Weekly Thoughts 10/17/15
It’s nice to be back here with you. Man, I do wish that hair regeneration news came more frequently, but I am happy to finally have some pertinent information to report upon below.
Wound Healing Company Interested in Hair Regeneration
MicroCures, a biotech startup that is developing a siRNA technology for wound healing, has an interest in applying their technology for hair regeneration. I first became aware of the company while I was doing research for my article on donor scar repair. MicroCures uses silencing RNA to inhibit the growth of FL2 (fidgetin-like 2) during the wounding process. FL2 is an enzyme that slows the rate at which skin cells move towards wounds to heal them. I was initially impressed by the company’s technology, however, there was one quote by the company’s founder David J. Sharp that particularly stood out to me: “We saw normal, well-orchestrated regeneration of tissue, including hair follicles and the skin’s supportive collagen network.”
After hearing that I decided to contact Dr. Sharp and see if he had any interest in applying his technology to the hair regeneration field. I was surprised by his friendliness and we had a good conversation about MicroCures. Here’s a quote from Dr. Sharp about MicroCures and hair growth:
“We are absolutely interested in applying our technology to hair regeneration…In fact, I don’t think I’ve given a talk where someone in the audience didn’t bring that up. At present, we’re working toward getting our ducks in a row for an IND application with the hope of initiating clinical trials on surgical wounds and/or burns in 2016. Increased regeneration of hair in either context is something we’ll be looking at very closely.”
I found it interesting that MicroCure’s FL2 siRNA is applied topically via nanoparticles. MicroCures is also focused on the treatment of spinal cord injury, myocardial infraction, and wound healing for their technology platform.
Pantheon Company Contains Ex-Aderans Researchers
Pantheon, a company out of China that is lead by Dr. Wu Xunwei, who is formerly of Aderans Research Institure, is working on hair regeneration therapies. For those not familiar with Aderans, it was a major hair biotech company that worked on hair cloning for over a decade but failed to make significant progress and closed its doors in 2013. Pantheon’s website is not entirely clear when translated to English, but the basic concepts are laid out. Pantheon is working on producing a functional cellular based hair regeneration treatment. They show pictures of human skin grafted onto the backs of mice which are growing human hair follicles. The interesting thing is that the research team of Pantheon contains several ex-Aderans researchers, and amongst them, many combined years of hair R&D experience. It’s a good addition to the pool of known companies working on hair growth technology. (Shoutouts: Lacazette)
Follicum Applies for Human Trials in Germany
One of my favorite companies in the game right now, Follicum, is getting ready to test their wonder peptide for hair growth in human beings. Here’s the news right off Follicum’s website from October 15, 2015:
Follicum has filed a clinical trial application to start a clinical Phase I / II a study to both the the BfArM (the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices in Germany) and to the Research Ethics Committee. Follicum’s intention is to initiate the study at year-end 2015/early 2016, provided that the application is accepted.
The news release mentions that Follicum will investigate some efficacy parameters during this Phase I/II trial, which is generally a safety study. They plan to release their results from this study in 2016. Also, Follicum will be presenting information at this year’s World Congress for Hair Research in Miami.