Welcome to another edition of Weekly Thoughts. This week’s news consists of an update on Christiano’s cellular hair growth startup Rapunzel, some interesting tidbits on Histogen, and updates being made to the Ultimate Guide to Hair Regeneration 2016. Bonus news alert: I will also have an exclusive interview with one of the newer hair growth startups coming next week, stay tuned for that one. Before we get right into the news items I’d like to share with you all a website that a reader of this site named Beth has made in her own efforts to support new effective hair growth treatments coming to be. Please visit her site Hair Growth Campaign. Thank you all for your continued support.
Christiano Cultured in Hair Research
A little over a year ago we first got word that the Queen of Hair Growth Research (I’m giving her that title) , Dr Angela Christiano, was starting a new company named Rapunzel which would be aimed at cultured cellular injections for hair growth. That news was a big deal (in my opinion) because Christiano is one of the longest tenured hair follicle researchers in the world and she has done extensive research on cell culturing with hair follicle wizard Dr Colin Jahoda, who is probably the other longest tenured hair follicle researcher in the world. However, that blurb about Rapunzel was quickly overshadowed by Christiano making the headlines again for her research on JAK inhibitors inducing hair growth. Not too long after the JAK research was released we learned that Christiano had sold her company, which contained the IP on JAK inhibitors, Vixen, to Aclaris Therapeutics.
Ah, but what about that really cool sounding company Rapunzel? In an article published last Friday Christiano is talking about Rapunzel again and gives a small hint at what the treatment might be capable of. The article mentions that Christiano is working on 3-D cultured hair stem cells that are fed certain growth factors. Christiano had this one interesting quote to divulge about the research:
““Rat hair, that is — we can grow rat hair like it’s no tomorrow,….But we think we can do it with human hair, too.”
Sounds to me like Rapunzel is in preclinical stage and that this treatment will be done by injections. I mention injections because with the new Tsuji technology it’s not clear whether they will be administering simply injections or implanting follicle germs one-by-one. With a quick review back to the first article that mentions Rapunzel it sounds to me like this treatment will be injection only which is a more convenient method in my opinion.
Histogen Making Noise
Everyone’s favorite company to ask about, Histogen, has just issued a press release today detailing a new $6 million round of funding it secured from Huapont Life Sciences of China. Not only is this financially supportive to Histogen, the press release mentions that Huapont will be manufacturing and distributing Histogen’s lead hair growth product, Hair Stimulating Complex, in China. That’s pretty interesting. We have known for a while that Histogen has plans to roll out HSC in Mexico in 2017, and also has it’s sights set on releasing HSC in Japan as well. Now, they’ve got a partner in China. Things seem to be speeding up a bit lately.
Histogen will also be doing an interview with HLT to be posted within the next day or so.
Ultimately Getting There
A full update on the Ultimate Guide to Hair Regeneration 2016 will be done soon. I have begun the updates already and should be completed by the end of the week. There is a new treatment holding down the #3 spot on the guide, a treatment that is well known by you all. Check it out soon and see how the list pans out. There’s going to be about 4-5 companies making the list for the first time that have just popped up over the last 3 months or so.
Until next time, be well.