Stemson is going to use minipigs in the next stage of their hair cloning research

trialAcc

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Stemson is doing something similar to what Tsuji proposed. It will work as a traditional hair transplant in the front end of things - only grafts harvested will me unlimited. It won't be injections, hair transplant surgeons will be used to implant the "cloned" (bioengineered) hair grafts. Stemson even has 2 hair transplant surgeons in the board of advisers. So Stemson will be "surgical" too.

Regarding funding for commercialization, their business partner (and investor) Allergan is there to address exactly that.
Is this confirmed? I did only briefly skim the site and press release but I didn't see any methodology discussed.
 

eeyore

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they also have a method of regenerating hair follicles. they call it "smart hair transplant". they want to grow 10,000 hairs from 30 hairs. Have you read in there? do you think that could happen?


Here: https://www.hairlosstalk.com/news/new-research/tissuse-smart-hair-transplants/
It's possible there's a chance they have something but J Hewitt, the company that's supposed to be taking it through trials and potential commercialization, has done nothing but make one excuse after another for the past few years so I wouldn't hold my breath for Tissuse. Also, their CEO mentioned they only want to initially test this on five or fewer people so being the pessimist that I am when it comes to this industry, I think back to Shiseido's first trials with RCH-01 (which is similar in that it's an injection of cells) where they spent 3 years figuring out that the lowest dose showed the best results. And this was Shiseido, a company with all the money they would need for trials. So even if Tissuse works, it's very unlikely that it'll get anywhere since J Hewitt has an exclusive license for it in Japan.
 

eeyore

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Is this confirmed? I did only briefly skim the site and press release but I didn't see any methodology discussed.
Yep, the man himself has confirmed it:

While not as preferable as in injection, a cure is a cure and I'm sure many people (myself included) would take it.
 
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trialAcc

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Yep, the man himself has confirmed it:

While not as preferable as in injection, a cure is a cure and I'm sure many people (myself included) would take it.
No doubt. This probably also brings their time-line up a lot sooner anyways. Similar to PRP and exxons and all that, i doubt the regulatory hurdle is anywhere near as high as a treatment actually completed in the body.
 

jan_miezda

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It all depend how fast they secure funding. From stemson website:

"Series A Funding After closing a $7.5M seed financing led by Allergan Plc, a division of Abbvie, and Fortunis Capital, Stemson is raising $15M in a Series A to fund product optimization in a pig skin model, which is expected to be our preclinical model to produce data for our first-in-human trial application. The funds will support development of the scaffold component, expansion and optimization of the cell production protocol, and multiple cycles of pig studies."

No doubt. This probably also brings their time-line up a lot sooner anyways. Similar to PRP and exxons and all that, i doubt the regulatory hurdle is anywhere near as high as a treatment actually completed in the body.
 

eeyore

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No doubt. This probably also brings their time-line up a lot sooner anyways. Similar to PRP and exxons and all that, i doubt the regulatory hurdle is anywhere near as high as a treatment actually completed in the body.
Yeah I was actually wondering about that and mentioned something along those lines:
What do you guys think Stemson's potential product would have to go through in terms of trials for US regulations? According to this article: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/resear...-regenerative-medicine-will-improve-oversight do you think it'd be likely their solution would involve "minimally-manipulated" cells and thus qualify as a middle-tier product and not have to go through the full 10+ years of trials? From what they've stated so far, their solution does seem to meet most of the criteria for being a "middle-tier" product but mainly hinges upon whether the cloned follicles can be defined as "minimally manipulated" cells.
Fingers crossed that if they do have a real cure they can get it fast tracked as a middle-tier product. If not then we'll be left to suffer for another two decades.
 

eeyore

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It all depend how fast they secure funding. From stemson website:

"Series A Funding After closing a $7.5M seed financing led by Allergan Plc, a division of Abbvie, and Fortunis Capital, Stemson is raising $15M in a Series A to fund product optimization in a pig skin model, which is expected to be our preclinical model to produce data for our first-in-human trial application. The funds will support development of the scaffold component, expansion and optimization of the cell production protocol, and multiple cycles of pig studies."
Interesting find, I've never seen that on their site before, where's it linked? That's disappointing, I thought $7.5M would've been enough to get them going for a bit. A few years ago they said they'd only need around $4-5M.
 

