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"a very brief Follica update"


#1

#2

Thanks. A big nothing from Follica.
They don’t even mention the existance or project of any clinical trial!!
They mention “programs” but not “trials”.

copy article:

A Very Brief Follica Update for Our Loyal Readers
Robert Buderi 1/22/10

Ever since it announced its $5.5 million Series A funding round in January 2008, we have covered the news of Follica, the Boston area startup out to bring a scientific approach to developing novel ways of treating and, perhaps one day even curing, baldness and other hair-follicle disorders. These stories, including news of Follica’s $11 million Series B round in August 2008, and the hiring of a new CEO last spring, have attracted a tremendous readership, and indeed have drawn several thousand comments, as fans and followers of Follica have become some of our most treasured readers.

But to the dismay of many of those readers, who are anxious for the latest from the startup, we have had nothing to report since the hiring of CEO William Ju last May. Several of you have written to me personally to ask if there is any way I might coax more news out of the company.

I have been trying, I assure you, and this week I had a modicum of success. Though I couldn’t get anything on the record from a Follica official, sources at the company confirmed that “we are very excited about the progress and are pushing forward with our programs. Everything is going very well and management, the board, and the Scientific Advisory Board are all extremely encouraged by our scientific progress and results.”

I also learned that the company has made some recent hires to expand its staff, though my sources wouldn’t name names or specify how many people have been hired or what roles they are filling.

Lots of caveats to consider. First, try not to read too much into this. These are very vague comments, of the type many companies make when they don’t have much new to impart, or when they don’t want to raise anyone’s expectations. And remember, the science Follica is pursuing is, as far as we can tell, still extremely experimental. So even with some solid advances, an effective treatment could well be years off.

Still, I hope this helps to some degree. Rest assured, we will keep trying to learn more and will let you know as soon as we do. And if you learn anything, please don’t hesitate to let us know, and we will try to run it down.
<<<

» http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2010/01/22/a-very-brief-follica-update-for-our-loyal-readers/


#3

This is what I read in it:

“Thanks for you inquiry. We are working hard but we have nothing to tell you at this time.”


#4

If Anderans crashes…then what? One company after another has tried and failed. As far as I know, there aren’t that many left working on HM. They said “5 years away” ten years ago and now we are hearing “10 years away”. NOT LOOKING TOO PROMISING!


#5

» They said “5 years away” ten years ago and now we are hearing “10 years
» away”.

FDA clinical trials take about 10 years. They always have. These groups can claim shorter time periods but that’s no reason to believe them.

I didn’t believe those “5 years away” claims 10 years ago, and I didn’t believe them 5 years ago either.

Today I believe Aderans might actually be 5 years out right now. I believe that because they’re already halfway through the clinical trials process, not because of any amount of bullsh*t coming from their press releases.


#6

» » They said “5 years away” ten years ago and now we are hearing “10 years
» » away”.
»
»
» FDA clinical trials take about 10 years. They always have. These groups
» can claim shorter time periods but that’s no reason to believe them.
»
» I didn’t believe those “5 years away” claims 10 years ago, and I didn’t
» believe them 5 years ago either.
»
»
»
» Today I believe Aderans might actually be 5 years out right now. I
» believe that because they’re already halfway through the clinical trials
» process, not because of any amount of bullsh*t coming from their press
» releases.

they might be halfway but if their phase 2 hair loss study fails then we don’t see cure near 10+ years by them. and the guy called Bald-HalfTruth in this forum gave out some info about their trials and i’m not so enthusiastic at all after that. i just afraid they don’t get acceptable results and they start all over or they even close their doors.


#7

Of course, all these timelines are assumed to be if there are not new setbacks or major failures. Aderans is only “5 years away” if there are no more major problems. And that is only moderately likely at best.

But, “It truly looks like we have nothing”? Why do you say that?

The bottom line is that Aderans seems to be growing hair and that’s huge. It’s not very realistic to expect a gorgeous money-shot hairline from one unpublished phase#2 result halfway through its trial. If that result being described has come from a reasonably small number of injections then I think they may really be getting somewhere.


#8

Humm, BHT has got 5 new hairs. But, realistically speaking, between you and me, lol, we don’t know if BHT is a legit poster. I think he is, but could be not.
And remember that Paul Kemp said he had 66 new hairs from 100 injections!!! And I trusted him!! And now we have nothing from ICX!!!

So don’t get too excited because a forum member that we don’t know, says that he has got 5 new hairs.

