BiologicsMD Pipeline, Gray Hair Cure Research: Weekly Thoughts 4/30/16

Hello Everybody,

It’s nice to be back here with you all for another installment of Weekly Thoughts. I’m personally excited about several items discussed in this edition. Let’s see what’s going on in the hair world this week.

BiologicsMD New Site Layout With Pipeline

BiologicsMD, a biotech startup which is affiliated with the University of Arkansas, has recently updated their website. An interesting change that I noticed was that the company seems to be marketing themselves mainly as a hair loss therapeutic developer now. There is also still mention of treatments for bone disorders. The new site layout depicts a pipeline chart which shows BMD-1141 as the lead drug candidate for the treatment of alopecia areata. ….Yes, there is also a candidate for androgenic alopecia titled BMD-1341 (hooray) and also another formulation for chemotherapy induced hair loss.

This would mean that there is yet another pharmaceutical grade topical in the works for the purpose of growing hair. We look forward to hearing about the progress of BiologicsMD’s hair therapy candidates which are mainly listed as being in the “formulation and topical efficacy testing” stage. You might also notice that BiologicsMD has linked to my first article about their patent for hair growth on their own website.

Pathway That Determines Hair Color Discovered

A new discovery coming out of NYU Langlone Medical Center has identified the EdnrB cellular pathway as having a major influence on skin and hair color outcomes. Senior investigator of the study, Dr. Mayumi Ito, had this to say about the research: “Our study results show that EdnrB signaling plays a critical role in growth and regeneration of certain pigmented skin and hair cells and that this pathway is dependent on a functioning Wnt pathway,” In further detail, it was discovered that the activity of melanocyte stem cells was controlled by the instructions given by the EdnrB pathway. The EdnrB pathway was also shown to rely on a functioning Wnt pathway for its own proper functioning. Good ole Wnt pathway, we hear about it all the time, but definitely wish we knew a little more.

More “Cure for Gray Hair” Talk

Speaking of hair pigment. I’m going to take this time to touch on other possible cures for gray hair that have been reported online. The most intriguing of them is probably a mysterious gray hair cure pill from L’Oreal. This article was published in 2014 and has the latest information that has been released on the subject. Apparently, L’Oreal has a pill in development that is based on a fruit enzyme that mimics the activity of TRP-2, which is an enzyme that helps create pigment producing melanocyte cells. So, by mimicking TRP-2, the pill is producing more pigment cells for the hair follicles and protecting them from gray hair. There are still some characteristics of this treatment that remain undetermined. One interesting tidbit that has been mentioned is this pill is aimed to be used as a preventative treatment before gray hair starts. This is because it’s not expected that the pill can reverse the graying process once it has started, according to Bruno Bernard, lead hair scientist at L’Oreal. It’s 2016 now, I wonder when we will hear from L’Oreal about this gray hair pill again.

The other major discovery related to hair pigment in the last several years would have to be the PC-KUS treatment developed by Karin Schallreuter MD of the Center for Skin Sciences at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. This research was also done in conjunction with the E.M. Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany. Dr. Schallreuter and the research teams initially discovered that due to oxidative stress, hydrogen peroxide builds-up in hair follicles and eventually “bleaches” them. That finding compelled the researchers to develop a treatment that would eliminate the excess hydrogen peroxide build-up in the follicle. PC-KUS is a UVB-activated compound and stands for “PseudoCatalase-Karin U. Schallreuter.” Pseudocatalase is a modified form of catalase, which is an enzyme that breaks down hydrogen peroxide in hair follicles, and Karin U. Schallreuter is the inventor of this form of pseudocatalase. To sum it up, by creating a synthetic form of the enzyme catalase, the research teams have created a treatment that can be applied topically to hair follicles to reverse graying. Once applied, the PC-KUS enzyme then can go eat away at the hydrogen peroxide present in hair follicles, which reverses the bleaching process.

