I am just waiting for Nature made to release the product for retail sale. I am going to start with 40 to 50 mg b/c I read in a study that is about what it would take to neutralize dht but that is just an estimate. You can find studies that show 3 mg reduces dht by about 15%. And I am going to split the dosage and take it 3 times a day. At minimum you would have to take it 2 times a day. I’m sure there will be a topical sometime soon. But given the health benefits, I believe personally I will take supplements even if there is a topical. Since this is a compound that occurs in the body from the breakdown of soy, it does not need FDA approval. It has what is called GRAS status (generally accepted as safe). I will keep you posted with whatever I find but I think you will be amazed fi you spend time reading the studies. They are quite extensive.

          • herzog

            PS: Are we waiting for next steps with s-equol or can we just start taking it and see what happens?

      • myattitude

        I thought Aderans were solid? What happened?

        Also though Histogen had something workable albeit needing injections?

        Still, 2015 for Histogen can’t be a bad thing can it, two years will flash by.

  • Artista

    I’d like to say this much , ZZ. Is a very well informed person regarding PRP , Saw palmetto and this relatively most recent treatment , S-Equol.

  • McJ

    In response to Julian (replying up top because I hate scrolling down all the time!), that ‘big house’ analogy is kinda perfect.

    To be honest – though we occasionally talk about other stuff here – I’m always here secretly hoping to find out something about Follica. I mean it’s not lost on me that we’re commenting on a story that’s nearly two years old! My optimism, like most I’m guessing, has seriously dwindled over the years.

    That breakthrough product really sounded like it was going to be Follica and then things seemed to grind to a maddening halt. Certainly news wise anyway.

    The only thing I can think of (aside from emailing a few bio-science journos – which I did last year to fairly indifferent results) is to actually tweet Daphne Zohar or David Steinberg and ask will there be any Follica news in 2013.

    Now I know a while back that once people found out Daphne Zohar had a twitter, she was bombarded with quite a bit of abuse from the hairloss mafia and that was just about the dumbest thing you could do. But perhaps a small but significant number of people could ask in a polite, civil way, ‘Are Follica still active and are you confident about the product?’

    It’s a pretty weak option I’ll admit and even if she did respond, she’ll never get into specifics but I think a lot of us would just like to know if we should stop secretly hoping for some surprise news. Even to hear from a senior person that they’re still going would go a long way. It would be good to know if there’s something going on in that big house ;)

    • disappointed

      Unlikely. Balding guys pestering (they would say sincerely inquiring) a woman through a medium that is publicly made available to her family, friends and colleagues probably knocked out any chance of a future response to anyone but a business journalist.
      She is not the only business partner at Puretech ventures but at the end
      of the day it seems pretty clear there is no sense of urgency to release information good or bad. Follica’s goal is to make money. If there were no emails ever sent to them in the last 4-5 years and some polite inquiries were made, OK. Instead there are forums/threads devoted to what they’re up to,
      emails, calls, Twitter and so on. It’s safe to say that Follica and their investors feel confident that plenty of customers are out there.

      • McJ

        Yep, it was a pretty weak idea which you’ve excellently deconstructed! Yeah, I probably knew (at least I hope I do) that those scenarios were in play – especially the time she got seriously harassed.

        What Julian said though, I totally understood (as I’m sure a lot of folks do). Back to waiting then.

        • julian

          yea, waiting.. I just didn’t want to be waiting in vain. Whoever gets a new treatment, it will have to show something impressive, will have to beat Minoxidil and Finasteride. These two were breakthroughs, especially Minoxidil cause before it came up there was nothing. But since Finasteride there was nothing new and better, not a thing!! So, the next one will have to present something better to get customers, will have to get where Minoxidil and Finasteride didn’t get. Many guys, and girls, but mostly guys, just don’t buy these ones because the results are mild, and there’s the side effects too, which many fear. Some treatment that achieved cosmetically life-changing results would reach practically the entire market, every hairloss sufferer would become a customer, or strive to be one. The current market is but a fraction it would be if results were really remarkable cause, being sincere: WHO WANTS TO BE BALD?

  • McJ

    Anyone still unable to post links on this page? Pretty annoying.

  • McJ

    Uggh, not being able to post links is super annoying. Google

    ‘Science Fiction Comes Alive as Researchers Grow Organs in Lab’

    It’s a WSJ article. Now, this is pretty huge I think and I’d be curious (again) to know what ‘disappointed’ makes of it all.

    Hair isn’t mentioned but it can’t be too far from peoples minds when watching this. According to the video attached to the article, the first human ear made by these guys could be on a human within 3 years with a clinical trial this year.

    I know it’s gonna be a fairly long road with I’m sure a few more hurdles along the way but it really is possible that we’ll see something good and permanent for hairloss in this decade. Just not holding out a lot of hope for histogen or Aderans. Hope I’m wrong on that front of course.

    • Kkjulian

      Is this about Dr. Roland Lauster???
      Well McJ, i think we can wait a few more years if something that really works against baldness come.
      Btw… there´s a lot of researches about hair over the world, i really think that in some years something will come to us

      • McJ

        Not necessarily, no. Jury is still out on that guy. He said something in 2010 that it could be available in 5 years time (that magic number). I suspect he was being overly optimistic as I’m sure we would have heard something more about it now in 2013.

        I’m not overly pessimistic (in fact saying something will be available in this decade is pretty optimistic I reckon) but I’m not sure Aderans or Histogen will deliver in the next couple years. Just my opinion, Hope I’m dead wrong. I always fancied the wounding angle that Follica appears (or appeared) to favour. In fact wasn’t there some Luis Garza study at the end of last year about pdg2 inhibited wound induced hair follicle neogenesis? I thought that sounded promising.

  • McJ

    I think Follica is in the news – I can’t link it as Xconomy haven’t fixed their comments system yet – seriously Xconomy guys, c’mon! Go to Fiercebiotech and look in the news section.

    ‘PRACS’ CRO implosion leaves a Who’s Who of biopharma creditors in its wake’ is the headline. I think it’s ‘our’ Follica. The article says ‘little Follica’. Not too sure what this story means.

    • julian

      It is in the news but no in the good news.

    • herzog

      It means the company they were outsourcing their research to wasn’t really doing their job. The good news is that this could be the reason they haven’t reported any breakthroughs. It means their theory could very well still be valid. The bad news is that they will probably have a somewhat lengthy battle to get that capital back to spend on real research. Uggghh.