jan_miezda

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Interesting find, I've never seen that on their site before, where's it linked? That's disappointing, I thought $7.5M would've been enough to get them going for a bit. A few years ago they said they'd only need around $4-5M.
yes i hope it wont take them long to raise that. I found that in a separately released statement: https://resiconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Stemson-Executive-Summary.pdf

does that mean they will ask allergen for more money or they will go private investors? I think it will take them just one year alone to get this goal
 

eeyore

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yes i hope it wont take them long to raise that. I found that in a separately released statement: https://resiconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Stemson-Executive-Summary.pdf

does that mean they will ask allergen for more money or they will go private investors? I think it will take them just one year alone to get this goal
Well Allergan does seem to have plenty of money and a desire to bring the world a cure. They've given another company, Exicure, $25M just to begin R&D on a cure (that's IMO less effective than what Stemson is doing) along with promises of hundreds of millions more for milestones: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biote...-25m-to-discover-nucleic-acid-hair-loss-drugs
Kind of weird that Exicure is being given so much for something so vague while Stemson, which seems to be so close to a real solution, gets a measly $7.5M.
 

jan_miezda

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Interesting find, I've never seen that on their site before, where's it linked? That's disappointing, I thought $7.5M would've been enough to get them going for a bit. A few years ago they said they'd only need around $4-5M.
Well Allergan does seem to have plenty of money and a desire to bring the world a cure. They've given another company, Exicure, $25M just to begin R&D on a cure (that's IMO less effective than what Stemson is doing) along with promises of hundreds of millions more for milestones: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/allergan-pays-exicure-25m-to-discover-nucleic-acid-hair-loss-drugs
Kind of weird that Exicure is being given so much for something so vague while Stemson, which seems to be so close to a real solution, gets a measly $7.5M.
These are parts we will never know about. Maybe stemson wasn’t willing to give up much ownership of their company, as that company you show. Actually I’m not worrried I think they will reach their goal of 15 million by Q3 or 4.

Do you know if stemson will use human epithelial cells in the pig studies?
 

werefckd

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No doubt. This probably also brings their time-line up a lot sooner anyways. Similar to PRP and exxons and all that, i doubt the regulatory hurdle is anywhere near as high as a treatment actually completed in the body.
This presentation has more details on their mythology


Dr. Antonella has a cute accent
 

eeyore

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Well Allergan does seem to have plenty of money and a desire to bring the world a cure. They've given another company, Exicure, $25M just to begin R&D on a cure (that's IMO less effective than what Stemson is doing) along with promises of hundreds of millions more for milestones: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/allergan-pays-exicure-25m-to-discover-nucleic-acid-hair-loss-drugs

These are parts we will never know about. Maybe stemson wasn’t willing to give up much ownership of their company, as that company you show. Actually I’m not worrried I think they will reach their goal of 15 million by Q3 or 4.

Do you know if stemson will use human epithelial cells in the pig studies?
Yeah hopefully their CEO is actually handling things of that nature and letting the researchers do their thing.

They haven't mentioned much about epithelial cells. According to this article from mid 2019: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190627171549.htm "The derivation of the epithelial part of a hair follicle from human iPSCs is currently underway in the Terskikh lab."
So it's possible they haven't fully ironed it out yet. Alexey also mentioned it was a still a challenge in an interview a few months ago, though he also said that along with DP cells which he seems to have working already so anything is possible:
"There are challenges with the amplification of derma papilla, in fact and epithelial stem cells."
 
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Armando Jose

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@Armando Jose you can see here. She even said they attain correct hair cycling. So I think you were wrong
presentacion antonella 2019.JPG


Human scalp hair is different, its hair cycle is 3/4 years, not days
But I can be wrong
 

eeyore

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Apparently Stemson's CEO and CTO were featured in one of Fortunis Capital's webinars last week:
1611832048772.png

I don't suppose anyone here was in this? Fortunately they're having another one featuring Stemson again next month, it looks like the invites are through emailing them.
 

werefckd

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Yeah hopefully their CEO is actually handling things of that nature and letting the researchers do their thing.

