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HairlossSucks Newsletter - November 2000

HairlossSucks Newsletter
November 15, 2000
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Revivogen Updates Biotech Race - Breakthroughs for Hair Loss?
New survey conducted by Rogaine says... A Cure for the Cold? A treatment for Cancer?
Howard Stern Hair Growth Challenge! New technology for topical treatments
Update on new hair loss drug study German site joins newsletter subscribership
Dutasteride reviewed - "Molecule of the Month" Study: Propecia able to stimulate growth phase
Revivogen Announces new Ingredient

Revivogen Updates

For information on Revivogen, please see http://www.HairlossSucks.com/revivogen.htm

We have been tracking (now over 100) Revivogen users since June 2000, and have contacted the next small group of people who began treatment during the first half of June.  Assuming they continued treatment, this should be their 4 to 5 month status report.  Out of 11 people emailed, only 3 opted to fill out the questionnaire.  Here are the responses:

Revivogen Progress Report

How long on Revivogen? 4 Months
What other treatments are you using? None
What type of hair loss do you have? N/A
What is your age? N/A
What kind of results have you seen? I think the hair loss has slowed a bit since using the product, but I have experienced NO new growth

Neil   neil.fox@cyberdude.com

Revivogen Progress Report

How long on Revivogen? One Month

I used it as directed for about 4/5ths of one of the two bottles I ordered.

What other treatments are you using? Nothing during use. Had stopped finasteride (tapered off slowly) prior to starting it.
What type of hair loss do you have? I am between a Norwood 2 & 3, with a high hairline. 
What is your age? 30
What kind of results have you seen? I tapered off of finasteride over a period of about 3 to 4 weeks, and ordered Revivogen, which I began toward the end of the 3-4 week period. I used it as directed, but the recession seemed to continue.

The one and only reason I stopped using Revivogen was because its method of action was claimed to be similar to finasteride, and I was deathly afraid that I was having a delayed hyperandro reflex from the finasteride that was causing the new loss. No one could seem to give me any evidence or guarantee as to whether the Revivogen itself -- though a topical, not systemic treatment -- could possibly be having a negative effect on my follicles and induce the same type of loss I was afraid the finasteride was causing.

I would dearly love to use a topical product rather than propecia, and was hoping Revivogen was it, but I have to see more evidence that it couldn't exacerbate my loss.

I will say that my hair in the areas it was applied looked and felt great after several weeks when I'd shampoo in the morning; if nothing else the stuff is an amazing conditioner.

I was not seeking regrowth with my treatment, by the way, I simply wanted to maintain what I had using a topical treatment. I would still be happy with that. My only other request would be for some type of a pump or spray applicator, although I imagine that would take some mixing with something else for volume and may defeat the effect of the product. Another option I'd like to see is some kind of a cream or gel-based product that could perhaps be massaged in to the hairline and rubbed through the hair. The dropper method just seemed to be difficult to apply all over, I felt as though the hair itself absorbed much of it, and maybe a spray/pump or gel/cream could be better massaged into the scalp and left overnight.

If anyone can give me feedback on my concerns about it exacerbating loss, I'd be very appreciative.

Twoashes    twoashes@hotmail.com

Revivogen Progress Report

How long on Revivogen? 5 Months
What other treatments are you using? Propecia
What type of hair loss do you have? Recession at the temples and thinning on top
What is your age?   31
What kind of results have you seen? I've seen absolutely no good results. The crown has remained the same, but the front and top has got worse.

Tomkazone   tomzakone@mindspring.com

Revivogen Progress Report

How long on Revivogen? Just over 4 Months
What other treatments are you using? Also using Nano shampoo and Proxiphen daily
What type of hair loss do you have? On temples and back of head
What is your age? 34
What kind of results have you seen? Shedding occurred heavily during the first 6 weeks then slowed down a lot but at about 4 months it returned and as of now has abated again. Hairloss still continues with my hair in a worse condition than when i started.

I must confess that i do see tiny unpigmented hairs in the temple regions which are very difficult to see but they are still there and appear to be getting longer. However, I am not convinced, yet, that these will remain - they are still there at the moment. Most people will recognize that when your hair falls out it is replaced my a smaller and thinner hair and then disappears altogether. These hairs at the front may well be these and therefore may disappear.

