Updated on June 3, 2017
L’Oreal 3D Printing, Hope for AA, Stem Cell Transplants: Weekly Thoughts 10/10/16
Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Weekly Thoughts.
Things have been really busy in the hair world as of late, new companies are popping up all the time and companies that we have known about are finally making the announcements we want to hear. Lo and behold it’s almost been two months since the last edition of Weekly Thoughts due to all of the feature articles! Let’s get into some news from different sectors across the hair growth industry.
Cosmetic giant L’Oreal has announced that they are partnering with a French bio-printing company named Poietis to take on the monumental project of 3D printing human hair follicles. Poietis uses an advanced form of laser-printing cell-based materials which makes them an ideal partner for the task of hair follicle printing, which has not been attempted before. One of the advantages of laser bio-printing is that it does not involve “pushing” the cellular materials out through a nozzle, which is the approach taken by most of the rest of the industry. Through the laser technique, Poietis is able to print without putting additional stress on the cells which helps keep them intact. Initially, L’Oreal will be using the engineered follicles to test new potential hair growth compounds. This will provide L’Oreal with a safe and expedited approach to trialing new hair growth compounds. Here’s a look at Poietis’ very neat laser printing technology:
But will L’Oreal also attempt to mass breed hair follicles to create an unlimited donor supply for hair transplants? Yes, they will. No one knows how long that process could take, and it will definitely be some years before a potential treatment would be out on the market, but at least they are interested in that route. In the meantime, this could really boost L’Oreal’s efforts to put out a really good hair growth cosmetic and give them some extra insights as to exactly how these fascinating little hair follicles are created in our scalps. More on the subject here.
Love for the AA Crowd
News on alopecia areata treatments is not a common item on this blog, but I do like to support the crowd of people who deal with this autoimmune issue when I can. The drug ruxolitinib, a JAK inhibitor, showed up in the news again a few weeks ago for its use to regrow hair for people with AA. It is quite amazing just how much hair ruxolitinib is able to regrow for alopecia areata patients. This is the same drug that Dr Angela Christiano researched, along with tofacitinib, which caused a quite a stir last year in the online hair discussion world. The intellectual property from that research was eventually sold to Aclaris Therapeutics, who we know is pursuing clinical trials for the use of JAK inhibitors in treating alopecia areata, as well as common pattern hairloss.
A few weeks ago I debuted some impressive photo results of the pharmaceutical-in-training, RT1640. In my opinion, this treatment deserves more attention for the potential it brings to the table as a home-use hair regeneration treatment. After the original post, I noticed there were some speculative comments about the photos, which is not rare for the internet. So, I decided to run the photograph through a lighting filter to see if I could “shed some light” on the situation (ok sorry, but hopefully that made you laugh). There’s no two ways about it, this guy regrew a good amount of hair in the second photo. Keep in mind, these results came in at 3.5 months, imagine what they might look like after a full year…
Histogen is Coming to China
Histogen has offically agreed to license its hair growth product, HSC, to Pineworld Capital of China. Through this agreement Pineworld Capital will be commercializing HSC to the world’s largest national population of China. Pineworld is probably gonna get a few tourists to visit as well. Histogen will receive milestone payments on the sales of HSC from Pineworld Capital as part of the agreement. According to this article, Gail Naughton of Histogen is looking to go straight into phase III (final) trial for HSC approval in China.
Naughton also mentions that Histogen is considering going forward with a study for HSC as a preventative hair loss treatment for women undergoing chemotherapy.
Stem Cell Extraction in Spain
*Clinica CFS website changed their link urls since the publishing of this article.
For over a year now, the Clinica CFS hair transplant clinic in Spain, has been working on an innovative method of extracting follicle stem cells and re-implanting them into the scalp. The theory is similar in nature to the technique of Dr. Gho of the Netherlands. With very fine instruments, Clinica CFS will remove just the stem cells from a hair follicle and then implant those stem cells into the recipient area of a patient’s scalp. The proclaimed advantage of this procedure is that it does not damage or remove the donor hair follicle, as is the case with the more common FUE, and thus creates a virtual unlimited supply of donor hair. This is what they are aiming for, at least.
After a year’s wait the results are finally in from the first several patients that trialed this technique being dubbed “Stem Cell Transfer” by Clinica CFS. From three paitents the clinic reports an average of 82% total donor hair regeneration. That’s not bad.
During the Stem Cell Transfer procedure stem cells are extracted from all of the donor follicles. Clinica CFS reports that currently 50-60% of the extracted stem cells are producing hair growth in the recipient area, but hope to get that number up to about 90% after further development. Here’s some photo results of patient “Toni” who had 78.45% regeneration of his entire donor area. (link removed)
I’d say these results are quite interesting and I look forward to further updates from Clinica CFS on their SCT technique. It is great news that hair restoration is evolving at all levels. Salutations to all of the fine people across the world who are engaged in this work.
Until next time, be Well.