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#1

Hippocrates recommended a blend of pigeon droppings, cumin, horseradish and beet-root, and the Ancient Egyptian remedy included toes of a dog and hoof of an ass.

Now the prospect of a baldness cure that actually works has moved closer after scientists proved for the first time that it is possible to create entirely new follicles from which hairs grow.

A groundbreaking experiment on mice has suggested that it should eventually be possible to reprogram the skin to sprout hair from scratch, to replace the lost locks of millions of men as well as women who suffer from alopecia.

Almost all men suffer from a degree of hair loss by the time they reach 60, and almost a third are appreciably bald by the age of 30. Although hair loss is usually less severe among women, and tends to occur later, it is often more distressing.

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The new results have astonished scientists, as it has long been assumed that hair follicles are formed only in embryos, and thus cannot be reactivated once lost.

Although drug treatments can sometimes slow or stop the advance of baldness and hair transplants can cover up the effects, there was little hope of a therapy to reverse hair loss.

The research changes the picture completely by proving in principle that new follicles, and hence new hair, can be generated from other cells in the skin of adults.

Scientists are now seeking ways of manipulating the genes responsible for follicle formation so that bald scalps can be “reseeded” with hair – and hair growth can be prevented where it is not wanted.

Insights from the research should also aid the development of new ways of healing wounds without scarring, and treatments for skin conditions such as acne.

“This is an extremely exciting discovery and shows promise for treatment of follicular disorders such as hair loss and unwanted excess hair,” said Vera Price, of Follica, a company that is developing the research commercially.

A drug that can do this, however, probably remains at least a decade away. The mice in the study grew new follicles only from skin where large wounds had been deliberately inflicted, which would not be appropriate for human cosmetic treatments.

There are also important differences in the way that human and mouse skin heals, which will have to be better understood if the process is to be exploited for therapy.

The inspiration for the research came from anecdotal reports of follicles forming spontaneously and sprouting hairs on skin where a wound had healed.

In the study, published in the journal Nature,a team from the University of Pennsylvania led by George Cotsarelis removed large patches of skin from the backs of mice and left them undressed to investigate the healing process. The scientists found that, as the wounds healed, the skin entered an “embryonic window of opportunity” during which a key gene called Wnt became active.

Wnt, which is known to be important to follicle formation, is usually operational only in embryos. The Wnt activity caused skin stem cells to migrate to the site of the injury, where hair follicles were regenerated.

The gene’s critical role was confirmed by two further experiments. By introducing extra Wnt proteins to the wound the scientists were able to double follicle growth to produce thicker fur. When Wnt was inhibited, the mice grew fewer hairs as their wounds healed.

This suggests that it could also be possible to regenerate hair by finding a way of reawakening Wnt in undamaged skin, raising the possibility of drugs for reversing baldness.

In a commentary for Nature, Cheng-Ming Chuong, of the University of Southern California, said: “These findings will undoubtedly inspire new thinking in the management of alopecia, in tissue engineering and in the regeneration of other organs.”

The regrowth effect had probably not been identified before in humans because wounds large enough to kick-start it tended to be treated with stitches or dressings, which appeared to inhibit the formation of new follicles, he said.

Dr Cotsarelis, also a co-founder of Follica, said: “We’ve found that we can influence wound healing with Wnts or other proteins that allow the skin to heal in a way that has less scarring and includes all the normal structures of skin, such as hair follicles and oil glands, rather than just a scar.”

British experts said they were encouraged by the research.


#2

Time after time, Dr. Cotsarelis is succeeding in repackaging and reframing other researchers’ progress as his own.

So it’s a brand-new “breakthrough” that Dr. Cotsarelis has learned that certain cells can grow new follicles?

HM researchers have known that for a long time…

Dr. Jahoda, Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Unger, Dr. Gho, Dr. Cooley, and many others have known this for a long time. Drs. Washenik, Stenn and Kemp know it now.

The only difference between the work of the HM researchers, and Cotsarelis, is that the HM researchers simply culture and inject cells to grow new follicles, while Dr. Cotsarelis wants to know the exact biomolecular and embryonic mechanisms that can lead to growth of a new follicle in an adult human, and reproduce that genesis from scratch.