      • julian

        strange how this guys who want to keep it so sealed put another company to conduct trials for them, isn’t it? wouldn’t be safer if they had all the control, I mean, if they’ve been so openly concerned about their technology, why to put it in other hands? it is so strange, even more for being about Follica… and as always, mouths will keep shut.

    • julian

      for me it means they’re so careful as they’ve seemed. I almost like it, you know. They’ve been so closed to us, never giving a statement, that it serves them well. Good to know somebody cheated them. They deserve it!!

      • julian

        only it is really strange for a control freak as they seem to be, to let another company have their trials.. this is very odd for me.

  • McJ

    Yep – I think it’s them. ‘disappointed’ – you got any thoughts on this?

    • julian

      it’s bad news, or at best it isn’t the news we wait for.

    • disappointed

      I scrolled down a little but confused about what you’re referring to. Is this some news regarding Follica?

      • McJ

        Yeah, what ‘herzog’ said down below. Still not too sure how it’ll affect them in the long run and I guess there’s unlikely to be an official statement from Follica and how it potentially affected them. If you read the entire article on Fiercebiotech, they’re mentioned.

  • McJ

    I’m not too sure what we can garner from this – Follica must have been doing human trials in the US or Canda I suppose. When is the big question there too. (How did they keep that quiet for one thing?) From reading the article properly it seems a lot of test subjects are getting screwed out of money owed to them as well as staff. Plus some of the pharma companies too.

    It’s not like Follica were the only ones being screwed by these guys – GSK and Merck are pretty big and they got fooled too. I’m intrigued by John Carroll’s use of the term ‘little’ with regards to Follica – ‘little Follica’. I wonder did he mean anything by that.

    After all John Carroll was the only journalist who bothered to mention Follica when every other journo was going ape over Cotsarelis and PDG2.

    • disappointed

      Could you post the link? Not sure what you’re talking about.

      • McJ

        Can’t – Xconomy haven’t fixed their comments to allow links again – Go to Fiercebiotech and the headline;

        ‘PRACS’ CRO implosion leaves a Who’s Who of biopharma creditors in its wake’

        Alternatively just google the headline.

        • disappointed

          So aside from overactive imaginations, why is this the end of the world? Yes, guess what, I’ve been in bio R&D for almost 20 years. You know which people don’t often pay their bills on time? Biologists. Private or academic it doesn’t matter. I was at high profile universities where I’d place an order and it wouldn’t go through. The reason was that a company (or two or three) would put a freeze on orders from an entire department at times, until accounting cut checks for those companies. I just saw a news story yesterday about benefits due to war veterans where the paper trail (yes, they still use paper) won’t be caught up until 2015.

          Way way way too early to speculate that 100% of trials conducted by Follica were outsourced to just this one contract research organization (CRO). By the way, this is why service models for companies (e.g. hair restoration) sucks… it’s a bastard to ultimately collect payment while the daily overhead costs of salaries, utilities, etc. barrel ahead.
          Calm down!

          • McJ

            Perspective – thank you! What did you make of the ‘little Follica’ comment? Or is there anything to make of it? Reading too much into it possibly.

          • McJ

            Just to clarify, ‘little Follica’ was the way John Carroll in the Fiercebiotech article described them.

          • disappointed

            Yes, it was just his choice of words. Odd but I know of startups that started with 5-6 people and after several years ramped up to more people with multiple locations. As someone in the field I’d say to John Carroll – let’s see you do better, dude. Even the most inexperienced technician at Follica is going to have far more useful skills than an online journalist. In the end I’m sure he’d call it an off the cuff remark as a result of feeling a buddy-buddy familiarity with the company. Not very bright though if he’d like future start ups to open their doors for interviews.

            It sucks that any company had to stop working with a CRO they trusted (technicians ripping of their employers? that would be finding out some union members game the system….nah). In the end, they (the biotechs, pharma) probably had some indication that things were going to come to a grinding halt when the CRO put holds on new orders. Even if outsiders didn’t know there would be an abrupt shut down, it’s not like a CRO stays quiet for a year and then rings the company doorbell to present data three years later… there is constant back and forth.
            I’m off to review the data I just received from a CRO I’ve known and trusted for years! Sometimes it can be very difficult to find just the right place to source to.

          • McJ

            Cool, thanks for elaborating on that one. From the bits I’ve read, it seems PRACS had a bit of an iffy track record. They were formerly Cetero and they faked documents and manipulated lab samples back in 2010. They just re-branded themselves – unsuccessfully.

            But I suppose the main thing about all of this is nothing much has changed regarding Follica.

            To be fair to John Carroll though, he was pretty much the only journo when the Cotsarelis/PGD2 thing hit that brought up the whole -’hey, what happened Follica?’ I’m paraphrasing but he was pretty much the only one to bring that up.

    • curious

      This isn’t good news guys. The first thing we hear in 2 years is that the company that did the research for their trials was faking numbers is not good news. For those wondering why Follica outsourced their work is… well just that – they outsourced their studies… I’m almost positive that is not abnormal. So hypothetically Follica was receiving fake numbers but more importantly I’m surprised that everyone on here is still hung on Follica. I’m not saying that they are going to not make it but I think there are bigger/ better things in line that deserve more attention and that have provided numbers… maybe not your “break through” performance that you are looking for but something none the less.
      The question now we should be looking toward is that when a treatment like aderans or histogen come out and can hopefully halt hairloss in it’s tracks, would getting a hair implant being reasonable if that meant with these new treatments we wouldn’t need multiple transplants? What do you guys think about that?

      • julian

        But it sounds strange that a company which is so tight about their studies have outsourced them and to whom?!! If aderans or histogen or Replicel or whatever will come to aid hair transplantations only then we are really damned and advancement in hair science is in worse shape than it looks.

        • McJ

          I gotta be honest, I don’t really know what it means in the larger scheme of things. Other larger companies were involved and I’m sure they value a certain degree of secrecy too.

          We really need some actual reporting done on this with people who know this game inside out. Other than that, ‘disappointed’ seems pretty knowledgeable about these matters so I guess we can wait and see what he/she says.

          I seriously think that we’ll see something this decade but I don’t hold out a lot of hope for Histogen and certainly not Aderans. However lets see what their next set of results look like. Let’s not go nuclear just yet.