Winston-Salem Startup to Manufacture Interesting Hair Care Ingredient

A hair care product company “Reason To Believe” (RTB) out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina has recently began its in-house manufacturing of a special patented protein to be used in its line of hair care products. The protein is known as Alpha Kertain 60ku and was originally developed by a local biotech company named Keranetics. Apparently, the protein is actually derived from human hair specimens. During its manufacturing process, bags of human hair are placed into tanks which create a centrifugal force. This causes a separation of the liquids and solids, which are then purified and further processed to create the AK60ku. The company speaks very highly of the capabilities of their technology (of course), and declares that their protein can “boosts the effectiveness of hair care products to repair hair damage in ways that are unparalleled in the industry today.” It sounds interesting, but so far the news is only addressing cosmetic/styling type hair products. So how is this news relevant to Follicle Thought?

According to this article, the protein Alpha Kertain 60ku was developed by Wake Forest University. I had a major “Aha” moment when I heard this news. It was last July when I wrote this article, explaining that Wake Forest University was recruiting for a clinical trial involving a “topical investigational medication” for male pattern hair loss. There were many guesses at the time from various people online as to which medication Wake Forest was possibly trialing. I didn’t feel confident in any of the guesses and noted in the article that the medicine could have been something developed in-house by Wake Forest. Although I cannot say I am certain now, I am very confident that the topical medication that was being trialed at Wake Forest University last July is directly related to this Alpha Kertain 60ku protein by Reason To Believe Company/Keranetics. If they had positive results in that hair growth trial, surely we will find out someday. Either way, the AK60ku hair care line does sound interesting to me and I’d be happy to try it. I hope to have a follow up on this news soon.

51 Comments on “BiologicsMD Pipeline, Gray Hair Cure Research: Weekly Thoughts 4/30/16

  1. Formulation and topical efficacy stage? Wouldn’t that be considered to be a phase ll?

    • Hi Sam,,

      No, I actually think it means they are still in the lab getting the formulation to work efficiently as a topical (consistency, ability to permeate the skin, etc.) Then I believe they move into either toxicity studies or proof of concept.

      • hair cloning will be when? It will be history when baldness? Why not make statements recently by Replicel Samumed Follica? d. When will the angel products? Did they all lie?

        • Hi Kel,

          News comes several times a year from those companies. They are honest. We don’t know the exact date, good things are happening now.

  2. Lots of interesting finds in that article. There are so many companies now going after hairgrowth it’s clear that it’s now a viable possibility.

    I was also reading recently that most of the big pharmaceutical companies are going over the “patent cliff” basically few major pharmaceutical drugs have been released since the 80’s. Their drug patents run out and then other companies produce significantly cheaper alternatives which almost entirely wipe out the major drugs company’s profits.

    So these big pharmaceutical companies are desperate for the next range of high profit treatments. So I’m hoping some of the megalith drugs companies start throwing there R&D muscle behind some hair growth products. It all seems to be from smaller companies at the moment.

    • Recently they grew hairs on back of GM mouse . .. was only a trailer … must wait for full release. Soon we will have hairs too…. On our ‘BACK’.

    • Hi Dazlakkel,

      Perhaps within 2 years ahead there will be significant treatment upgrades available.

  3. How will it end? Is cloning? which company ?

    How will it end? Is cloning? which company ?

    • Please read ultimate guide to hair regeneration. Replicel and Histogen are furthest along publicly. They are cellular growth stimulators.

  4. No new comments can I follow from the recent developments? d angel and the work of the university of pennsylvania?

    • All I can suggest is to browse the site my friend.

      We will let you know when things are available. Patience is helpful.

    • Yes, but remember there are potentials lotions or creams that may grow some hair and can be used at home which may come out sooner. I don’t know which ones or when. But there is good chance or else I would not mention it.

      • Joseph what do you think about Histogen? I’m starting to get skeptical about them why are they so quiet after their presentation no news nothing

        • I really like their technology and think they are doing great at the moment.

  5. Hello Joseph.

    When we have a new treatment for MPB? Do you know the offical timeline? Thanks. Since the decade of 90’s we don’t have a treatment! We need it! Thanks for all.

    • Hi Louis,

      It’s all just a guess at this point. Good things are in development. Stay hopeful! Thanks for visiting.

      Joseph

  6. We are definitely getting close to the end of this. The largest barrier now for us “sufferers” is time. So many good things in the pipeline now it is a matter of letting the regulatory aspect play out. I still believe DHT resistant hair transplants to be the end-all cure, but we could certainly have something before then that would reawaken non DHT resistant hair. It would just be a constant battle keeping them terminal.