» Of course, all these timelines are assumed to be if there are not new
» setbacks or major failures. Aderans is only “5 years away” if there are
» no more major problems. And that is only moderately likely at best.
»
»
»
»
» But, “It truly looks like we have nothing”? Why do you say that?
»
» The bottom line is that Aderans seems to be growing hair and that’s huge.
» It’s not very realistic to expect a gorgeous money-shot hairline from one
» unpublished phase#2 result halfway through its trial. If that result being
» described has come from a reasonably small number of injections then I
» think they may really be getting somewhere.


#9

We should get the whole data from Aderans by this summer.

In my opinion, if Aderans fails, will have nothing before 2020.

Cheers!

» Humm, BHT has got 5 new hairs. But, realistically speaking, between you and
» me, lol, we don’t know if BHT is a legit poster. I think he is, but could
» be not.
» And remember that Paul Kemp said he had 66 new hairs from 100
» injections!!! And I trusted him!! And now we have nothing from ICX!!!
»
» So don’t get too excited because a forum member that we don’t know, says
» that he has got 5 new hairs.
»
» » Of course, all these timelines are assumed to be if there are not new
» » setbacks or major failures. Aderans is only “5 years away” if there
» are
» » no more major problems. And that is only moderately likely at best.
» »
» »
» »
» »
» » But, “It truly looks like we have nothing”? Why do you say that?
» »
» » The bottom line is that Aderans seems to be growing hair and that’s
» huge.
» » It’s not very realistic to expect a gorgeous money-shot hairline from
» one
» » unpublished phase#2 result halfway through its trial. If that result
» being
» » described has come from a reasonably small number of injections then I
» » think they may really be getting somewhere.


#10

The collapse of Intercytex was really weird. Maybe it was strictly a problem of not being able to get credit or investors, related to the global financial crisis. I think we have to differentiate between that, and whether or not their hair-growing technology simply didn’t work. Remember, that was only 1 of their offerings.

Either it was a financial collapse, or ICX-TRC did not work. It would be too much of a coincidence to assume that both happened simultaneously, and that both are equally responsible for what happened.

I suspsect that there are other issues behind ICX’s shutdown that we haven’t even heard about.

Has a post-mortem on the company been done? They had a lot of intellectual property and patents; have these been sold to others, or have they made an attempt to sell them?

What is Dr. Kemp doing now?

If he really grew 66 brand new hairs, is there one good set of before and after photos showing it?

There are too many questions here that are unanswered.

What role did Dr. Bessam Farjo play in all this, and what is Farjo’s true connection to Dr. Rassman? (We know that even though Rassman has been a vociferous critic of ICX and all hair cloning on his blog, repeatedly saying that the technology isn’t ready and that it will be a long, long time before HM can be viable, he partnered with the very doctor who was carrying out ICX’s trials, on his blog… I think Dr. Farjo is STILL associated with Dr. Rassman’s blog. So, what is the true connection there? If Rassman is that closely connected to an inside player in ICX, why doesn’t he give us more info on his site?)


#11

» We should get the whole data from Aderans by this summer.
»
» In my opinion, if Aderans fails, will have nothing before 2020.

You may be right because all this Acell-Histogen-Follica-PRP-personal experiment stuff is a bunch of crap and won’t lead anywhere except into a blind alley.

The only other hope out there right now might be Dr. Sinclair in Melbourne, Australia, who is working with stem cell cultures.

Any idea which doesn’t involve actual CELLS is a waste of time in my opinion…

That includes ALL topicals, cell extracts, solutions, vitamins, enzymes, hormones, minerals, drugs, pills, etc.


#12

Dr. Sinclair in AU is using DP cells, not stem cells. The article apparently confused both. Why do you keep saying he is using stem cells?
From the article, it was clear that D. Sinclair had nothing, except a few cultures in petri dishes, not even animal experiments.

» » We should get the whole data from Aderans by this summer.
» »
» » In my opinion, if Aderans fails, will have nothing before 2020.
»
»
» You may be right because all this Acell-Histogen-Follica-PRP-personal
» experiment stuff is a bunch of crap and won’t lead anywhere except into a
» blind alley.
»
» The only other hope out there right now might be Dr. Sinclair in
» Melbourne, Australia, who is working with stem cell cultures.
»
» Any idea which doesn’t involve actual CELLS is a waste of time in my
» opinion…
»
» That includes ALL topicals, cell extracts, solutions, vitamins, enzymes,
» hormones, minerals, drugs, pills, etc.