      • julian

        Excuse me but hair trasplant shouldn’t even be mentioned or thought of.. please!!!! it’s ridiculous!!!

    • julian

      I find it strange that, first, they pay for volunteers, I’d do it for free and I’m sure many guys would too. Secondly, paying a company to do their research, these guys that don’t let scape a fucking word about what they’re doing, never!! Couldn’t they do it by themselves? yes, it sounds that word little is a bit sarcastic. It started big and has got little. I don’t believe these guys have ever gotten some hair to grow. They’ve bullshitting us all this time.

  • Paporini

    Hey McJ… follica is dead.
    Cotsarelis last research about PGD2 shows it.

    • julian

      It’s really sad but you are probably right.

    • McJ

      Yep, you could be right. Not sure it would be because of PGD2 but you could be right. Things would maybe point in that direction if you chose to look at it that way. You could also be wrong. Just cause you say it’s so don’t make it true. I’ll hold out a glimmer (a real faint glimmer) of hope until I see some hard facts to the contrary.

  • Colt

    I realize that there is a lot of uncertainty about Follica and their progress. But I wanted to add that there is another group of people who could really benefit from their research- folks with excess hair. My niece struggles with this, and some type of treatment would really go a long way for people like her. I wish there was a way to just confirm that Follica is still in pursuit of its various projects! But I know i’m certainly not alone on that front. Anyways, sorry to derail the thread!

    • McJ

      I hear ya. Lot of folks with acne and the like too could do with something that doesn’t have the sometimes awful side effects of Accutane.

      So many potential avenues for that technology but we don’t even know if it works in humans. A little confirmation would go a long way but we are unlikely to get it. Can only keep our fingers crossed.

      • julian

        all that stuff makes me remember a Chris Rock joke where he says “doctors don’t cure nothing!! never.. last thing they cured was Polio and it was a hundred years ago!! if you rely in medicine to be cured you’re fucked!! they wont cure anything!!” it was something like that and it’s fun cause it’s so true!

  • Lurker
    • McJ

      That’s a great analogy;

      ‘It’s like throwing gasoline on your car and expecting it to go.’

      I hope Cots brings some good news to that Hair Conference thing in Edinburgh soon. Aren’t Latisse supposed to be releasing some results of their trial sometime soon also?

      • herzog

        Last we heard of Latisse was here. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01325337?term=allergan+alopecia+bimatoprost&rank=3

        Results could be announced any day or never. It’s hard to tell. Spencer Kobren at Bald Truth estimates it’s out by 11/13.

        As for Aderans, we don’t know if the current phase 2 is their last phase 2. That said, it should be finished around 9/13 based on when they enrolled on 9/12.

        • Shooter

          When did Spencer say that Bimatoprost would be out by the end of the year? Any truth to that you think?

          Also, the final Aderans trial only had a 6 month duration. Ended this month.

          Fingers crossed. I say this every time, but we chould use some good news.

          • herzog

            In one of his radio shows a few months back, he confidently said Latisse should be cleared for MPB use by end of 2013. I don’t think he was basing it only anything but a hunch, but he’s more educated than most. I believe it was his last podcast with the hair restoration doctor who’s been working in conjunction with Histogen. It wasn’t Gail Naughton. I forget the guys name.

            I can’t find this final Aderans trial. Do you have a link?

          • Shooter

            clinicaltrials.gov type in Aderans and then look for the trial that starts with a 6 I think

      • julian

        great analogy indeed!!

  • curious

    Meanwhile… Aderans is finishing up their last phase 2 trial (currently on the books) quietly.

  • Atticus

    Not sure if this is good or bad, but Replicel just announced this

    http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/replicel-announces-closing-private-placement-003400707.html

    • McJ

      Far from an expert opinion but these guys seem to be on the shakiest ground new treatment wise. Wasn’t there some dodgy dealings going on a lot of months back regarding stock price? I don’t know – someone else with more knowledge on Replicel should chime in.

      Here’s hoping that the conference in Edinburgh next month brings us some positive news from someone.

  • curious

    What happened here? This board used to provide actual, relevant information. Now it just feels dead.

    • herzog

      It is dead. That’s because there is no real news at all. Histogen, Replicel, Adrans, Allergan, S-Equol, even Follica…. none of the major players are showing any current signs of life. It’s pretty depressing to be honest.

  • McJ

    Yep, all quiet on the Western Front. There may be some news – and I suspect another potential list of long term hopes – next month in Edinburgh but it’s sadly quiet and sadder still, the longer we don’t hear anything from Follica, the more likely it is that things haven’t worked out.

    I think the long future is very positive but the nearer term is a bit cloudier.

    It’s coming up to 2000 comments on this one thread and I think perhaps it wouldn’t be unfair to call on Xconomy to at least say on this thread that they’ve asked for news or an update on Follica from Follica. It wouldn’t be much to just get some sort of comment.

    • gone with the wind

      here’s what he’ll say… bla bla bla bla bla… same as always… My hopes now go to Allergan and their Latisse version for the hair.

  • McJ

    Plus, who knows what Cots might produce in his presentation next month in Edinburgh so chins up for the time being. It’s not all doom and gloom. Just quiet.

    • Josh

      Follicabio is probably dead.
      But cotsarelis is not!
      I hope this PGD2 research bring something good for us in the future

  • Froggy

    Maybe some interesting news:

    April 09, 2013: Aderans Completes Acquisition of Hair Club, Expands Services in US Hair Replacement Market

    http://www.evaluategroup.com/Universal/View.aspx?type=Report&id={17487AD5-A6F8-4764-98F9-A587CE69719B}&params=%3CPARAMS%20currencyId=%220%22%3E%3CPARAM%20linkKind=%220%22%20compId=%22co_1%22%20itemId=%22r31000027%22%20/%3E%3C/PARAMS%3E&more=true#&&_ViewArgs={%22_EntityType%22%3a0%2c%22_Parameters%22%3a{%22_ContextData%22%3a%22{%22isEPVantage%22%3afalse%2c%22percentage%22%3a-1%2c%22searchWords%22%3a%22%22%2c%22sectionID%22%3a%22%22%2c%22storyID%22%3a412572%2c%22notSub%22%3afalse}%22}%2c%22_Type%22%3a1}

  • McJ

    Annoyingly Xconomy haven’t fixed their comment system to properly allow links so you should google;

    ‘the secret life of hair follicles, stanford’

    It’s the ‘scopeblog’ at Stanford.