    Some random thoughts, In my opinion I think the reason that AGA has been so hard to crack thus far has been because it is a powerful cascade of mechanisms used by the body (prematurely in the case of early onset AGA) to “think” it is protecting itself from cancer. In cancer, you have uncontrollable cell growth with inflammation. In AGA, we have inflammation and near secession of cell growth. The body recognizes the DNA damage and inflammation and sends the signal to turn the dermal cells senescent which protects from damaged cells replicating and for the fastest dividing cells (the actual keratin hair shaft) to stop dividing, by way of recruiting those keratin stems cells to turn into a different lineage such as sebaceous cells and skin cells. It is almost the exact opposite effect as cancer using many of the same pathways. A prime example is prostate cancer. Dependent on Androgen’s to start the process and initially targeting Androgen’s slows down the growth but very often becomes androgen independent. Just like propecia and AGA… works well at first at slowing down the loss. Pathways known to be used in the hair follicle as “bad” (over-expressed STAT3, IL-6) are present and key players in Androgen independent prostate cancer, which AGA confers greater risk to. So as we age, our body repairs itself with far less efficiency because repair means fast growing cells and the body strives against this as it ages to protect the organism. And as we know hair (the actual cutical) is one of the fastest growing populations of cells in the body.

    Another strange correlation with this is the genetic defect many with AGA have at chromosome 20p11. This is independent of ethnicity, and many studies have shown that a defect here raises the chances of having AGA 7x as much as those who don’t, if you also have the bad version of the androgen receptor. Further research on this shows that it is between two genes called PAX1 and FOXA2. Research into FOXA2 shows that it is involved with steroid (androgen) metabolism and response to IL-6. Also interesting, this is also a major risk allele with idiopathic scoliosis, which effects girls nearly 7x as much as guys. A gender specific response, much like AGA, on the same gene loci that only shows itself when hormones are present during a period of growth after being relatively at rest (puberty when the spine elongates) … very interesting stuff indeed. The JAK-Stat pathway is critical for skeletal formation and segmentation during puberty, once again, implicating just how important JAK-STAT may be to AGA.

    • So Matt I’m considering you’re a strong believer in JAK inhibitors?

      • I am definitely a believer in over activation of STAT3 being the root cause of Pattern Baldness, male and female. A lot of factors but if you do some research almost every damn factor good or bad in one way or another is involved with STAT3. The JAK-STAT pathway increases with age in many tissues regardless of pattern baldness or not, and has been shown to be a “stop” signal in muscle cell repair, much like it likely is with hair if deregulated. There must be a critical threshold of “annoyance” that activates the cascade in those who are susceptible. For some that comes at 20 years old for others much later in life. And for women, they paradoxically start losing hair when their testosterone is decreasing rapidly at the onset of menopause…. why is this? Because they are losing the protective effects of estrogen which also decreases with menopause onset, the JAK-Stat cascade has been waiting and building up so as soon as the protective effects are over it can be widely expressed. This is why like i previously said that propecia works well for a while but eventually it will lose out. You aren’t, in my opinion, targeting the number 1 problem. STAT3 is involved directly with the androgen receptor… but also involved with a ton of different pathways. This also explains why a person who goes halfway bald and is then castrated will not regrow much hair… You still have the STAT3 overexpression caused by earlier events. Whether it is reversible or not by blocking STAT3 is the question of relevance. I don’t think that orally this would have showed us anything for pattern baldness like it did with Alopecia Areata… JAK/Stat inhibitor drugs have a very short half life and may need to be very concentrated in a specific tissue to achieve an effect. So perhaps it needs to be applied topically to have the effect it needs.

        There is much more that can be said with STAT3 with regards to the sebacious gland enlargement, the bulge stem cell niche, the hair germ, losing contact with the erector pili muscle, fat cells, dermal papilla, dkk1/pgd2/il6, cell senescence, etc…. It’s all there for free on the internet!

        • Thanks for your insightful comments here, Matt.

