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Follica raises 7.5m more in funding


#1

Follica has raised more money for its quest against hair follicle disorders like male pattern baldness. The biotech startup, which is developing drugs that could spur the formation of new hair follicles, has raised $7.5 million in equity financing, according to an SEC filing.

Daphne Zohar, a Follica co-founder and managing director at PureTech Ventures in Boston, says the funding mentioned in the SEC filing is part of the startup’s Series B round of funding. The new cash came from Follica’s previous backers, which include PureTech, InterWest Partners, of Menlo Park, CA, and Waltham, MA-based Polaris Venture Partners. The Series B round was initially announced as an $11 million financing back in 2008, but Zohar says that was not the actual amount raised at the time and this latest infusion of capital brings the total round to $13 million. (Editor’s note: this paragraph was changed from the originally published version to include additional details from Zohar about the total amount raised in Follica’s second round of financing.)

“The investors are pleased,” Zohar said. “Things are going really well—it’s really exciting.”

Exactly how much progress Follica has made in developing a new hair-loss therapy, or whether baldness is the number-one target in its pipeline, Zohar wouldn’t say. The policy of the firm, she said, has been not to comment in detail on R&D activities. (Here’s an update on the firm’s status that Xconomy posted back in January.)

I did learn from Zohar that the company’s headquarters are now in Mendham, NJ, and have been since drug industry veteran William Ju took over as the firm’s CEO last year. Yet the firm continues to conduct drug-delivery and device research as well as corporate development in Boston, she said. Ju was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.

Unfortunately, this funding news doesn’t provide any new clues about whether Follica is much closer to bringing to market a treatment for baldness. Judging from the frenzy of interest in our previous Follica posts, it’s clear that many people are excited about the firm’s approach of generating new follicles to grow shoots of hair. Its technology, which is licensed from the University of Pennsylvania, could also be used to deliver permanent removal of unwanted hair.

If anything, we could hold out hope that more money for Follica means it has a greater chance of advancing its much-anticipated treatments for hair loss.


#2

» http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2010/06/01/follica-the-biotech-with-potential-drug-against-baldness-nabs-7-5m-venture-financing/
»
» Follica has raised more money for its quest against hair follicle
» disorders like male pattern baldness. The biotech startup, which is
» developing drugs that could spur the formation of new hair follicles, has
» raised $7.5 million in equity financing, according to an SEC filing.
»
» Daphne Zohar, a Follica co-founder and managing director at PureTech
» Ventures in Boston, says the funding mentioned in the SEC filing is part of
» the startup’s Series B round of funding. The new cash came from Follica’s
» previous backers, which include PureTech, InterWest Partners, of Menlo
» Park, CA, and Waltham, MA-based Polaris Venture Partners. The Series B
» round was initially announced as an $11 million financing back in 2008, but
» Zohar says that was not the actual amount raised at the time and this
» latest infusion of capital brings the total round to $13 million. (Editor’s
» note: this paragraph was changed from the originally published version to
» include additional details from Zohar about the total amount raised in
» Follica’s second round of financing.)
»
» “The investors are pleased,” Zohar said. “Things are going really
» well—it’s really exciting.”
»
» Exactly how much progress Follica has made in developing a new hair-loss
» therapy, or whether baldness is the number-one target in its pipeline,
» Zohar wouldn’t say. The policy of the firm, she said, has been not to
» comment in detail on R&D activities. (Here’s an update on the firm’s status
» that Xconomy posted back in January.)
»
» I did learn from Zohar that the company’s headquarters are now in Mendham,
» NJ, and have been since drug industry veteran William Ju took over as the
» firm’s CEO last year. Yet the firm continues to conduct drug-delivery and
» device research as well as corporate development in Boston, she said. Ju
» was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.
»
» Unfortunately, this funding news doesn’t provide any new clues about
» whether Follica is much closer to bringing to market a treatment for
» baldness. Judging from the frenzy of interest in our previous Follica
» posts, it’s clear that many people are excited about the firm’s approach of
» generating new follicles to grow shoots of hair. Its technology, which is
» licensed from the University of Pennsylvania, could also be used to deliver
» permanent removal of unwanted hair.
»
» If anything, we could hold out hope that more money for Follica means it
» has a greater chance of advancing its much-anticipated treatments for hair
» loss.

WTF!!!

“or whether baldness is the number-one target in its pipeline, Zohar wouldn’t say.”

LIES, LIES, & MORE LIES!

So they are getting more capital for intentionally misleading people and being one of the shadiest company’s I’ve ever herd of? Thats lunacy! Cotsarelis and Zohar have a lot in common with Bernie Madoff.


#3

I wish there was some way that I could portray to this company in a meaningful way how much I absolutely hate them. I have nothing but contempt for their investors and their CEO, Mr. Ju. Thanks for literally being the worst company ever. Baldness cure aside, I’m glad you guys are failing miserably.


#4

This is the only thing I have to say to Follica.


#5

I have to wonder though whether or not they might indeed have something good cooking there, because for a company to keeping getting infusions of millions of dollars of cash makes you go “hmmm”.