    Really interesting study – could be huge for future treatments. Really wish all these hair scientist guys could band together and just come up with something. On the bright side, it’s great that we’re getting greater knowledge about all this. Only a matter of time.

  • julian

    “By promoting self-renewal of stem cells, this circuit maintains a healthy pool of bulge cells for repeated cycles of hair growth and regeneration. Each cycle of hair regeneration is initiated by the activation of this circuit in those bulge cells, and subsequent growth of the hair is sustained by the circuit in hair matrix cells. Besides hair regeneration, the circuit is triggered by skin injury to stimulate migration of the bulge cells to the wounded area to differentiate into epidermal cells, thereby regenerating epidermis over the wounded skin.”

    Good find McJ!! well well well… isn’t that what Follicabio is all about?? I think the pathway to a cure is this, it’s all in these codes between our cells so what we need now is a team of Math geniuses associated with these great biologists and we’ll get there.

    • McJ

      Here’s the thing, I emailed the doc involved and he very kindly replied to my question about whether or not he had aims to go into clinical trials.

      The big positive is that he certainly does want to develop the work to ‘clinical applications’ – He said something along the lines of ‘Stanford were marketing the work to investors presently about the findings and that he hoped to identify the funds for trials for a product for hairloss and wound repair.’

      Potentially really good news, right? The thing is though – and I didn’t say this because I’m sure he’s well aware of other research and other companies in the field looking for a viable treatment – wouldn’t it be more advantageous if folks like Dr Chang and Cotsarelis and Luis Garza teamed up?

      Perhaps ‘disappointed’ could chime in on this but is it too pie in the sky to think that these guys could get together with their findings and come up with something together faster than they would individually?

      I know Follica’s big aim was to get the best in their fields but we really don’t know where the hell they’re at and a lot of folks, perhaps rightly, assume they’ve failed.

      I get this sense that with all the recent research of the past few years that we’re damn close and the financial benefits of success would be so huge that having a bunch of different guys in the mix pooling resources would be worth it. Am I being too idealistic here?

  • ghy5
    • doctorscurenothing

      make some hair grow! that’s quite a challenge isn’t it? for Christ’s sake!!

    • desperate

      it shows some hair growth but not enough… why just some hair grows always, never a lot of??? except for mice. Why lashes grow thicker, hair in every part of our bodies never die, we die and they’re there, but where it’s most important and we most need it it is so fucking weak.. what a doom!!!!!!!! thou hair shalt not grow!!!

  • Whoop

    And another one down. It seems they just can’t get minor results into significant benefits. I see this is comment 2000. I wonder whether one of the next 2k will contain the news about a ‘cure’…

    • julian

      Meanwhile, stupid doctors keep getting rich doing ridiculous HTs which make a bald guy look a little less bald… Medicine is the slowest of sciences…

  • Jules

    Replicel is now developing a “new tendon repair tecnology”…

    It seems like they hair research isn´t working anymore.

  • McJ

    Well, now that we’ve gotten past that Space Odyssey number, how’s about a quick update on Follica, Xconomy? You know you want to.

    Small bit of news that I don’t think has been posted before – Mary Osbakken, Follica’s Chief Medical Officer, left in January of this year. Now I’m sure that will add further fuel to the ‘Follica is dead’ fire but it does say in her profile at Follica that she was involved in ‘Direct Clinical Trial activities’.

    So, what does that mean? And did Follica get a new Chief Medical Officer? Do they need one anymore? Are they still alive?? Who knows.

    Btw, that info came from Mary Osbakken’s LinkIned page. I’d post it but xconomy are still against links apparently.

    • julian

      I wish that was a sign that they’re getting ready finally for presenting a finished product that would soon be available and would be amazing… but these guys really have way past the point where credibility starts to get lost. I hope I’m just pessimistic but… where there’s smoke, there’s fire and we don’t see any smoke coming from their chimney.

  • Froggy

    Dr Cotsarelis will be at the 2013 World Congress for Hair Research in Edinburgh (Scotland)

    http://www.hair2013.org/programme.asp

    But accordingly to the programme there is nothing to expect.

  • doctorscurenothing

    And 15 years after finasteride, now we have: finasteride.

    • doctorscurenothing

      owww… and by the way, finasteride and minoxidil were discovered… by the way, by accident.. the best they and we’ve got was achieved not through study and knowledge of the matter but casually, while attempting to treat or cure other maladies. They don’t even today know exactly why minoxidil works…

    • pedrocape

      We have finasteride and some researches..

  • doctorscurenothing

    Any news about Edinburgh? any hairy mice again?

  • Froggy

    Aderans will be at another conference in Edinburgh just after the world congress for hair research:

    http://www.hairfoundation.org/blog/the-hair-foundation-and-the-7th-annual-world-congress-for-hair-research/

  • Vikki

    OK, it’s not helpful for hairloss sufferers, but they’ve figured out the cause of grey hair in humans, and how to fix it without dyes. It’s also useful in treating pigmentation disorders of the skin. Great that there’s so much research going on into hair-related matters, surely (hopeful as ever) it’s only a matter of time before a blockbuster find and treatment appears for baldness.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22431886

    • McJ

      Right on! I hope.

    • julian

      Great to know that!! that was awesome!!! fantastic!!!

  • curious

    Hey guys, I know this isn’t a chemical cure but has anybody been following the story on Dr. Wesley’s scarless hair transplant. The guy from the bald truth thinks that it might also be able a method to be able to regrow the donor as well, eliminating the concern of limited donor hair. Just the idea alone of having a surgery that will not have a visible scar (it would be a hidden scar) sounds like a step forward in that area. Apparently he is going to try to present at the hair conference or whatever it is.