          Cheers

        • Well Matt you seem very educated in the biology field… Let’s hope your theory is true and this curse ends for everyone

          • Appreciate it thank you for the kind words. And yes I hope something comes about as well. I just think you have to follow the genes to know the story. It truly is incredible that in the Chinese Han population there is NO association between their “bad version” or “good version” of the androgen receptor. It is homologous for male pattern baldness amongst them. Only amongst Europeans is the AR barely the number 1 at risk genetic loci. But right behind it is the 20p11 SNP between the genes FOXA2 and PAX1. This is the major determinant for MPB for asians. And the strong number 2, statistically just barely behind number 1 (AR) for Europeans. To me this just says that whatever mechanism that is in place naturally it is more important to find out what the hell is going on at 20p11 because that one is universal amongst all balding people. The bad version of the androgen receptor in Europeans just exasperates this process. Let’s just hope this is reversible, which I think with the right signals for long enough it very well may be.

  7. Hi, I don’t get newsletter when I subscribe to your blog. Can you help me,please? thanks

    • I will look into this for you. What happens when you type in your email address and hit subscribe?

  8. Sir according to you which is the best upcoming treatment for hair loss between histogen,replicel and follica.

    • Hi Aman,

      All of those three companies look very promising. It’s not know to really anyone on which one is “the best.” I’m really looking forward to Histogen because I like the idea of just getting a simple injection(s) and then walking out of the clinic all done.

  9. Could you give us a little hint of when youre next post will be? I got really excited.

    • Hey there Anders,

      Thanks for your enthusiasm. At this point I’m not exactly sure when the post will be will be published. The news is more of a forward looking statement, but nonetheless it is good news. I wouldn’t want you guys to get overly excited. Thanks for your support!

    • Well, it depends what you mean by cured. Some people can go in and get a 3,500 FUE to do their forelock and they’re set for years, possibly decades; essentially cured. That’s already available today. If the two big cellular treatments, Replicel and Histogen, come out around 2018 then for many people they will be cured. Some could be cured by adding a 3,500 FUE to one of those treatments. Some people will require even more than what those two treatments + a good FUE can offer.

      So, there’s all sorts of levels of “cure.” But all in all, do I think there will be a major advancement in hair regeneration treatments by the year 2020? Absolutely.

  10. Hey guys! I have some good news today, Histogen just emailed me back, asked them about stem cell summit and there next steps.. They are preparing for an early stage clinical trial in women in the US and also a late stage trial for men in US.. THEY ALSO SAID THEY ARE STARTING A CLINICAL TRIAL IN MEXICO.. And one last thing they email me the PowerPoint presentation from The Stem Cell Summit haven’t had time to look into it but I’ll let you know.

  11. Hey admin,
    Once again, great post.
    One question; Do you plan on writing about Kerastem? This is a procedure that seems promising, but it is hard to aquire any “real” information about it. Because it is so expensive, just a handful of forum members have tried yet.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Hey there,
      It’s just not high on my radar because it’s available in different countries in the world and if there were some significant results I know there would be good marketing behind it. I just haven’t seen anything significant for results so far. In the future we might get to see more results images.

    • To be truthful, nothing really new that we didn’t already know. Follica has plans for a procedure in clinic + at-home device. Histogen must be close to opening their trial in Mexico, but as far as we know it’s not been yet.

  12. How long do we wait for a clear explanation of why someone does not know why the company does? We will continuously conduct did you optimistic prediction (Pollyanna) ??

    • Hi there,

      In time all the news and proof will be shared. When the companies release news and products we will find them. Things are well, there many reasons to be happy about and look forward to.

  13. Joseph I have a question, I’m guessing you’ve been in the hairloss forums for awhile I have not.. It seems like there’s a surge of new information and companies going for new treatments.. Has this happened before or is this the firs times this hairloss industry started gaining momentum?

    • Hey Sam,
      The short answer is I do think we are in a new era for hair growth technology. I think it has to do with the fact that science and technology are evolving as a whole and of course hair is a big priority to many people and it has vast unmet needs. There are others that are not out in the public yet too. Which is interesting. I think by the end of the year and certainly next year we will hear of at least 3 more major players entering the field. It’s just a rule of thumb. Some companies work behind closed doors.

  14. Wouldn’t it be more credible if it showed photos of a bald adult male regrowing hair, rather than a baby???

  15. Reason To Believe is now doing business as Virtue Labs. They have launched their beta site http://virtuelabs.com/ and will launch their first suite of products.

    More to come, esp in hair growth.

  16. Hi any more news with AK60ku.

    This would be great news if you had any updates

    • Hello, I will look into it and when new info is available I’ll surely post in new article. Thanks

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