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Stenn, Follica, Fuchs & Cotsarelis


#1

I’m not certain of its importance, but did anyone else catch the fact that Dr. Stenn has ties to Follica, Inc.?

Here’s an excerpt from one of the articles that came out the middle of last month…

“Follica Inc., a privately held medical device company, was co-founded by PureTech Ventures and a group of world renowned experts in hair follicle biology and medicine. In addition to hair loss, Follica has intellectual property and development programs in various skin and follicle related indications. Additional Follica contributors include Dr. Kurt Stenn (Aderans Research, formerly of J & J, Yale) member of Follica’s scientific advisory board; Dr. Ron Cape (PureTech partner, founder Cetus, former board member Neutrogena) Follica board member; and Dr. Steve Prouty (former J&J skin biology) Follica director of research. http://www.follicabio.com/

Also, I’m curious to know why Dr. Elaine Fuchs hasn’t furthered the study of wnt signaling as it pertains to hair growth. She knew of its importance back in 2004. Now it appears that Dr. Cotsarelis will take things to the next level after his wound healing experiments reconfirmed the significance of wnt in hair follicle growth.

If memory serves me correctly, at one point in time Fuchs said all they had to do was “tweak” their formula to get hair to grow without succumbing to the adverse effects of wnt pathway manipulation (i.e. tumor development). I wonder if they ran into road blocks and gave up?

With that said, I wonder if Cotsarelis will face the same road blocks…?


#2

It doesn’t surprise me that Dr. Stenn has ties to Follica, because Dr. Cotsarelis also has ties to Aderans (ARI). This appears to be a reciprocal deal between the two doctors. There’s nothing wrong with that; they are sharing research and consulting for each others’ companies.

That said, I don’t think Follica promises to have a “cure” anytime soon, and definitely not before ICX and ARI bring out their respective versions of HM.


#3

Didn’t someone mention before that there are 2 companies in Japan working on HM as well ?


#4

Hey everyone,

Elaine Fuchs makes sense as part of the Follica team. What makes the Costarelis et al. Nature findings so extraordinary is that it confirms what Fuchs found 3 years earlier – that the WNT pathway is fundamental for hair growth. If I am not mistaken, the difference between Fuchs and Costarelis’ findings is that Fuchs created transgenic mice while Costarelis did not. In other words, Fuchs manipulated the genes and created new mice that were super-furry. But Costarelis showed that you could get a similar effect by just wounding the skin and applying a WNT-promoting topical. So we can hope that there will be fewer roadblocks with Costarelis et al since they aren’t trying to change our genes!

Let’s keep our fingers crossed… this seems to be the only viable backup if Intercytex HM is a failure, I’m afraid.

All the best,
BB

» I’m not certain of its importance, but did anyone else catch the fact that
» Dr. Stenn has ties to Follica, Inc.?
»
» Here’s an excerpt from one of the articles that came out the middle of
» last month…
»
» “Follica Inc., a privately held medical device company, was co-founded by
» PureTech Ventures and a group of world renowned experts in hair follicle
» biology and medicine. In addition to hair loss, Follica has intellectual
» property and development programs in various skin and follicle related
» indications. Additional Follica contributors include Dr. Kurt Stenn
» (Aderans Research, formerly of J & J, Yale) member of Follica’s scientific
» advisory board; Dr. Ron Cape (PureTech partner, founder Cetus, former board
» member Neutrogena) Follica board member; and Dr. Steve Prouty (former J&J
» skin biology) Follica director of research. http://www.follicabio.com/
»
» Also, I’m curious to know why Dr. Elaine Fuchs hasn’t furthered the study
» of wnt signaling as it pertains to hair growth. She knew of its
» importance back in 2004. Now it appears that Dr. Cotsarelis will take
» things to the next level after his wound healing experiments reconfirmed
» the significance of wnt in hair follicle growth.
»
» If memory serves me correctly, at one point in time Fuchs said all they
» had to do was “tweak” their formula to get hair to grow without succumbing
» to the adverse effects of wnt pathway manipulation (i.e. tumor
» development). I wonder if they ran into road blocks and gave up?
»
» With that said, I wonder if Cotsarelis will face the same road blocks…?


#5

» Didn’t someone mention before that there are 2 companies in Japan working
» on HM as well ?

