I’m very happy to be bringing you all an incredible exclusive on Follicle Thought. This week David Weinstein, MD, PhD of RiverTown Therapeutics Inc. reached out to me to share some amazing photo results of his new compound RT1640. Below you will find photographs of a 60+ year old woman and a 42 year old man that received the RT1640 treatment. Both of these results came within 4 months of trialing the compound. Very impressive.
Worth a Thousand Words
I knew that if the photographs showed that much hair regrowth then the result must have been even more impressive in real life. David confirmed this to me when he remarked “both the man and the woman are ecstatic with their results.” I believe it.
With landmark results like these I knew the interest in RT1640 would be sky-high. To give you a greater picture of what’s going on at RiverTown Therapeutics Inc. I asked David to answer a few questions for the article. This is a brief interview, but all of the information is there and you will be surprised by what you read probably more than once.
Interview with David Weinstein MD PhD
FT: Can you tell us about your background in biotechnology and what lead you to hair growth research?
DW: RiverTown Therapeutics Inc. is my third biotech start-up. I enjoy building things. This includes building companies and building therapeutics. My other companies have been in the area of neurology and neuro-regeneration, which is in keeping with my professional training. I came to hair regeneration through a combination of curiosity and vanity. I lost a good deal of my hair precipitously and didn’t care for how I looked. My attitude when confronted with a problem is to think about the cause and the ways to address the problem. I needed to learn about hair, and especially about androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). I spent a day or so with my good friend, PubMed. The take-home message was that AGA was simple, but hair regeneration was a complex problem that like effective cancer therapies, was likely to require targeting multiple pathways. These pathways included expanding follicular stem cell pools, promoting their migration from the bulge to the follicle, driving their differentiation into the growing hair shaft and supporting the mature hair.
FT: How did you discover this combination of three agents?
DW: I remembered from my clinical training seeing kids treated with minoxidil- they had hair everywhere. The same was true of people treated with cyclosporine A- they too were hyper-hirsute. A review of the literature suggested that in spite of the exaggerated hair growth in patients taking theses drugs by mouth, minoxidil didn’t do much when applied topically to the scalp in AGA, and cyclosporine A did less. The two together had neither additive nor synergistic effects. Taking them orally was out of the question, as these are serious drugs with serious side effects. In addition to CSA and minoxidil the third drug is one I had created as a New Chemical Entity (NCE) several years ago, called RT175. Among other things, RT175 promoted the recruitment and differentiation of follicular stem cells. The three agents act on distinct pathways in hair regeneration and together, they synergize to promote the growth and maintenance of hair in men and women with androgenic alopecia. They also reanimate dormant melanocytic progenitor cells. These are the cells that add color to the hair. When the hair grows back with RT1640 treatment, it is the color that you had before it turned gray and fell out.
FT: Please tell us where RT1640 is right now in terms of the clinical trial process and what the next step is for it?
DW: We are currently raising funds to pay for a Phase 1B/2A study, and NIH document submission. We have established in a small number of people that RT1640 works: 100% of the people that have used it have had satisfactory growth and a significant percentage have had complete hair regeneration. As soon as we have the required funds, we will push forward. To that end, we are seeking interested strategic and venture partners.
Thank you very much for taking the time, David.
Wow. It’s clear RiverTown Therapeutics Inc. has a potential goldmine on it’s hands. Venture capitalists take note. Hair enthusiasts rejoice.