#13

roger_that, we have talked much about ICX, and in your comments you look like a total newbie.

ICX dedicated almost all of its money to ICX-PRO. TRC was allocated ridiculous amounts of money. Cohorts were ridiculous, and updates were more and more vague each time. No photos were posted, and Paul Kemp 66 new hairs are still something to be proved. Katherine Harris emails were erratic and contradictory. And when ICX was close to collapse, they started to make bold claims of an hypothetical 2010 launch.

So don’t blame the crisis for ICX failure. Its clear that TRC didn’t work. Otherwise they would have had plenty of money for big cohorts years ago, before the crisis kicked in.

ICX-PRO also failed, even if it had all the necessary resources to conduct a big Phase III trial. This provoked ICX’s total collapse.

» The collapse of Intercytex was really weird. Maybe it was strictly a
» problem of not being able to get credit or investors, related to the global
» financial crisis. I think we have to differentiate between that, and
» whether or not their hair-growing technology simply didn’t work.
» Remember, that was only 1 of their offerings.
»
» Either it was a financial collapse, or ICX-TRC did not work. It would be
» too much of a coincidence to assume that both happened simultaneously, and
» that both are equally responsible for what happened.
»
» I suspsect that there are other issues behind ICX’s shutdown that we
» haven’t even heard about.
»
» Has a post-mortem on the company been done? They had a lot of
» intellectual property and patents; have these been sold to others, or have
» they made an attempt to sell them?
»
» What is Dr. Kemp doing now?
»
» If he really grew 66 brand new hairs, is there one good set of before and
» after photos showing it?
»
» There are too many questions here that are unanswered.
»
» What role did Dr. Bessam Farjo play in all this, and what is Farjo’s true
» connection to Dr. Rassman? (We know that even though Rassman has been a
» vociferous critic of ICX and all hair cloning on his blog, repeatedly
» saying that the technology isn’t ready and that it will be a long, long
» time before HM can be viable, he partnered with the very doctor who was
» carrying out ICX’s trials, on his blog… I think Dr. Farjo is STILL
» associated with Dr. Rassman’s blog. So, what is the true connection
» there? If Rassman is that closely connected to an inside player in ICX,
» why doesn’t he give us more info on his site?)


#14

» Dr. Sinclair in AU is using DP cells, not stem cells. The article
» apparently confused both. Why do you keep saying he is using stem cells?
» From the article, it was clear that D. Sinclair had nothing, except a few
» cultures in petri dishes, not even animal experiments.

I think Roger is saying stem cells because this doctor himself, I believe, called them “stem cells”. I didn’t see a reference to DP cells in anything I’ve read about him.

Some other doctors at the University of West Sydney, who started hair regeneration experiments a few years ago, might be using DP cells.

»
»
» » » We should get the whole data from Aderans by this summer.
» » »
» » » In my opinion, if Aderans fails, will have nothing before 2020.
» »
» »
» » You may be right because all this Acell-Histogen-Follica-PRP-personal
» » experiment stuff is a bunch of crap and won’t lead anywhere except into
» a
» » blind alley.
» »
» » The only other hope out there right now might be Dr. Sinclair in
» » Melbourne, Australia, who is working with stem cell cultures.
» »
» » Any idea which doesn’t involve actual CELLS is a waste of time in my
» » opinion…
» »
» » That includes ALL topicals, cell extracts, solutions, vitamins,
» enzymes,
» » hormones, minerals, drugs, pills, etc.


#15

You are right. Dr. Sinclair mentions “Stem Cells”, but oviously he means “DP cells”.
Conclusion:
He is an idiot, as I said before.

DP cells and stem cells are not the same, oviously. But Dr. Sinclair uses the term “stem cells” because it sells better or simply because he doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about.

As I said in a previous post, he has not even started animal experiments, he has just cultured cells. And he can only clone enough cells to build 1 hair from each donor hair.
Multiplication? NOT!

Lets see again the article:

<

http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/style/yeah-yeah-its-cloned-hair-20090615-c7x4.html

Yeah, yeah, it’s cloned hair. Melbourne scientists are trying to cure baldness once and for all by using stem cells to grow a potentially endless supply of new hair.

If successful, cloning would overcome the shortcomings in existing hair-loss treatments.