Well, Aderans (the parent company of ARI) is based in Japan, and has set up an independent research team in Japan to work on hair regeneration.

Also, there is at least one other company now in Japan working on some form of HM. Doesn’t mean they’re credible, however.


#6

Shishedo and Phoenixbio are Japanese companies that have filed HM-related patents with dermal papilla cells and regrowth, etc.

However, they are definitely behind Aderans and ICX for certain.

Here is a little BAD news with Shishedo and some of the problems they have encountered…

Hair Follicle Regeneration Using Grafted Rodent and Human Cells.

J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Apr 12; [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read Links
Hair Follicle Regeneration Using Grafted Rodent and Human Cells.

  • Ehama R,
  • Ishimatsu-Tsuji Y,
  • Iriyama S,
  • Ideta R,
  • Soma T,
  • Yano K,
  • Kawasaki C,
  • Suzuki S,
  • Shirakata Y,
  • Hashimoto K,
  • Kishimoto J.

1Life Science Research Center, Shiseido Research Center, Yokohama, Japan.

Hair follicle regeneration involves epithelial-mesenchymal interactions (EMIs) of follicular epithelial and dermal papilla (DP) cells. Co-grafting of those cellular components from mice allows complete hair reconstitution. However, regeneration of human hair in a similar manner has not been reported. Here, we investigated the possibility of cell-based hair generation from human cells. We found that DP-enriched cells (DPE) are more critical than epidermal cells in murine hair reconstitution on a cell number basis, and that murine DPE are also competent for hair regeneration with rat epidermal cells. Co-grafting of human keratinocytes derived from neonatal foreskins with murine DPE produced hair follicle-like structures consisting of multiple epidermal cell layers with a well-keratinized innermost region. Those structures expressed hair follicle-specific markers including hair keratin, and markers expressed during developmental stages. However, the lack of regular hair structures indicates abnormal folliculogenesis. Similar hair follicle-like structures were also generated with cultured human keratinocytes after the first passage, or with keratinocytes derived from adult foreskins, demonstrating that epidermal cells even at a mature stage can differentiate in response to inductive signals from DP cells. This study emphasizes the importance of EMI in follicular generation and the differentiation potential of epidermal keratinocytes.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 12 April 2007; doi:10.1038/sj.jid.5700823.
Quote:

In conclusion, our results show that hair follicle-like
structures consisting of human keratinocytes and murine
mesenchymal cells are generated. This indicates that EMI
function to a certain extent even between human and mouse
cells. We have also demonstrated that keratinocytes from
glabrous skin can differentiate into follicular epithelia


#7

» Hey everyone,
»
» Elaine Fuchs makes sense as part of the Follica team. What makes the
» Costarelis et al. Nature findings so extraordinary is that it confirms
» what Fuchs found 3 years earlier – that the WNT pathway is fundamental
» for hair growth. If I am not mistaken, the difference between Fuchs and
» Costarelis’ findings is that Fuchs created transgenic mice while
» Costarelis did not. In other words, Fuchs manipulated the genes and
» created new mice that were super-furry. But Costarelis showed that you
» could get a similar effect by just wounding the skin and applying a
» WNT-promoting topical. So we can hope that there will be fewer roadblocks
» with Costarelis et al since they aren’t trying to change our genes!
»
» Let’s keep our fingers crossed… this seems to be the only viable backup
» if Intercytex HM is a failure, I’m afraid.
»
» All the best,
» BB
»

BB,

Cotsarelis’ procedure is not as simple as just wounding the skin. Anyone can make wounds in the skin, and when a wound is made, it doesn’t naturally give rise to a whole bunch of new follicles.

Otherwise we’d all be cutting our scalps and drawing blood, like the Shiites do in Iraq during their religious ceremonies.

If you look at the reports carefully, Cotsarelis’ “procedure” involves first wounding the skin, and then adding an as-yet-unknown compound which somehow activates the Wnt pathway. Who knows what that compound will be, and who knows if it will have an effect on the genes? Will its effects be safely restricted to the specific genes involved in the Wnt pathway, or will it have other side effects on other genes? We just don’t know at this point. It’s really all speculation, and that’s why JB rightly pointed out that Cotsarelis’ so-called “procedure” is all really just a bunch of hype at this point.

It’s sort of like that cartoon of two scientists standing at a chalkboard full of equations, on which they’ve written, “Then a Miracle Occurs”.