    • ARtista

      Hello Curious , I am quite aware of Dr Wesley’s upcoming new ‘scar-less’ technique. In fact I am in contact with Dr Wesley. He WILL be at the October ISHRS Conference in San Francisco. At that particular conference he will present his methods outcomes. There are just a small number of people who are clued Into what this new science is able to do. It will POSSIBLY change the way HTs are performed and yes there is anecdotal evidence of re growth in the donor areas. Look forward to October guys and gals

      • curious

        Nice! Thanks for sharing. Looking at the discussion in other places and trying to understand the patent – it actually seems like a transplant that would be worth the money and risk if he is producing good results. My underlying issues with transplants really don’t stem from the cost (it is cosmetic surgery after all) but more with the scarring, quality of work and more importantly with the fact that it is only temporary for most (those who will continue to bald). As a person on this page I am not going to get myself into any current drug treatments: minox or fin, but I really think that buying an extra 10 years to give a full head of hair is worth it at this point with all of the new upcoming technology, especially if the scar can be hidden. I personally have a big 5 inch, ugly scar on my head from a fight I got into awhile back (still hurts every once in awhile like harry potter) and it doesn’t bother me at all (although it is currently covered up by hair, I used to buzz my head to a #2 for years where it was really visible) but the stigma of having a scar from a fight vs a scar or multiple little dot scars from a surgery is for some reason different. I guess purposely adding a visible scar to my head does not sound attractive. Either way, I’m excited to see what Wesley presents.

        • julian

          The scar is only visible if you shave your hair.. That’s the least of the problens, nor is it the surgery itself… the problem with HTs in my opinion is the result, too little hair for to much money. You’ll only get a little more hair cause the donor area is limited. I tell you, I’ve never seen a guy who has done a HT that I’d like the result. Something is wrong always. It’s a pity that still today there’s nothing to replace them… maybe Replicel or Aderans someday will change this reality.

      • julian

        how is that possible???

        • curious

          scarless just means hidden scar… there is still a scar. my guess is that the scar would be smaller and probably placed near the ear. As well, my guess is that they would go through the same spot if you were to have multiple surgeries so you would never have additional scars (or maybe one on both side if it was necessary, total of two). It will be interesting to see the data he presents and how the tissue below the skin is effected and if indeed that tissue is turning into scar but not visible since below the surface.

  • Aleluia

    Hello Dear friends…

    Some news to you:

    Scientists at cosmetic company L’Oreal claim to have invented the first
    product which can acually “reawaken” dormant hair cells and allow them to
    grow back.

    (…)After 90 days researchers claim that the liquid “Kérastase Densifique”, when
    applied to the roots, can promote the growth of more than 1500 new hairs.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10036882/Breakthrough-hair-loss-product-works-on-stem-cells.html
    Let´s pray for it!!!

    • julian

      BS!! my friend, don’t be cheated. I’ve tried Neogenic, which they claimed would do the same thing and the only thing it will do to your hairs is wetting them. You’ll will not grow any hair, not one new one!!! Nor it will thicken or strengthen what you’ve got. It’s the same BS and this company, no matter how big it is or important, is not to be trusted. A bunch of charlatans!!! Not serious stuff!!!! do not be cheated!!! it’s very expensive and it is useless, I tested it!!! Forget about it!!!

      • aleluia

        It´s good to know, thanks for sharing julian

    • Vikki

      I’d love to believe this was a useful product, but there’s no scientific data here, only quotes from a hairdresser and employees of the manufacturer. In the article, it also says (almost in the same breath) that it’s an, “astonishing technological breakthrough”, and that it, “was found to increase hair density by up to four per cent”.

      Even if true, 4% won’t make much difference to most hairloss sufferers. It’s not my area of science, but I wouldn’t be all that surprised if hair density can vary naturally over time by a margin of +/- 4%, or even more. Which wouldn mean that they haven’t actually proved the product has any effect at all except to lighten your wallet.

      • julian

        That’s it!! well put…

  • McJ

    On the trademarkia site, Follica had some activity on the 22nd of March of this year. Not much but it’s something. I’d link it but for some reason, I can’t do it. Aleluia or Vikki, can you help me out as you obviously have no trouble posting links. Have had trouble posting links for a while now on this page.

    • Aleluia
      • McJ

        Yeah, that’s it. Clicking on the Follica link will take you to a page where it says they have their ‘fourth extension – Granted’ on 3/22/2013. I trying to link that but i still can’t. Thanks for posting.

        • Vikki

          Good find McJ. Not sure what it means, if anything, but interesting. They obviously have IP worth protecting if they’re continuing to spend money and protect trademarks, etc.

          • McJ

            Yeah, I’ve no idea what it means either but it’s a sign of… some sort of life at least. To be honest, in the relatively near term, there doesn’t appear to be too much. I mean, Histogen look to be, if all goes well, maybe hitting the US and Europe in 2016. Big maybe.

            As Follica are so secretive, you can’t really know where they’re at so we can always hope they’re closer than anybody else. Slim hope but it’s better than nothing.

          • disappointed

            Unfortunately, it doesn’t say much at all. It’s a sign they(Follica) are paying their utilities. These things are on auto pilot, they have a notice that they have to pay up or basically open the opportunity for me or you or anyone else to buy up the trademark Follica. Even if 1/2 the employees were to be let go next week they’d cover this minor (yet somewhat essential) fee.

          • McJ

            Dang. Thanks for that though.

            Did you see the Stanford University study recently? An article called ‘The Secret Life of Hair Follicles’ detailed the research? I’d post the link but for some reason, I can’t post links on this. Other folks seem to have no problem with it though.

            I was just wondering what your thoughts on it were.

          • McJ
          • htdoctorshater

            that is the track, not very expensive scar-less HTs… see what I mean?

          • disappointed

            Unfortunately this is not something that necessarily will translate to therapy anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to add to the basic pool of knowledge but there’s no clear translation to a product. I haven’t seen the primary publication so I’m going out on a limb here….unless this research group has a specific cell type to target, a drug and a means to deliver it doesn’t affect the current situation.

          • McJ

            I see. Well, I did get an email response from the guy involved and he basically said that he certainly intends to go to clinical trials with this and that Stanford were currently shopping the research around to potential investors.

            This came out today -

            http://io9.com/scientists-use-cloning-to-create-embryonic-stem-cells-507561479

            I know we’re a ways off from it being in the clinic but it’s still pretty impressive. There’s a real momentum, it seems, at the minute with all these latest findings. There were also some fascinating articles about 3-D printers recently.

  • Curious

    Artista, I saw your comment on another site saying you got to speak directly with Dr. Wesley. Your excitement on that site gives me much hope. Thanks for sharing.