Hair transplant surgery, for example, can redistribute hair over balding areas but does not create new hair. Drugs such as minoxidil and finasteride can stop balding in men, but can’t reverse it and need to be taken indefinitely. Other options tend to involve fake hair, including “yeah, yeah” Shane Warne hair, which is a technically advanced hairpiece.
Scientists from St Vincent’s Hospital and Melbourne University, headed by St Vincent’s dermatology director Rod Sinclair, have extracted adult stem cells from hair follicles and are trying to coax them to spawn new hair follicles in a culture dish.

“We’ve now got three stem cell scientists in our department working on hair follicle stem cells,” said Professor Sinclair. “They’re working out what’s involved in cloning hair follicles for hair transplantation.”

That’s harder than it sounds. A full hair, including its follicle, is an entire organ by itself. The body will reject hair transplanted from somebody else, just as it will reject other transplanted organs.
Professor Sinclair said the stem cells were extracted from the base of the hair follicle, the dermal papilla.

“You can dissect out a tiny ball of about 3000 cells. If you put that ball into a culture dish, that ball will flatten out into a thin sheet of cells,” Professor Sinclair explained.

Ideally, that sheet of cells should “aggregate to form new balls (so) you can take out those balls and reimplant them to form new hairs”.
Unfortunately, he said, the sheet of cells was only producing one ball instead of many balls.

“The state of play at the moment is that I can cut some hairs off the back of your head, grow them in culture, and get enough back to replace the hairs that I took from the back of your head. We can’t amplify them to produce more hairs. That’s the problem,” he said.

The other major challenge is implanting the baby hair follicles back into the skin once that’s done. "You have to put the stem cells in a scaffold, insert the scaffold into the skin, the scaffold makes the hair follicle grow in the right orientation and direction, and then disintegrates . . . Just growing a hair is not enough.

“You want one that grows in the right direction with the right colour and curl and wave so that it looks natural.”

Professor Sinclair’s group is one of a number of research bodies in the world investigating hair cloning, each using a slightly different method.
British group Intercytex reported last June that early trials in humans had proved promising, with some of the subjects regrowing hair. “What Intercytex are doing is very similar to what we’re doing but I think they have a lot of problems trying to get the cells to reaggregate,” Professor Sinclair said
Other baldness research is focused on trying to re-invigorate the hair follicles that shrink on top of the head and cause baldness in the first place. Scientists are trying to pin down the genes that cause baldness with the goal of blocking their expression in young men who have those genes.
Intercytex got a rush of male volunteers for its clinical trials. But if the follically challenged have thoughts about being guinea pigs for St Vincent’s, be patient. Animal trials, due in about a year, must come first.
Researchers are currently using scalp tissue that has been discarded from people undergoing surgery.

“It would be possible to start animal implantation experiments in one to two years, but human experiments are at least three to five years away,” said Professor Sinclair.

So, by 2020, will the age-old baldness problem be licked permanently - at least for those who can afford it? “Yes, it’s a possibility.”


#16

» You are right. Dr. Sinclair mentions “Stem Cells”, but oviously he means
» “DP cells”.
» Conclusion:
» He is an idiot, as I said before.

Spanish Dude, you may be right about some of this… maybe DP cells are similar to stem cells, and he’s really using DP cells but he’s not saying it because “stem cells” is a more popular term.

But as far as Dr. Sinclair not doing any experiments, doesn’t the article specifically state that he’s already removed the cells, cultured them, grown them back into “balls”, and reimplanted the balls back into people’s scalps, to grow new hairs?

The problem is that only one new hair per ball grew, so he’s not really multiplying hairs at all. It’s just a one-to-one transfer, net new hair growth is zero.

But, it is incorrect to say he hasn’t done any experiments. He has done experiments, and they’ve been on humans. The problem is that his experiments have come to a technical standstill because he cannot progress beyond a specific point: he cannot induce the cells from one follicle to coalesce into multiple balls, rather than just one.

Therefore I would conclude that the experimentation he’s done is valid, it’s real experimentation, and it has a logical sequence and a logical endpoint: Multiple balls from one ball = true hair multiplication.

But right now, he is in the middle of the experiments and is trying to devise a way to circumvent this problem.

Maybe he will be ingenious enough to circumvent it. Maybe he will have a sudden “Eureka!” moment. Who knows?

