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What happened to Angela Christiano\'s "hairless gene" research?


#1

I was getting all excited when I read this article:

http://www.regrowth.com/hair-loss-articles/interviews/interview-with-dr-angela-christiano/

In the article she says that you would need to apply this “pretty regularly for a fixed time” and that it would be available “within the five year framework” (yeah, I know…).

It all sounded very good… until I realised that the article is from 1997/1998.

Does anyone know what happened to this?


#2

Dr. Christiano has been working on that hairless gene thing for a long, long time. It first started when she developed a temporary autoimmune condition where she lost a lot of her hair, which then spontaneously grew back. That’s what prompted her to start studying hair science.

She’s talking about some kind of potential gene therapy topical here, which I think is very far away. If something like this is ever discovered, it will take a very long time to get through the FDA, since it involves changing and manipulating human genes. If you think it takes a long time for FDA to approve a drug or a medical device, just imagine how long it would take for them to approve gene therapy for a cosmetic purpose. Of course, it’s possible that if such a thing were discovered, it would reach the market earlier in foreign countries with fewer regulations. But something like this hasn’t even been discovered yet, and we may not even be close.

Anyway, Dr. Christiano has moved on way past that stuff. I don’t know if she’s still working on it. What she is doing is working on spheroid cultures of DP cells, and getting DP cells to spontaneously express more of the genes for trichogenicity (induction of hair growth). This is not the same thing as gene therapy, but there are some similarities, and there’s a point where changing gene expression in cell cultures becomes about equivalent to gene therapy.

But you’re right, that’s a very old article about Dr. Christiano. The gene she’s talking about (the “hairless” allele found in that Pakistani family) also doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with MPB. It might be indirectly connected somehow (maybe some common pathways are involved), but it’s not necessarily so.

Frankly I would be much more interested in her 2013 spheroid culture work, if I were you.


#3

Thanks for this.

I was actually looking for an update on her spheroid culture work when I came across the “hairless gene” article from 1997/1998.

Do we know whether there have been any developments since the article on her spheroid culture work was published last year? Has there been an update? (If not, can we get one?)

My understanding is that she is growing more or less the same cells as Aderans did, but she’s more successful at growing hair because she’s growing the cells in little “drops” (“spheroids” ). (I know this is over-simplified, but if she is indeed using the same cells as Aderans did, I wonder whether the data of Aderans’ Phase II trials would be of interest to her. It would be interesting to know whether these scientists talk to each other.)


#4

How long does it take for a hair to actually grow once created? 1 month, 2 months,etc? Wouldn’t it be nice if one of the researchers created an open source forum much like the Linux OS system. We could follow along and see what actually happens.


#5

I’ve just come across an interesting interview with Angela Christiano on Youtube. It’s about her research that was published last year:

Q: The possibility of getting approval for this will take how many years?

A: Well, it’s an interesting regulatory path, because it’s not quite a drug.
They’re called autologous uses for these cells - we’re getting them to do the same thing they already do - and we’re not doing anything to them, so they’re mininmally manipulated, so we hope it’s a smooth path.

She also says that she hopes to conduct human trials “in the next three to five years”. (And I think the video is a year old, so that would be two to four years from now.)


#6

Thanks for finding that interview, News, I had not seen it.

Here’s another good clip where Dr. Christiano gives a longer explanation of what she’s doing:


#7

Looks like Christiano is not the only one who’s working on a 3D/sphere model:

http://hairlosscure2020.com/dr-aaron-gardner/

http://www.b*ldtruthtalk.com/showthread-p-174221.html


#8

She is so well spoken, smart, presentable, she has the total package. I can’t think of a better PR person to work with angel investors to get funding for the research.


#9

I like her. Not sure though she presenting all the facts. She says it is hard to get funding. Not really. It is difficult to get funding if you don’t have a working protocol. Show me a procedure that grows hair consistently and abundantly then investors will be knocking on her door begging to invest. Remember, they do this for a living! Funding pays her bills. She not going to say, “we still don’t have a clue” because she could not sell her cause. She must display hope to continue to receive any funding. Hopefully if she receives funding she may make that big breakthrough. However, there seems to be a pattern here for all these hair loss researches. I pray I am wrong!!!


#10

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by superhl[/postedby]
I like her. Not sure though she presenting all the facts. She says it is hard to get funding. Not really. It is difficult to get funding if you don’t have a working protocol. Show me a procedure that grows hair consistently and abundantly then investors will be knocking on her door begging to invest. Remember, they do this for a living! Funding pays her bills. She not going to say, “we still don’t have a clue” because she could not sell her cause. She must display hope to continue to receive any funding. Hopefully if she receives funding she may make that big breakthrough. However, there seems to be a pattern here for all these hair loss researches. I pray I am wrong!!![/quote]

I don’t want compare, but it seems like with her latest study she’s even surpassed Cotsarelis. If I were investors right now, I’d choose her to fund.


#11

Anyone who has decent evidence of a working commercial MPB treatment does not struggle for funding - period.


#12

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by cal[/postedby]
Anyone who has decent evidence of a working commercial MPB treatment does not struggle for funding - period.[/quote]

Her work is still in progress, it’s definitely not ready for commercialization. But it seems she knows the path to pursue – that is getting cultured DP cells to express greater trichogenicity. Conducting that research will cost money, and that’s her current problem. She needs to find investors who believe in the project.


#13

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by cal[/postedby]
Anyone who has decent evidence of a working commercial MPB treatment does not struggle for funding - period.

[postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]

Her work is still in progress, it’s definitely not ready for commercialization. But it seems she knows the path to pursue – that is getting cultured DP cells to express greater trichogenicity. Conducting that research will cost money, and that’s her current problem. She needs to find investors who believe in the project.[/quote]

She is on Columbia U’s payroll to do research, I don’t think getting investors is her problem. Columbia U probably has a whole different crew that solicit investors on a regular basis.


#14

I’m not saying that more money couldn’t ever speed up a process that takes many years.

But I’m saying nobody has a cure ready to roll into trials just sitting on a shelf for lack of financial interest. Anyone who “just needs more money” is not anywhere near the finish line.


#15

Yes, you’re absolutely right.

On the other hand, it seems Dr. Christiano, while she definitely doesn’t have a perfected cure in hand that’s just waiting to be marketed, does have a clear pathway for how to get there. Her ideas are not shrouded in mystery and secrecy (like a few companies we’ve seen, Follica, Aderans, Replicel, Pilox, etc.) but out in the open and clearly disclosed to the public through the media.

She knows what’s wrong with the cultured DP cells, and along with Dr. Jahoda, has a lot of ideas about how to change them so they express the right characteristics.

This is a situation where it APPEARS, then, that the only thing missing to get from A to B to C, then, is the money.


#16

Aderans/Bosley must be hitting themselves not investing their money in Christiano in the first place, I like her a lot, she speaks in plain English that everybody can understand.


#17

The first real progress on HM will probably come from the group of researchers operating with the least secrecy, pomp, general bullsh*t.

What a surprise.


#18

Excellent video, the 3D that she talks about, isn’t it the same stuff that Nigam was also testing on his patients? I hope there s a chance Nigam can make a come back and prove himself.