    • Artista

      Hi Curious! (hi everyone)
      Thanks for bringing this topic up.
      Dr Wesley was VERY gracious to include me into that same power point presentation of his Pilofocus ‘scar-less’ technique as he has done with Spencer Kobren of TBT as well as a number of Doctors.
      Those doctors and Kobren were also blown away by this.

      I promised Dr Wesley that I would not talk about the specifics due to certain legalities but he
      did allow me to let you all know of our discussion.I am
      completely and truly IMPRESSED with this upcoming procedure guys . This WILL BE a ‘Game Changer’ .
      There is no doubt in my mind of that .
      When you all see the public presentation in October you will agree.
      It is impressive and its an exciting new method for hair restoration!
      (Exciting for those of us who SUFFER from hair loss )
      Dr Wesley has been passionately working on this since late 2007.

      • htdoctorshater

        Unless he is able to create new hair follicles, I’m not impressed at all. I continue to think that the scar is a minor problem in HTs. I really don’t see why so much excitement about that.

      • herzog

        You sound like a plant. HT doctors are butchers. This technique doesn’t sound interesting at all. Make new follicles or go away. If Kobren is so blown away by this, go sell it on his site.
        Kobren was convinced Allergan’s Bimatoprost would be out by end of this year. They just reported complete failure.

        • ZZ

          I don’t know anything about Dr. Wesley and an HT isn’t in my game plan but I know Artista well and if there is one thing I can be certain about it is that Artista is not a plant!

          • herzog

            Oh shoot. Didn’t realize it was Artista. Sorry man! I’m actually a big fan of your work. Carry on.

          • Artista

            Hi Herzog, its OK bro ,,thank you for the retraction.
            I know that there are plenty of scammers and plants out there- they create a lot of frustration in ALL OF US..
            I do have a % of guilt though,for not being as active here as I had been in the early days along with the rest of you.
            Just to expand a little,
            I was not trying to promote Dr Wesley, I wanted to share my excitement over what I have recently witnessed in re to a new innovative (& potentially ground breaking) hair restoration technique.
            ‘Curious’ had noticed my posting at the other site on this and was ..curious (lol) so here I am.
            I also understand ‘Vin Diesel’s’ & ‘htdoctorshater’s’ points of view.
            Re-wakening/regenerating our hair follicles would be the ultimate CURE! I know HTs/Fin’/hair pieces etc. are not for everyone, but for some they are.
            We all, individually, have to do whatever it is we can to ‘get by’ until a REAL treatment is made available.
            Which will happen brothers.
            I have to say this once more about that upcoming ‘scar-less’ technique (PIlofocus).., just wait until all of you actually SEE what I saw in that extended and very thorough presentation. You will then fully understand why I have been so excited.and .by the way, I still am. I certainly feel that I was fortunate to have made the connection with Dr Wesley.
            He is a very sincere guy and he is committed to this.
            ZZ, thanks for your comment. Ill try to be more often guys…Xconomy’s updated format is …’different’.

          • htdoctorshater

            I think it should be obvious to anyone why a hair transplant doesn’t work. For me one has hair or is bald. Just like blacks and whites. There’s no a little bald in my opinion. The best a hair transplant can do is making a bald guy looks less bald, or a little bald a the most… he’ll continue to be bald for me. He will continue having thin hair which doesn’t look any goog too. He will pay a fortune to stay the same.. a bald guy, or almost bald if you prefer.. you see? that’s why I hate HTs and I hate even more the doctors who do them, no matter how good or state of the art they are, I HATE THEM!!!

          • Curious

            Hey HT,

            I just want to add a note to what you are saying. I agree with you. If someone is passed a norwood 4 or 5 they are most likely going to be “less bald” as you say but it also depends on the person. A lot of celebs, which are easy to access, have had work done that looks great, restoring a significant amount of hair. Yes those procedures cost a lot, require medical down time to heal and leave obvious scars. The procedure is also limited by the number of follicles you already have. But I say we are at a turning point for hair restoration altogether which leaves most of us at an interesting point in time. We are in the midst of scientific breakthroughs whether it be hair multiplication, a new treatment that halts your hairloss with minimal treatments as well as the ability to grow back some of your hair through other non-time-consuming treatments. We are at a turning point or soon to be. Nothing is guaranteed but with more than one company on the brink of going into phase 3 trials we have a lot of hope. But of course things take time and we don’t have the “ultimate solution”. What we have are a number of solutions that could potentially get back your hair along with maintaining for little to no side effects. Yes it is going to cost you an arm and a leg but that was to be expected either way. So I pose this question to you: If you could get an HT to restore what you can now with a minimally visible scarring/ or a scar that has been strategically placed to not attract attention knowing that there will be major scientific advancements in the next 5 years that will allow us to at the very least maintain or even grow some hair back with minimal upkeep would you do it? Would you combine the solutions we have now to not have the “ultimate solution” but ultimately have your hair back? We have to stop looking at things in a negative light. Stop thinking Aderans failed because they didn’t grow a whole head of hair in a night. Aderans succeeded at creating a treatment that only had to be done a single time to achieve the same effects as minox or fin, without the sides! That is a win for us. On top of that they are looking at compoundable treatments. Who knows… they might have better results. In fact, I’d put money on them having better results. Be positive man. There are many solutions to this problem and sometimes it takes more than one method to solve the problem. I still want people to understand the complications of growing back hair with a drug/ treatment that isn’t an HT super fast (in under a year). That treatment is likely going to be hard to control… I’m thinking hair down to your eyebrows. You feel like a freak without hair right now? Think about actually being a freak where you have hyperactive hair follicles. We need patience and understanding. I still say… a treatment over 3 years to get back what I lost over 5 would be ideal for me… seeing new hair grow back in every year would be like growing confidence.

          • htdoctorshater

            I see what you mean but, dude, frankly, hair transplants are ridiculous, I’ve seen a lot of them, I’m sorry.. they are!! I’d would pay a fortune to get my hair back, all of it, not just some.. I’m sorry. It just looks to me that thin hair is worse than baldy… I prefer looking fucked than looking that I’m getting fucked.. Something should be really effective by now, or near now. It’s unbelievable that this curse persists… there’ve been so much advancement everywhere but with medicine is always this endless shit. Sorry, but hair transplants NO!!! I don’t want to move my hair from a place to another… that’s is RIDICULOUS!!!! sorry…

        • curious

          Yeah… the reason it even peaked my interest is because Artista is excited about it. To make it more interesting there is suggestions of hair multiplication with this technique. Of course this is all just hearsay and we still need proof.

