I’m getting pessimistic now that we’ll see a real cure anytime soon.
Dr. Cotsarelis has announced several discoveries and developments in the past 3-5 years, but they seem to be heading nowhere.
He is currently developing a commercial PGD2 inhibitor, which had seemed to be his most hopeful announcement, but I think if it were really effective, we’d know about it by now – like the medical community and the public knew of the hair-growing effects of Minoxidil and Proscar (Finasteride) well before these drugs were approved as Rogaine and Propecia, treatments for hair loss.
If Dr. Cotsarelis’ PDG2 inhibitor really could produce significant hair growth, don’t you think this would be news by now, and we’d see some kind of statement or evidence in the media?
Even with all the people testing PGD2 inhibitors and blockers by themselves, there has not been a single instance of this, to my knowledge, where someone has grown a significant amount of hair.
The same goes for Dr. Cotsarelis’ other discoveries.
With respect to Sanford-Burnham, Dr. Xu might be correct (see my post here from last week)… They might have been growing mouse hair instead of human hair, and maybe they were not even aware of it. If that’s true, that means they are back to Square One.
As for all the other researchers like Replicel, Sumitomo, Dr. Lauster, Dr. Lindner, and Dr. Xu himself, where are they now?
It seems they have each worked on a rather small part of the problem, but none of them has solved the ENTIRE problem – building a brand new working hair follicle.
To really solve the problem, THEY ALL NEED TO BE WORKING TOGETHER, but they are not, and probably never will, because they all want the acclaim and the financial rewards for themselves. This fragmented effort is actually hindering scientific progress and dramatically slowing down the time to market of any possible cure.
According to Dr. Xu, in order to successfully create new, working hair follicles, you have to have BOTH functioning stem cells AND functioning (hair-inductive) dermal papilla cells. You can’t just have one of those for it to work. He has succeeded in creating – even multiplying – functioning hair follicle stem cells, but he hasn’t done so with DP cells, and now he’s saying, neither has Sanford-Burnham, which I thought was our big hope.
What Dr. Xu said is here:
Furthermore, Dr. Xu’s work with activating stem cells involves changing two genes in them – which is gene therapy – the most cutting-edge and highly-regulated field of biomedical research. From what I know, that means that any “cure” based on Dr. Xu’s work will take a ridiculous amount of time to be reviewed and approved by the FDA – probably not within the next 10 years. That’s just my opinion – I may be wrong.
As far as Histogen goes, I think their HSC has some promise, but I believe there will be roadblocks for most people based on the fact that they’re only testing it for 2 applications, which may result in the FDA controlling its use, and limiting applications to 2 per patient. Again, I’m not sure about this, but that is definitely one possible scenario, in my mind, and it’s not promising.
That means that even if HSC works well on you, you may be limited to only getting 2 applications, because Histogen doesn’t have certification of the safety of applying it more than twice. Of course, if it is regulated in this way, many people will succeed in getting around the regulations. But that will just add one more complication for us, plus the concern of “What if there really are bad side effects from long-term use?”
I don’t know how this will play with the FDA and patients, but that is one possibility.
Even so, HSC appears to not be a real cure for most people. Even their own tests show they can’t simply grow hair at will. Their photographs were kind of cherry-picked, and only showed the best responders. How many patients will respond that well? And even the BEST HSC responders were far from cured.
With Dr. Christiano, too – same as for Dr. Cotsarelis. She announces a discovery, it’s covered all over the media, and then nothing happens. It falls into a black hole. If JAK inhibitors really worked, I think someone by now would have confirmed that by testing it himself. But that hasn’t happened.
What does everyone here think?