But I think he does deserve some credit for trying…

Addendum and Idea: Maybe Dr. Sinclair can devise a special kind of petri dish that has multiple subdivisions in it, sort of like a maze, which would allow the balls of cells to spread out, and then become entrapped into various vessels within the petri dish. If the “doors” to each section are suddenly shut, maybe this would allow numerous balls of cells to coalesce. With numerous balls, he possibly could grow an equal number of new hair follicles.


#17

Either way, he said that it is a POSSIBILITY that baldness will be beat by 2020. Look on the bright side, at some point we won’t care (either we’ll be too old or dead)


#18

no, DP cells are totally different than stem cells.
DP cells are at the bottom of the hair bulb, while stem cells are mainly at the bulge (close to the surface).
Stem cells are undifferenciated, pluripotential, and they reside mainly at the bulge.
Stem cells can turn into different kinds of differentiated cells, for example DP cells. Stem cells travel from the bulge, downwards, to the bulb of the follicle, and then turn into DP cells or other types.

You say that Dr. Sinclair has done experiments on humans, but the article doesn’t say so. And even if this was the case, we know that these preliminary proof of concept experiments are of no use. We want real trials, where results can objectively be evaluated.

you just said:

You may be right because all this Acell-Histogen-Follica-PRP-personal experiment stuff is a bunch of crap and won’t lead anywhere except into a blind alley.
<<<

and I agree. Personal experiments are crap. We need trials, with plenty of trialists.

About your maze-petri dish idea, I am not going to enter these discussions, as I am no biologist, and I don’t know the art of cell culturing.

I don’t know why you are suddenly so fond of Dr. Sinclair, while you are very negative in general. Is he a relative of yours? Family? Or is just part of your trolling activity in the forum?

» » You are right. Dr. Sinclair mentions “Stem Cells”, but oviously he means
» » “DP cells”.
» » Conclusion:
» » He is an idiot, as I said before.
»
»
» Spanish Dude, you may be right about some of this… maybe DP cells are
» similar to stem cells, and he’s really using DP cells but he’s not saying
» it because “stem cells” is a more popular term.
»
» But as far as Dr. Sinclair not doing any experiments, doesn’t the article
» specifically state that he’s already removed the cells, cultured them,
» grown them back into “balls”, and reimplanted the balls back into people’s
» scalps, to grow new hairs?
»
» The problem is that only one new hair per ball grew, so he’s not really
» multiplying hairs at all. It’s just a one-to-one transfer, net new hair
» growth is zero.
»
» But, it is incorrect to say he hasn’t done any experiments. He has done
» experiments, and they’ve been on humans. The problem is that his
» experiments have come to a technical standstill because he cannot progress
» beyond a specific point: he cannot induce the cells from one follicle to
» coalesce into multiple balls, rather than just one.
»
» Therefore I would conclude that the experimentation he’s done is valid,
» it’s real experimentation, and it has a logical sequence and a logical
» endpoint: Multiple balls from one ball = true hair multiplication.
»
» But right now, he is in the middle of the experiments and is trying to
» devise a way to circumvent this problem.
»
» Maybe he will be ingenious enough to circumvent it. Maybe he will have a
» sudden “Eureka!” moment. Who knows?
»
» But I think he does deserve some credit for trying…
»
» Addendum and Idea: Maybe Dr. Sinclair can devise a special kind of petri
» dish that has multiple subdivisions in it, sort of like a maze, which would
» allow the balls of cells to spread out, and then become entrapped into
» various vessels within the petri dish. If the “doors” to each section are
» suddenly shut, maybe this would allow numerous balls of cells to coalesce.
» With numerous balls, he possibly could grow an equal number of new hair
» follicles.


#19

» I don’t know why you are suddenly so fond of Dr. Sinclair, while you are
» very negative in general. Is he a relative of yours? Family? Or is just
» part of your trolling activity in the forum?
»

Dr. Sinclair is my father (and my clone – it’s very complicated). I also own 99% of the stock in his company.

Other than that, I have ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTION to Dr. Sinclair! :stuck_out_tongue:


#20

» » I don’t know why you are suddenly so fond of Dr. Sinclair, while you are
» » very negative in general. Is he a relative of yours? Family? Or is just
» » part of your trolling activity in the forum?
» »
»
» Dr. Sinclair is my father (and my clone – it’s very complicated). I also
» own 99% of the stock in his company.
»
» Other than that, I have ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTION to Dr. Sinclair! :stuck_out_tongue:

Then lets disconnect him. Right now, he has absolutely nothing that deserves attention.