      • vin diesel

        With all respect Artista, I agree with others. Re-wake follicles or go home Dr Wesley.

  • McJ

    Daphne Zohar is at this speaking about ‘cultivating breakthrough innovations’;

    http://www.convergenceforum.com/agendaeast.html

    Also of possible interest is a discussion of the future of drug/device combinations by Robert Langer – some of you may remember that Follica was working on a drug/device system. Highly unlikely that we’ll hear anything Follica related but I’d love to know if we’ll get any news about the ‘breakthrough innovation’ that is/was Follica.

    • herzog

      Good find! Hopefully we can keep an eye on that. Savvy iReporters take notice…

      • Artista

        I agree, and thanks McJ for posting this one

  • Aleluia

    Well… follica´s website has changed today.

    They have updated the info about the team.

    Maybe it´s a sign that they´re still working.

    • McJ

      Nice spot. It seems to have completely removed the ‘executive team’ section. I wonder what the point in that was? Seems a bit odd. I’d be more encouraged if they’d updated their news section though!

      • julian

        Well, they’ve remained so silent forever that any change showed deserves to be celebrated.. I think we could open a bottle of champagne for that, folks..

  • McJ

    Ok, this is scraping the bottom of the barrel a little bit but here goes. As Aleluia pointed out Follica recently updated their site. They basically did away with their Board of Directors and Executive Team sections and combined it into ‘Team and Advisors’.

    As has been pointed out, some folks have already left Follica in the past year or so – mostly those that were on the Executive Team. However Chris Ehrlich, a member on Follica’s board of directors also appears to have left.

    Likely not that big of a deal – I think he was there on the Interwest Partners side of things. However he gave an interview to the WSJ at the start of this year;

    http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2013/01/02/vc-in-2013-interwests-chris-ehrlich-on-why-life-sciences-is-a-great-place-to-invest/

    The point of interest is his answer to what he sees as the biggest investment opportunity for VC in 2013. Now this is quite specific;

    ‘drugs and devices that optimize wellness and appearances, such as obesity reduction and hair growth’.

    Like I said, this is reaching quite a bit but if there was someone who had inside knowledge, it might be him.

    • McJ

      This may have been mentioned before but here goes;

      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jennifer-marmion/52/1b6/b5?trk=pub-pbmap

      Another research associate who left in 2012 but perhaps the most interesting part is;

      ‘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’

      Nothing especially new but at least we know there have been 3 clinical trials.

      • disappointed

        Not much, sorry. Any venture capitalist is going to emphasize what is right in front of them. As a matter of fact, that VC likely would be in way over his head if he sat in on a conversation between two Follica scientists. When it comes to the quote about what to invest in, he’s not going to emphasize DNA based diagnostic testing (which is taking off), but what he is invested in. Until Follica shares information, and it’s their right not to, looking at LinkedIn won’t do it. I could make assumptions, that she was performing a more managerial role, away from the bench (‘lab coordinator, writing SOPs, etc’) and that when money gets tighter and the R&D group decreases in size those are the ones to go. Or, that she was nearing the four year mark of her stock vesting, sold a lot of it back the company for tiny profit, was bored with the place and figured she’d move on the next thing.

        Not worth the anxiety trying to guess all this. More constructive might be scanning clinicaltrials.gov to see if any news on the Follica work, though could take a while to locate.

        • McJ

          Ah, I see. Yeah I was reaching somewhat there. Good insight as always – thanks for that.

          I suppose we were possibly getting a bit over-excited about the slight change to their website. I think at this point, what with a lack of anything realistically coming in the near term, Follica are perhaps a small but only hope of something in the near term. Seeing as they release very little information, I almost feel better about them than I do about say, Histogen. And they would appear to be, according to their timeline, the closest we have to something in the near term. Barring a miracle discovery that can come quickly to market of course.

          We return to the waiting game! Again.

          • julian

            that’s true. Since they never say nothing it’s still the same. On the other hand, Histogen and others who never shut up start to lose credit for becoming silent suddenly… That’s a good behavior indeed, only speak when it’s time.. Follica is right in the end, I suppose.

  • Curious

    Wow guys… I just watched Aderan’s presentation again from “meeting on the mesa” and really I think the results are amazing. If the treatment and results are compoundable I really think we have something special. I know Aderans gets dogged because it is said to only have a 60% response rate but that’s only with one injection. Based on common logic the results and response rate should increase with compounded injections. If that is the case… Aderans will be special. Sorry for old news but this forum has gone quite.

    • Aleluia

      We hope so.

  • McJ

    http://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/11/6/1783

    Another study – are marine related drugs the answer? I know, slow news year.

  • McJ

    Also, here’s an interview with Vera Price from 2011;

    http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-feature-articles/dermatologist-strives-stimula?id=&sk=&date=&%09%09%09&pageID=2

    I think most folks are probably sick of the old 5-10 years guesstimate but if you’re feeling not especially cynical, she says this much;

    ‘We are working with stem cells in the hair follicle and forming new hair follicles, contradicting the old dogma that we are born with all our hair follicles and new ones cannot be formed. I think the treatment of hair loss problems will be very different in the next five to 10 years,” Dr. Price says.’

    That’s possibly a reference to her work with Follica but so far as I’m aware, Vera Price hasn’t been one to throw out numbers in the past so we can at least hope that she isn’t basing this on the usual bullsh#t guesses. It’s true what she says at the end of the article though, a nobel prize beckons for whoever cracks this as well as a Titanic load of money.

    • Curious

      Why does Follica continue to be the main topic? I know that their studies were very interesting when they started and it may be possible that they are still alive but until we have news is this the company to follow while there is so much info and studies that have come out from other companies. I’m not trying to be negative but I just think that there are better conversations to be had rather than beating a dead horse.

      • McJ

        Hate to point out the obvious but the title of the article we comment on has ‘Follica’ in it and unless you’re privy to some inside info, I’m not sure you can say Follica is a ‘dead horse’. I could throw those accusations at Histogen or Aderans too cause we haven’t seen anything approaching a viable treatment from them yet. We just get dates and estimates and they haven’t even hit phase III yet. That wouldn’t be very constructive though.

