Hey there everybody, nice to see you all again. Let’s get right into this edition of Weekly Thoughts.
Thorn Medical Makes Big Claim
Last week a press release by Thorn Medical PLC caused quite a stir on the internet for hair seekers. In summation, the press release stated that Thorn Medical had partnered with IK Clinics founder Dr. Irum Khan to bring forth a stem cell treatment which will be a complete cure for pattern baldness. So far, no other information except for these words has been presented. But I seem to have discovered something that has not been discussed online thus far.
Dr. Irum Khan already offers “Stem Cell FUE” at her clinic which appears to be FUE hair transplants combined with adipose (fat) derived stem cell injections. It’s a pretty good idea, but it is something that is already available to consumers in multiple countries (including the US). The interesting part of the press release is a quote from the Executive Director of Thorn Medical, Dr. Mahmood Bashir, who stated “Although current techniques are still in their infancy, with only 10% of the new hair follicles cultured remaining alive, we can culture sufficient quantities in the lab to provide a complete cure for male pattern baldness.” Thorn has not been specific in detailing what type of stem cell procedure they will be offering for hair growth, but that quote implies that they are growing hair follicles in test tubes.
So, here’s where I believe this is at. Thorn Medical is either getting ready to promote Dr. Khan’s status quo method of providing FUE + fat stem cell therapy, OR they actually have developed a new groundbreaking hair follicle cloning treatment using stem cells. One of the two. The latter would be a lot more interesting to all of us. We don’t know, and they haven’t told us. They obviously are aware of their communication style thus far and are not going to release more information until they are ready to. Keep an eye on it, see how it goes.
Follica Gives a Peak at the Future
Pure Tech Health, the parent company of Follica, has recently released their Annual Report for the year 2015. The report includes information for potential investors which includes the company’s plans for 2016 and beyond. In the Follica section of the report (page 31 of the PDF) there is mention that Follica plans to initiate a new clinical study for a hair growth therapy in the 2nd half of 2016 with results to be obtained in 2017. If the results are positive, Follica would potentially seek FDA clearance in 2017 for a commercial release in 2018. (Shoutouts to Xaser94, I see you bro)
For those that might not know, Follica is a company that is developing methods for growing hair through micro-wounding the scalp and then adding other compounds to the wounds to enhance hair growth. The Annual Report document mentions that Follica’s skin disruption method was tested previously in a clinical study with minoxidil added to the wounds and was found to grow 4x the amount of hair compared to just using minoxidil as a treatment alone.
Remember in this press release Follica stated it was developing an out-patient therapy coupled with an at-home system for growing hair. So, it sounds like they are working on a treatment where a patient receives a skin disruption treatment at a clinic with an additional special compound applied and then continues the treatment at home probably using a proprietary dermaroller and topical formula. I’m hoping that Follica has got something a little better than just minoxidil, though. We’ll see.
Samumed’s CEO Featured in Forbes
A good candidate for most interesting man in the world, Dr. Osman Kibar CEO of Samumed, was recently featuted in a well written article for Forbes Magazine. The article highlights Kibar’s potential treatment for hair regrowth (SM04554), but does not provide new information about the treatments efficacy. The article does disclose a few new interesting tidbits about the technology. I was surprised to know that the same molecule for SM04554 may turn grey hair back to it’s original color. It’s also mentioned that the same molecule may be used in a small cosmetic dose to erase wrinkles on the skin.
I was also very surprised to find out that Samumed is valued at $12 billion. Kibar has a net worth of around $4 billion. Let’s hope that both of those valuations increase soon and Samumed can bring it’s wonder drug for hair to the market.
Until next time, be well.