What is the critical step in Cotsarelis’ process which causes that “miracle” of new follicle growth to occur?


#8

JTR,

Yeah, I agree that the Costarelis et al. procedure is more than just wounding – the WNT promoter is fundamental, as I pointed out. BUT there IS something to wounding the skin and hair growth. There was a study in the 1950s (cited by the Costarelis group) that showed mere wounding could create hair growth. Also – and I realize this is anecdotal – but I’ve randomly read several reports on blogs by bald/balding people who’ve had some kind of surgery on their head and noticed hair growth in these locations. For example, one guy had a stablizing device for his jaw such that they drilled two holes into his hairless temples, and now those are the only places where he has hair on his head (other than the Norwood 7 wrap-around). Of course I’d take these anecdotes with a grain of salt, but there DOES seem to be something about wounding human skin and regeneration of hair.

As far as the critical step – or “miracle” if you want to call it – it’s the wounding of the skin. Fuchs and her group knew the WNT was vital in mammals for hair growth, but they didn’t know how to create stem cell conditions on the skin. This is what wounding does – and this is why everyone is so excited about Costarelis et al. In essence what they’re presenting isn’t exactly new, it’s more of a combination of Fuchs’ findings with research in the 1950s on wounding and hair growth.

But of course we shouldn’t get TOO excited. I think under EXTREMELY optimistic conditions the soonest a baldness cure would be out would be 3-5 years, but we’d know the results in about 2 years – i.e., we’d know preliminary results by then to see if how viable such a procedure would be.

All the best,
BB

P.S. BTW, if a baldness cure ain’t out in exactly 5 years from now, everyone on this forum can hold me to my word that I’m going to have a dermatologist scrape the shit out of my skull and see what happens, lol!

» BB,
»
» Cotsarelis’ procedure is not as simple as just wounding the skin. Anyone
» can make wounds in the skin, and when a wound is made, it doesn’t
» naturally give rise to a whole bunch of new follicles.
»
» Otherwise we’d all be cutting our scalps and drawing blood, like the
» Shiites do in Iraq during their religious ceremonies.
»
» If you look at the reports carefully, Cotsarelis’ “procedure” involves
» first wounding the skin, and then adding an as-yet-unknown compound which
» somehow activates the Wnt pathway. Who knows what that compound will be,
» and who knows if it will have an effect on the genes? Will its effects be
» safely restricted to the specific genes involved in the Wnt pathway, or
» will it have other side effects on other genes? We just don’t know at
» this point. It’s really all speculation, and that’s why JB rightly
» pointed out that Cotsarelis’ so-called “procedure” is all really just a
» bunch of hype at this point.
»
» It’s sort of like that cartoon of two scientists standing at a chalkboard
» full of equations, on which they’ve written, “Then a Miracle Occurs”.
»
» What is the critical step in Cotsarelis’ process which causes that
» “miracle” of new follicle growth to occur?


#9

HM isn’t a baldness cure,it’s another form of hair restoration.
HM will not stop you from losing more hair,your going to have to keep taking meds & that sucks.
Lets say you are a N5 & propecia has prevented you from reaching a genetcailly pre destined N7.
What are you going to do ? Have HM & keep taking Propecia or stop the meds,watch your hair shrink away (psychologically painful) wait until you’re a N7 then have HM done ?
What if you have just started going bald.What are you going to do ? Have a HM procedure done every few months so you can catch up with the balding ? How many people in the world can afford to have an expensive procedure like that done every few months ?

HM is great for someone who has already lost all that he is going to loose but for people who still cling to what they have left,it’s a little difficult.Don’t get me wrong,I want HM to come out asap but it only answers part of the problem.Maybe I am over analysing the situation.


#10

» HM isn’t a baldness cure,it’s another form of hair restoration.
» HM will not stop you from losing more hair,your going to have to keep
» taking meds & that sucks.

Damon, you are essentially wrong. It seems like you don’t understand what HM does.

HM PUTS NEW FOLLICLES ON YOUR SCALP, AND REVIVES OR ENLARGES MINIATURIZED ONES.

In other words, it completely restores your scalp to the condition of a person who never started to go bald in the first place.

The new HM follicles are, by and large, NOT susceptible to Male Pattern Baldness.

Therefore, there will be no absolute need to “keep taking meds”.