The HM researchers have been, and are, doing it the “easy way”, by exploiting cultures of existing cells and going through the “side door” (without knowing exactly how it all works), while Costarelis wants to know exactly how everything works, to build a key to the front door.

Time after time, Dr. Cotsarelis is able to repackage what the HM guys are doing, and take credit for it himself. Then he gets the credit in the form of newspaper and magazine articles on “a cure for baldness”. Why does he get the credit? He gets the credit because he’s associated with a prestigious Ivy League research institution – the University of Pennsylvania – and so he has instant credibility.

Meanwhile the HM researchers – particularly ICX and ARI, who are going to bring us a real, practical cure a full decade before Cotsarelis can, have few articles in major media written about them.

I think this is really funny…


#3

Who cares if he wants to take credit. Unless he comes out with something sooner than ICX and Aderans, or his treatment ends up being more effective than theres its not gonna make him any money


#4

» Who cares if he wants to take credit. Unless he comes out with something
» sooner than ICX and Aderans, or his treatment ends up being more effective
» than theres its not gonna make him any money

Testing in humans within the year

http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=1001649&srvc=biz


#5

» http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article1800306.ece

What worries me is the impact this will have on the pricing of ICX-TRC. The presence of a powerful alternative therapy just around the corner (well, ten years)is quite an incentive for intercytex to launch at a high initial price. To me, the issue is now one of cost, not whether ICX can deliver. I’ll bet phase two will deliver some very promising results.

Regards,
Facts 21


#6

We could have a cure within 5 years!!!


#7

» We could have a cure within 5 years!!!

This news is everywhere.Try doing a search and see.

See link
http://msn.netdoctor.co.uk/uk/msn/news/index.jsp?id=14146&D=17&M=5&Y=2007#allnews


#8

» We could have a cure within 5 years!!!

Keep dreaming! The article actually states “10 years”, and as we all know these companies never stick to their deadlines. Try “30 years”, and you might avoid being disappointed.


#9

» » We could have a cure within 5 years!!!
»
» This news is everywhere.Try doing a search and see.
»
» See link
» http://msn.netdoctor.co.uk/uk/msn/news/index.jsp?id=14146&D=17&M=5&Y=2007#allnews Lets see how they go on with there phase 1 trial before this becomes bigger news than intercytex,but you are correct its everywhere…


#10

» » We could have a cure within 5 years!!!
»
» Keep dreaming! The article actually states “10 years”, and as we all know
» these companies never stick to their deadlines. Try “30 years”, and you
» might avoid being disappointed.

There is an important point here people seem to be missing?

Quote:

"Wounding activated the signalling pathway of a gene, called Wnt, which is essential for normal hair development. When the scientists inhibiting this pathway, it led to a substantial decrease in the number of new hairs.

But in mice whose Wnt activity had been artificially boosted, there was a “significant increase” in new hair follicles compared to normal mice, the study showed."

So they are saying that if Wnt’s is manipulated during this healing, new hair follicles are produced just like our original follicles were produced.

Well if the current theory is correct, our “original” follicles were formed pre-programed to become MPB follicles when exposed to androgens.

So according to the current theory this procedure in MPB suceptable humans, will give us twice as many MPB follicles as we have now!!

There is also a previous study by Fuch’s in this field, and i am supprised that this latest study did not refer to this?

Quote:

"Fuchs notes that more research is needed before scientists will even know whether manipulating ß-catenin and the Wnt pathway in skin might be a feasible treatment for certain types of hair loss. Scientists need to find a factor that can stabilize the natural ß-catenin within skin cells just long enough for new follicles to form—but not so long that the skin thickens and develops tumors. At the same time, researchers must find ways to induce the expression of Lef-1 so that it can bind the stabilized ß-catenin in order to create new hair. "

So the major risk of tumors with such Wnt’s manipulation has been known for some time!

It makes you wonder about the true motives of some of these people? We always seem to get this kind of regular hype, that no doubt boosts the share values of companies, but nothing else in reality!

S Foote.


#11

“There is also a previous study by Fuch’s in this field, and i am supprised that this latest study did not refer to this?”

Here’s another article on Cotsarelis’ work that does make reference to Fuchs…

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/248593/cure_for_baldness_linked_to_wnt_gene.html

Regards