Updated on January 11, 2018
2018: Will It Bring A New Hair Cure?
A Happy New Year to all of you from Follicle Thought. I’ve always enjoyed doing the year ahead preview posts and this one is no exception. A new year does bring us new opportunities and should be a reason for renewed hope. This is also the first year since I’ve started Follicle Thought that a clinical stage treatment is (semi) scheduled for market release. That therapy and a potential marvel from Italy are at the top of the list for change this year. It’s no surprise they are the first two treatments from the Ultimate Guide to Hair Regeneration 2018.
The Top Prospects
Shiseido – RCH01
For several years now we have marveled at the prospect of RCH-01, Replicel’s hair growth therapy, being released to the Japanese market through Shiseido under Japan’s expedited regulations for cell therapies. The two companies agreed on a licensing deal back in July 2013. Now, to actually look at the calendar and see it says “2018” seems a bit euphoric. Don’t get it misconstrued, this technology still has a lot to prove. But, it is the closest we have been to seeing a next-gen hair growth treatment make it to consumer approval in the last 25 years. That’s a fact. The trial that Shiseido has been implementing for RCH-01 over the past 1.5 years serves as a proverbial “phase 3” trial, in which upon its success Shiseido has the opportunity to market the therapy to consumers while continuing to complete other larger clinical trials for RCH-01.
Here’s where RCH-01 stands, in a nutshell. Previously, the treatment had completed only one clinical trial all the way back in 2009 (wow, 2009?). The initial trial showed efficacy. Not a ton of efficacy, but efficacy. Multiple subjects received an improvement in hair density above 15%. At that time, Replicel noted that insufficient delivery and preservation methods of the cultured hair cells may have lead to diminished results in some of the trial subjects. Since then, the company has been working hard to improve many aspects of the product development to correct their mistakes. Subsequently, the trial with Shiseido launched around July 2016 and here we are. They had time to get it right and make improvements. I am confident that Shiseido administered this therapy efficiently in their trial, the only thing that remains to be seen is exactly what it’s really worth.The results from Shiseido this year are really everything you want to know…
You’ve heard of it. You’ve googled it. You’ve wondered how it’s pronounced. The lotion which originally spurred from a treatment for vascular disease in diabetes patients is as enigmatic as it gets in the hair game. But, we hope the mystery will come to an uplifting conclusion in 2018. According to Fidia Pharma, the Italian pharmaceutical company who acquired the rights to manufacture Dr. Brotzu’s formula, 2018 is very likely the year we get the Brotzu lotion.
The product is a thoughtful combination of three key ingredients to fight hair loss; an anti-inflammatory – Gamma Linolenic Acid, an anti-dht agent – ‘S-Equol’, and a metabolic enhancer – L-Carnitine. Their effectiveness is further enhanced by adding liposomes to the formula to increase scalp penetration. Various formulations of the product have been tested by Dr. Brotzu himself on patients with alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. One photo displayed by Brotzu at an alopecia areata conference shows significant reversal of AA in a young girl. We have been told that Fidia Pharma has conducted their own trials of the product over the past two years or so. Everyone is eager for updates from the company, but I’d like to take this time to remind people that flooding a company’s inbox is not an effective way to get more info about a product release. My final thoughts are: “it’s going to be weird when this product actually has a name.” 😉
While the two treatments listed above really do represent the greatest potential hair growth treatments that we have coming in 2018, here are some other worthwhile milestones slated for 2018:
- Setipiprant trial estimated to complete in June 2018. If it finishes on time, that would almost certainly lead to a data readout before year’s end.
- Follicum phase 2a trial on the scalp to begin in the first quarter of 2018 and read out data sometime later this year.
- PolarityTE and the results from their first applications on wound healing. The company’s platform is miraculously approved for use without going through the 3-phase clinical trial process. PolarityTE’s lead product candidate SkinTE is aimed at regenerating skin tissue. If initial results are successful they will also pursue a hair regeneration product. Data should come 1st quarter 2018.
- I would be remiss if I did not include our old friend, the Wild Card. For those new to this site, a “wild card” is a product that is announced unexpectedly with an imminent market release date. To be considered a real wild card, the product/treatment has to be legitimate. Truth is, there’s always a few companies shuffling their deck of Uno.
Until next time, Be well.