The new follicles do not have to be preserved artificially.

Now, just to be safe, a person might want to continue taking Propecia or whatever. It wouldn’t hurt, and it might help follicles in places where you weren’t treated with HM injections. Those areas might be genetically programmed to thin or go bald at a later date.

But then, if they do start thinning, you could always go back and have HM injections in those areas, too.

The fundamental thing people need to know here, is that there is no absolute need to keep taking medications to save the HM follicles, because, by and large, the HM follicles will be just as resistant to DHT as the follicles in the donor areas, which (in most people), don’t miniaturize or thin, or if they do, it happens much later on (say, in old age).

» Lets say you are a N5 & propecia has prevented you from reaching a
» genetcailly pre destined N7.
» What are you going to do ? Have HM & keep taking Propecia or stop the
» meds,watch your hair shrink away (psychologically painful) wait until
» you’re a N7 then have HM done ?

The answer to me is NEITHER.

First you have HM done on your thin or bald areas.

Then, if you notice further thinning, you have two options:

  1. If you catch it early enough, it may be stopped by staying on the Propeci However, the HM hair shouldn’t thin.

  2. If you catch it too late, go back and have more HM in the thinning areas.

Either way, it’s simpler just to have additional HM treatments performed in any areas that show signs of thinning, or which you think might start thinning in the future, based upon, say, balding patterns in your family history.

That said, at some point, PROPHYLACTIC HM will be much better and more effective than taking drugs.

If you think you might start thinning according to a NW 7 pattern, but you’re currently only a NW 3, then just ask the doctor to give you injections all throughout the NW 7 area, including areas that currently still have hair.

I think HM doctors will eventually do this gladly. They’ll treat your ANTICIPATED MPB areas, not just current MPB areas. This will provide new follicles in the bald or seriously thinning area, and fortify the follicles in the projected future balding areas.

You’ll pay a bit more, but it will be worth it.


#11

I am not talking about the hairs that grow from HM,I am talking about the pre exisitng hairs that are only there thanks to propecia.If you stop taking propecia you are going to lose those hairs,hm is not going to stop you from losing those pre existing hairs.
I am not a complete idiot,some parts are missing.


#12

» Here is a little BAD news with Shishedo and some of the problems they have
» encountered…

I don’t see this as bad news or problems they have encountered. It is just a study that produced certain observations of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions when mixing cross species cells.

But perhaps what you mean by bad news is that these authors are involved in some fairly tame research compared to ICX, and that this study doesn’t appear to have gained them much ground?


#13

<>>

Boston:

I haven’t really paid much attention to the Dr. C study, but the wound response is a known signaling mechanism that causes the stem cells to travel the site of damage and differentiate into the necessary cells to perform repair.

When your skin is wounded, stem cells in the hair follicle bulge travel up to the site of damage and repair the wound. If it were not so, you would probably bleed to death when you were cut. Well, these same bulge-derived stem cells are also capable of growing a completely new follicle or reparing one that is cut into two pieces (under the right conditions, they can restore both halves of the follicle to their original state).

So the wound response is a known factor in repairing damaged skin and also in repairing damaged follicles. In a nutshell, the wound response instructs the stem cells in where to go and what to do (it aids in orchestrating the repair). Jahoda mentions the wound response in many of his early HM-like research papers.

Thus, it is no surprise that wounding the skin can lead to hair growth, and also not a surprise that certain substances can aid in this process. In fact, Jahoda frequently cut slits and laced them with dermal cells to grow hair in rats and cited the wound as partially contribitory to the subsequent hair growth. He made the same statements about follicular amputation and the subsequent growing of a new end bulb.

The bulge stem cells know how to grow either new skin or new hair. They just need to be coaxed along, and it looks like WNT aids in this process (which is why it is a necessary component in any DP cell HM culture).


#14

» I am not talking about the hairs that grow from HM,I am talking about the
» pre exisitng hairs that are only there thanks to propecia.If you stop
» taking propecia you are going to lose those hairs,hm is not going to stop
» you from losing those pre existing hairs.

Just get HM in those areas. You don’t even have to wait until you lose hair there to have it done. Hell, do you have to wait until you lose hair to use Propecia? No. If you’re smart, you start using it before you lose much hair. Same can apply for HM.


#15

here’s some article on follica, don’t know if it has been posted already :