The fact that they’re not releasing info to the public may be more of an indication that they’re being coy on purpose.

I mean if they come out screaming that they had great success in current testing, it probably would incite a lot of copy-cats to try and beat them to a finished product. I mean heck, people have been trying the wounding stuff at home, a better financed company could possibly sneak in under their feet.

Not saying this is 100% the case, but it doesn’t really make sense that they would keep getting large amounts of money to finance something that’s a dud. Especially in this kind of climate, I don’t think investors are too keen to throw away money.


#6

Swoosh, they certainly have SOMETHING. They just don’t have the cure for baldness.


#7

» Swoosh, they certainly have SOMETHING. They just don’t have the cure for
» baldness.

Agreed.
Venture capitalists don’t hand out capital without there being the potential for explosive returns. With that said, it’s highly possible it’s not hair related.


#8

» Zohar said. “Things are going really
» well—it’s really exciting.”

She’s always excited. She can call me.


#9

QUOTE:

Its technology, which is licensed from the University of Pennsylvania, could also be used to deliver permanent removal of unwanted hair.

Exactly how much progress Follica has made in developing a new hair-loss therapy, or whether baldness is the number-one target in its pipeline, Zohar wouldn’t say.
<<<

I have the feeling that Follica is failing on growing hair, and they are using the technology to REMOVE HAIR. This is why investors are still interested.
We already had a post in this forum, a few months back, that the Pennsylvania university was researching on hair removal. Now this article seems to confirm that this research is connected to Follica.

» »
» http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2010/06/01/follica-the-biotech-with-potential-drug-against-baldness-nabs-7-5m-venture-financing/
» »
» » Follica has raised more money for its quest against hair follicle
» » disorders like male pattern baldness. The biotech startup, which is
» » developing drugs that could spur the formation of new hair follicles,
» has
» » raised $7.5 million in equity financing, according to an SEC filing.
» »
» » Daphne Zohar, a Follica co-founder and managing director at PureTech
» » Ventures in Boston, says the funding mentioned in the SEC filing is part
» of
» » the startup’s Series B round of funding. The new cash came from
» Follica’s
» » previous backers, which include PureTech, InterWest Partners, of Menlo
» » Park, CA, and Waltham, MA-based Polaris Venture Partners. The Series B
» » round was initially announced as an $11 million financing back in 2008,
» but
» » Zohar says that was not the actual amount raised at the time and this
» » latest infusion of capital brings the total round to $13 million.
» (Editor’s
» » note: this paragraph was changed from the originally published version
» to
» » include additional details from Zohar about the total amount raised in
» » Follica’s second round of financing.)
» »
» » “The investors are pleased,” Zohar said. “Things are going really
» » well—it’s really exciting.”
» »
» » Exactly how much progress Follica has made in developing a new
» hair-loss
» » therapy, or whether baldness is the number-one target in its pipeline,
» » Zohar wouldn’t say. The policy of the firm, she said, has been not to
» » comment in detail on R&D activities. (Here’s an update on the firm’s
» status
» » that Xconomy posted back in January.)
» »
» » I did learn from Zohar that the company’s headquarters are now in
» Mendham,
» » NJ, and have been since drug industry veteran William Ju took over as
» the
» » firm’s CEO last year. Yet the firm continues to conduct drug-delivery
» and
» » device research as well as corporate development in Boston, she said.
» Ju
» » was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.
» »
» » Unfortunately, this funding news doesn’t provide any new clues about
» » whether Follica is much closer to bringing to market a treatment for
» » baldness. Judging from the frenzy of interest in our previous Follica
» » posts, it’s clear that many people are excited about the firm’s approach
» of
» » generating new follicles to grow shoots of hair. Its technology, which
» is
» » licensed from the University of Pennsylvania, could also be used to
» deliver
» » permanent removal of unwanted hair.
» »
» » If anything, we could hold out hope that more money for Follica means
» it
» » has a greater chance of advancing its much-anticipated treatments for
» hair
» » loss.
»
» WTF!!!
»
» “or whether baldness is the number-one target in its pipeline, Zohar
» wouldn’t say.”
»
» LIES, LIES, & MORE LIES!

»
» So they are getting more capital for intentionally misleading
» people and being one of the shadiest company’s I’ve ever herd of? Thats
» lunacy! Cotsarelis and Zohar have a lot in common with Bernie
» Madoff.


#10

Okay, guess what is this money for??

QUOTE:

Exactly how much progress Follica has made in developing a new hair-loss therapy, or whether baldness is the number-one target in its pipeline, Zohar wouldn’t say.
Its technology, which is licensed from the University of Pennsylvania, could also be used to deliver permanent removal of unwanted hair.
<<<

http://www.hairsite.com/hair-loss/forum_entry-id-64007.html

UPENN “Hair growth prevention” clinical trial (Hair Loss Research & Clinical Trials)

posted by rev, your nightmares, 21.02.2010, 16:11
(edited by rev on 21.02.2010, 16:19)

http://www.pennmedicine.org/dermatology/hup/clinical.html#5
A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of a topical medication for the prevention of hair growth in healthy males over a ten week period. Participants who enroll in the research study will receive payment of $25 to $35 per visit for time and travel – up to a total of $215.