They haven't mentioned much about epithelial cells. According to this article from mid 2019: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190627171549.htm "The derivation of the epithelial part of a hair follicle from human iPSCs is currently underway in the Terskikh lab."
So it's possible they haven't fully ironed it out yet. Alexey also mentioned it was a still a challenge in an interview a few months ago, though he also said that along with DP cells which he seems to have working already so anything is possible:
"There are challenges with the amplification of derma papilla, in fact and epithelial stem cells."
"There are challenges with the amplification of derma papilla, in fact and epithelial stem cells."

He is talking about the research other scientist are doing there.

Stemson has a different approach, they are not trying to amplify DP cells directly. They amplify iPS cells and then differentiate it into DP cells. He said amplification of iPS cells is not a problem for them, but differentiation still poses some challenges (that are more technical than fundamental). I assume he means they can make the process work but it still need to be perfected.

Remember that they are first differentiating iPS cells into Neural Crest Stem cells first, then into Dermal Papilla Cells:

iPS cells--> Neural Crest Stem Cells

Neural Crest Stem Cells --> Dermal Papilla Cells

So there are two stages of cell differentiation. Not a simples process, it's natural technical challenges would occur before the whole process get optimized.
 
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jan_miezda

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View attachment 155790

Human scalp hair is different, its hair cycle is 3/4 years, not days
But I can be wrong
@Armando Jose please take a look at this review (it’s a bit old) but their are really good point about DP cells and their ability to control hair cycling. I don’t think that uncontrolled growth will be a problem if they use Human DP cells. This review shows all of the molecules DPC interact with to control the cycling: https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/510152



Here are some interesting point from this srudy

“Dermis from hair-forming regions of skin can induce follicles in both hair- and non-hair-forming epithelium, whereas dermis from non-hair-forming sites cannot support the formation of hair follicles”

their is application to grow beard as well and in transplant in regions where the body has experienced scars and burns for this reason (from precious hair transplants). This can be stemson gateway to better funding. If they took the primary role of treating burns and wounds. Our culture would allow that to market better

“Several of the pathways that are involved in reciprocal signalling between the epithelial cells and DP of the developing follicle have been identified, with reciprocal Wnt signalling emerging as one of the earliest and most-important”

“Interruption of β-catenin signalling in the DP results in reduced proliferation of cells at the base of the follicle, which induces catagen and prevents anagen induction”

this is why pharmaceuticals inducing WNT signalling can help. Because they maintain reciprocal connection between existing DP and epethial cells. But it can’t be a true cure only a treatment because it says there are more pathways at play like Wnt, Shh, Notch, and bmp. Also if you already have miniaturized hairs from reduced DP cell count, then you already will have less signalling than when your hair was healthy. So even if samumed restor WNT signalling it won’t be to levels before you start balding. Pegasus is right for that reason and SM won’t be good treatment depending on what stage of balding you are in

“One example, in human skin, is the observation that androgens stimulate hair follicle growth in the face but cause follicle miniaturisation in the scalp. DP cells express androgen receptors and 5α-OH-reductase – a key enzyme in androgen metabolism – and DP from different body sites differ in their responsiveness to androgen”

Why androgens can cause hairloss
 
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trialAcc

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Well Allergan does seem to have plenty of money and a desire to bring the world a cure. They've given another company, Exicure, $25M just to begin R&D on a cure (that's IMO less effective than what Stemson is doing) along with promises of hundreds of millions more for milestones: https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biote...-25m-to-discover-nucleic-acid-hair-loss-drugs
Kind of weird that Exicure is being given so much for something so vague while Stemson, which seems to be so close to a real solution, gets a measly $7.5M.
It might be publicly vague, but I'm sure they've shared the process internally to get the funding and Allergan thought it was a better potential product.
 

werefckd

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Exicure is using a novel technology to try to treat some cancers. They received money to try to use the same tech in treating hair loss.

The tech itself is very promising on paper. Like the mRNA treatments/vaccine, gene therapy has the potential to treat many different diseases and conditions. Allergan invested 25 million in Exicure because it's a much bigger company than Stemson and the tech itself is very hyped up. It also scales better since no surgery is involved.

But that is all theory. We don't know for sure, but I would bet that in practice, as of now Stemson has a much better proof of concept for a cure of hair loss than Excure.
 
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