Updated on February 6, 2017
2016: A Year in Review
It does not feel that long ago that I wrote the article 2016: A Look Ahead, but just like that here I am bringing a recap of a rather exciting year in the hair growth industry.
To start, let’s review what I highlighted in the original “2016 look ahead” post.
- Samumed’s Phase II results – The results did not actually blow the door off the hinges, however they were positive. This treatment grows hair. Since the time that the initial phase II results were announced, Samumed has also completed another phase II trial which involved taking a biopsy of the scalp to observe how the drug was working in the tissue. So, where does that leave everything now? Well, Samumed has a decision to make. That decision is whether they believe this treatment is worth going into a phase III trial for commercial approval. Hopefully the biopsy study has given them some insight as to how to improve the efficacy of their compound.
- Shiseido Trial in Japan – The big announcement finally showed up this past July. Shiseido received approval by the regulatory authorities of Japan to initiate their trial of RCH-01. The trials are being done at the Tokyo Medical University Hospital and Toho University Ohasi Medical Center. We look forward to hearing updates from Shiseido in 2017.
- Histogen Trial – We did not get any official word about Histogen initiating a trial this year, though they did make several business transactions to help further the development of their HSC product. Now, both China and Mexico are potential landing spots for HSC commercialization.
- Follicum Phase I Trial – The first half of Follicum’s phase I/IIa began back in January, with the second half commencing in September. Follicum recently announced that the phase I/IIa study will be completed in January 2017. Follicum’s lead drug candidate, FOL- 005, is interesting in the fact that it has the ability to both stimulate hair growth as well as inhibit hair growth. Jan Allenfall of Follicum mentioned in a press release that he believes the initial clinical trial of FOL- 005 would produce hair inhibition. I’m sure that this crowd is more interested in the hair stimulation bit. Nonetheless, I believe Follicum has a savvy plan moving forward and we hope to hear about the results of this peptide getting hair to sprout.
- Dermal Papilla Cell Culturing Trial – This long-lived and mysterious trial is set to finally be completed next month. There has been no word on whether the results will be released, but rest assured if they are I will give you all an update. The methods involved in this trial were derived from the research of Dr. Colin Jahoda, hair follicle Jedi master. Word on the street is that he is looking to get his work into the clinical setting soon and I will have more on that in the upcoming “2017 look ahead” post.
- The Wildcard – In the original “look ahead” counterpart to this post I created a category for those discoveries that seem to come out of nowhere and surprise us (delight us). It’s good to leave room for something along the lines of a miracle to happen in the hair growth industry world. The announcement of a cosmetic topical that “produces legitimate hair growth and will be out on the market by the end of July”, or something to that effect. Well, in 2016 we had a flash of just that, a wildcard. It came be to known as the “Brotzu lotion.” The Brotzu lotion is currently being trialed in Italy as a cosmetic and it is likely that that trial should be winding up soon. I will update on its progress as soon as information becomes available. I have a feeling 2017 will be another fortunate year for wildcards. Stay tuned.
2016 was really a good year for us all. Some other excellent accomplishments were:
- Aclaris Therapeutics acquired JAK inhibitor IP to be trialed for use in AGA.
- RiverTown Therpeutic’s wonder drug RT1640 was announced to regenerate and restore pigment to follicles.
- Tsuji/Organ Technologies announced they will embark on a revolutionary hair growth venture aimed at a 2020 release.
- New Follica website and unveiling of a clinical treatment to be coupled with at-home treatment regimen.
- Kythera Biopharmaceuticals embarked on its phase IIa study for Setipiprant as an oral hair-loss prevention treatment.
- HairCell announced it will initiate a trial for hair growth using a bio-electric stimulation device with growth factor pump delivery.
- Clinica CFS reported an average of 82% donor hair regeneration while testing its ‘Stem Cell Transfer’ hair transplant method.
- HairClone announced a new plan to revolutionize the process of cellular hair growth treatment commercialization.
- Kelopesia was announced as a potential game changing topical cosmetic from Yeditepe University.
Wow, looking back on all of these developments I realize how much of a monster year 2016 really was for us. I have heard people say it in comments before, and I will reiterate it now, there has never been a time like there is now in the landscape of the hair growth industry. We have multiple cellular treatments being developed, JAK inhibitor drugs, a PGD2r antagonist, a topical peptide, a Wnt agonist, a wounding treatment with compounds, a bio-electric stimulation device, and much more. Multiple pathways and approaches are being addressed and the future looks bright. I bet your outlook has changed in just the past several sentences. 2016 was also a very nice year for me and I made some valuable friendships in the hair industry. I am grateful for those friendships and you know who you are.
Finally, looking ahead I will remark on a topic that I have spoken of in the past and that is gratitude. If you are looking for a way to improve your outcome of receiving one of these hair treatments then find gratitude now. Don’t wait until a treatment is in your hands to appreciate all of this work. As this post has illustrated there is a lot to be thankful for currently in the hair growth industry. Many people have taken the initiative to dedicate their lives to solving a problem that is perhaps extremely important to you. Take a moment to feel happy about it, say a prayer or whatever you do, write a company an email or a hand written letter to say thanks for what they are doing – let go of the question “when is it coming out?” When it comes out, you will be well aware of it. We are all anticipating that day when one of these new hair treatments is available for purchase. That day will come. And during this waiting process it is important to “recharge” our outlook and keep our perspectives healthy. This post was designed for that.
Until next time, Be well