Eligible participants:
Men age 18 or older who must shave at least once a day in order to avoid a visible beard.

Principal Investigator: Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE

For more information, please contact:
Katrina Abuabara
215-746-6364
abuabark AT uphs.upenn.edu

FYI Dr. Cotsarelis is the Director of the Hair and Scalp Clinic at UPENN
<<<<<<<<


#11

That University of Penn hair removal study has nothing to do with Cotsarellis or Follica, from the very first patent Cotsarellis said they would be using the same method for permanent hair removal as they would be for hair growth, the only difference would be the compound ingredients.


#12

Dogstar, with all due respect you cannot say with certainty that this has nothing to do with Follica. The company hasn’t unveiled any “actionable intelligence” whatsoever. What if further investigation revealed that wounding wasn’t necessary for hair growth prevention? What if the study description just gave a vague overview of the procedure and didn’t mention wounding until you signed up? Too many unknowns, none of which will ever be addressed by the company itself.


#13

Dogstar, you say that from the very beginning Cotsarelis said that his technique would be used for both hair regrowth and hair removal. Then it is very possible that Cotsarelis and Follica are behind this clinical trial for hair growth prevention. Besides, it is usually easier to “destroy” than “to create”. So I would not be surprised if Follica failed in the proof of concept trial for hair regrowth, and then they decided to focus in hair prevention, as this target could be easier to achieve.

For the record: remember that Histogen found that wounding didn’t improve the HSC results at all? In fact I think that the best results were without wounding.

» Dogstar, with all due respect you cannot say with certainty that this has
» nothing to do with Follica. The company hasn’t unveiled any “actionable
» intelligence” whatsoever. What if further investigation revealed that
» wounding wasn’t necessary for hair growth prevention? What if the study
» description just gave a vague overview of the procedure and didn’t mention
» wounding until you signed up? Too many unknowns, none of which will ever be
» addressed by the company itself.


#14

It wouldn’t shock me if Folica had abandoned trying to help MPB (at least in the short term) in favor of just pushing forward with a hair-removal method.

It seems like a cruel twist of fate to guys like us, but this isn’t personal. It’s a business decision. It makes sense if their current science can remove hair but cannot grow it back.

In one of my own Folica-type experiments I think the area ended up worse than it started. The hairline’s very weak hairs didn’t come back when I wounded & treated the area.

We really just don’t know yet. But the fact that they were being so coy about stating what hair issues they’re targeting is very concerning.


#15

» In one of my own Folica-type experiments I think the area ended up worse
» than it started. The hairline’s very weak hairs didn’t come back when I
» wounded & treated the area.

How did you wound the area…dermabrasion or chemical peel?


#16

I saw this posted on xconomy, it’s an article similar to the latest from xconomy, only Dapne Zohar is quoted as saying this in the one I’ve put a link up to.

“A lot of these potential customers are wondering why Follica isn’t saying more,” Zohar said. Because it’s in the development phase, it may seem like it’s taking a while, she noted, “but things are moving quickly.”

http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2010/05/31/daily18-Hair-loss-treatment-firm-Follica-grows-funds-with-75M.html

I know it’s not much, but it does sound like they’re still working on the hair loss treatment, only time will tell what the truth is behind all of this though.


#17

I’m not sure why she wouldn’t just tell the truth. She doesn’t have to declare the whole hair regrowth project dead just to admit they have the hair removal method on the front burner right now. Anyone with serious money to invest is gonna get the real story before forking over the cash either way.

Goata007: It was dermabrasion that may have left my hair worse than it started. The same kind of dermabrasion has also helped my hairline in other cases. During that harmful time I was putting topical progesterone cream onto the wound.


#18

» I’m not sure why she wouldn’t just tell the truth. She doesn’t have to
» declare the whole hair regrowth project dead just to admit they have the
» hair removal method on the front burner right now. Anyone with serious
» money to invest is gonna get the real story before forking over the cash
» either way.

Remember, Intercytex was playing the same dodgeball with us…giving us good news but Not the facts. Thats the same thing all over again!

» Goata007: It was dermabrasion that may have left my hair
» worse than it started. The same kind of dermabrasion has also helped my
» hairline in other cases. During that harmful time I was putting topical
» progesterone cream onto the wound.

why did you prefer dermabrasion over chemical peel? and how deep was your wound i.e. could you see pink skin?


#19

The wound was pinkish deep but not bleeding. It was small. Chemical peeling works better for large areas. On small areas it’s easier to just sandpaper it. The depth might be less consistent around the edges but that’s not really a problem IMHO.

I attribute that incident to progesterone usage more than anything having to do with the wound. Like I said, in the past I’ve done exactly the same type of wound to a similar area on my scalp and gotten more hair than I started.

As a whole I think people make to big a deal out of the specifics of the wounding with this folica stuff. Chemical peeling, sanding, lasering . . . you can cut a person’s head off with a sword or an axe or a guillotine but the result is the same.


#20

Wow, can’t wait till later this year… cuz we need some good news. The lack of any updates (except this follica garbage) lately has got me bummed.