        I’m all for other future treatments being discussed and as far as I know, all options including Follica are still on the table. Quite frankly, I don’t care who gets there first, just so long as someone gets there – ‘there’ being a viable and cosmetically acceptable treatment.

        • Curious

          I agree with you and I’m not saying Follica is dead. I also think you would have a hard time arguing that Histogen and Aderans are dead considering they recently (within the last 6 months) put out new information. Aderans also recently completed their phase 2 trials last month. By beating a dead horse I mean continuing the conversation whether Follica is dead or not. The answer is we don’t know and they haven’t given any information out. It is exhausting to sit to read articles and nit pick if a scientist or board member of Follica is doing this that or the other and whether that means Follica is alive or not. There are better conversations to be had and as I see it: if a company doesn’t release any information then that means there is no additional information, so what is there to discuss? I feel like we are shuffling our feet, giving each other nods with our heads down and murmuring “yep” and “uh huh” about whether Follica… it just doesn’t lead to any real news or interesting conversation.

          • McJ

            That’s a fair point. At the same time, I’m not sure I’m terribly worked up about Aderans. Ditto Histogen. I hope they do well and crack this thing but I’m not terribly optimistic about either of them. The proof for me, with both of those companies, will be a before and after picture that changes the game in our favour. Particularly with Aderans, I’m disappointed they haven’t shown us anything like that yet. But let’s wait and see what updates they give. Aren’t Histogen supposed to be showing something soon?

          • Curious

            I’m not trying to promote anyone in particular. I like to take things realistically how they come, have hope and discuss. With that I’m not terribly excited about anything right now… when we hit phase 3 with any company then I will start getting excited and even then I will have doubts. As far as information from Aderans, have you seen the “meeting on the mesa” video? They have images and they have people growing visible hair. It’s not a full head of hair and from only one injection they aren’t changing norwoods but it is definitely notable. I have no clue about Histogen but I know the ISHRS (or whatever the acronym is) is going to have some good presentations this fall. Honestly… in my mind everyone should be showing something soon though but that is wishful thinking.

          • McJ

            Yeah I’ve seen the video. Histogen seem to be able to do that too. Thankfully, science seems to be able to grow hair but it’s getting it to last, be consistent and cosmetically viable is the real trick. I’m pretty hopeful about the future. But not so much in the short term, in the sense of us getting a treatment in the next few years. Boy, do I hope I’m wrong though!

          • Curious

            I hear you. Personally I see Aderans and Histogen on the same playing field, which really is just a step above what we have now but I really like where the future is headed. As I’ve tried to state before, I don’t think the “cure” is coming anytime soon either but I do think that “cures” are coming. I know people object to HTs and I probably will never get one but I do think that if Aderans really holds hair for a year (which is what their data is showing), that is huge. For those of use who aren’t at NW5 (NW 4 or above), a combination of a treatment like Aderans, Histogen or any new treatment that helps hold what you have and an HT (maybe even scarless soon) will be an actual solution to hold on to what you’ve got and redistribute some of those follicles to cover up what you lost… and in turn might be enough to hold you over until the “cure” comes around. Also the idea of unlimited donor hair has started to become a real conversation (although I think that is far off as well). Of course this is all going to cost money but this isn’t going to be free… whether it is the “cure” or a patchwork of techniques to solve your problem. PS McJ, I don’t want you to think that I have anything against Follica… the more treatments the better in my opinion (pick your own poison). The conversation on Follica just hasn’t moved anywhere within the last 2 years. I hope they come out with some miraculous solutions and surprise everyone but I think there is way too much going on to sit focus on a company that has literally said nothing for years now. Let’s hope they are playing their mysterious, illusive selves but focus on the info we are actually receiving.

          • McJ

            No, not at all, I see your point. That’s a pretty pragmatic approach. Hoping for a surprise with Follica but who knows what the future will bring. Yeah, the actual ‘cure’ is probably a ways off but treatments that can give you your hair back for a few years or more really do seem around the corner. The sucky part is having to wait but there’s no doubt it would be wise to start saving now. When it hits, it’ll be costly.

  • McJ
    • herzog

      This is the same info we got back in October, no?

      • McJ

        I don’t think so. This is new so far as I know.

    • Curious

      Yeah, this looks identical to the old one they released awhile back.

  • McJ

    Ok, one semi-interesting thing and one very interesting thing;

    Follica appear to have a new member – Gwill York. Not on the science end but on the financial end of things. Lighthouse Capital Partners. The name doesn’t pop up in relation to Follica’s past fund raising efforts so have they possibly gotten some more money that we didn’t hear about?

    Second bit of news is George Cotsarelis related but with info that very much seems to point to Follica if I’m not mistaken;

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-06-growth-factor-responsible-triggering-hair.html

    Isn’t this kinda what Follica were doing? Either way, it’s more info and that can only be a good thing.

  • McJ

    A little more info and this time with specific reference to Follica;

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/uops-gfr053113.php

    • Curious

      Grasping at straws. Doesn’t really reference Follica outside of stating the Cots is on the advisory board.

      • McJ

        Bit more specific than that in relation to what the article is actually saying with regards to fgf9;

        ‘Cotsarelis, Ito and Kwon are listed as inventors on patent applications related to hair-follicle neogenesis, Wnt and FGF9, which are owned by the University of Pennsylvania.’

  • McJ
  • McJ
  • McJ

    Choice sentence from all of that;

    ‘The company has run a series of human clinical trials, including a Phase IIa trial, which have demonstrated follicular neogenesis in humans for the first time.’

    C’mon, Xconomy, you’re bound to have some exclusive insight into this. This is good news.Same press release just appeared in the Wall Street Journal;

    http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130603-906080.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  • Ben_Fidler

    Hey guys, just wanted to give you guys a heads up that we did just post something on this – http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2013/06/03/hair-raising-follica-study-could-point-to-baldness-therapy/

  • McJ
  • Pingback: Hair-Raising Follica Study Could Point to Baldness Therapy | Xconomy

  • Curious

    Hey McJ, That is great news! For some reason (new Follica news) your recent posts on Follica seem to make sense now! What I understand from this is that their original trials failed to meet expectations. But the good news it that they seem to have found a protein or drug that helps create the protein that is necessary in creating hair follicles. My guess is the study they have done isn’t that big but if they are truly creating new follicles, even in small studies, that is great news.