If they get thicker and longer than I will consider that something positive is happening. At the moment i would say that my condition is not improving but getting worse. I think that i will not be able to give a proper reasonably fair assessment till next month. I will report back then.

In conclusion, not very happy with Revivogen but still have hopes that I could see some improvement over the next 2 months or so. 

Taherm   taherm@globalnet.co.uk

Can You Predict the Next President by Looking at His Hairline?

New Survey Ties Physical Appearance to Perceptions of Professional and Personal Success 

With Bush and Gore running neck-and-neck, could the candidate's appearance be the deciding factor on who will walk towards the Capitol Building podium serenaded by "Hail to the Chief," come January? 

Since the first televised presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, polls have shown us that appearance counts and now, in the age of satellite television, live Internet Webcasts and digital technology, appearance counts more than ever. A recent survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Rogaine, also shows appearance to be a factor when determining one's perception of professional success. 

According to results from the Harris Interactive Signals of Success survey, more than half of the adults surveyed felt that physical appearance, such as hair, weight, and eye color is very important in determining one's perception of professional and personal success. 

"The days are long gone when it was considered strange for a man to be concerned about his appearance," said Brian Boye, Fashion Director, Daily News Record. "When it comes to hair loss, start early with treatments that will help stop the hair loss and in many cases, help it regrow." 

About Harris Interactive Signals of Success Survey 

Harris Interactive surveyed 3,082 people (1,046 men; 2,036 women) online in May 2000. Participants were shown pictures of men with full heads of hair, men with receding or thinning hair, and men who were moderately or completely bald, then rated their personal and professional success based on the pictures. 

Harris Interactive "Signals of Success" Survey Results:

  • 68 percent of females, ages 36 to 45, felt physical appearance was very influential in determining a man's overall professional success. 
  • 43 percent of the women surveyed said that men with a full head of hair Had a good personality compared with 36 percent who thought men with receding or thinning hair had good personalities. 
  • To the men and women surveyed, men with a full head of hair appeared more physically attractive (42 percent) compared to the moderately or completely bald man (14 percent).
  • Almost one-quarter of respondents say that hair loss is very important and 54 percent say that hair loss is somewhat important in influencing how men are perceived by people in general.
  • 46 percent of women rated men with a full head of hair to be attractive compared to 19 percent who thought men with moderate to extensive baldness were attractive. 

About Hair Loss 

Approximately 95 percent of men's hair loss is caused by a hereditary condition called Androgenetic Alopecia. The condition involves a miniaturization process, causing hair follicles to become smaller and reducing the time period in which hair can grow. 

Since the hair is unable to complete the full growth cycle, the follicle produces thinner, shorter and more brittle hair. 

Innovative products, such as Rogaine Extra Strength For Men (5% Minoxidil), are clinically proven to help stop hair loss and regrow new hair by revitalizing shrunken hair follicles, increasing their size. Rogaine Extra Strength For Men is the most advanced medically proven hair regrowth product available without a prescription, regrowing hair or stopping hair loss in four out of five men. 

About Rogaine 

Rogaine Regular Strength For Men was the first FDA-approved product proven to regrow hair and help stop hair loss. Rogaine Extra Strength For Men is the strongest FDA approved topical hair-loss treatment sold without a prescription. Rogaine For Women was the first FDA-approved hair thinning treatment for women clinically proven effective. Rogaine is a clear solution applied directly to the top of the scalp where hair is thinning. For best results, Rogaine must be applied twice a day. 

You can read more about Rogaine by clicking HERE.
Discuss this article with others in our discussion forum topic: "Public Perception of Hair Loss".

Howard Stern Hair Growth Challenge!

Stern Challenges Dr. of Oriental medicine to grow hair in a $5000.00 bet.

Michael S. Mangan OMD. claims he can grow hair 30 days after a patient takes an 8 day cycle of Stimcell. Howard Stern is going to find three balding contestants in the New York area to take this formula which is FDA approved and 100% natural. Scott the Engineer is also participating in this study, and Howard gleefully offered Mr. Mangan $5,000 if he could make Scott have hair again, so that he would no longer need to look at his balding head.  Michael has treated clients over the last 11 months with this product and claims to have seen success in all patients. The results varied from person to person but Michael says he has never seen less than a 10% regrowth and a high of 50% in certain patients all within the 30 day period. Patients who did not smoke or drink had increased results.

Stimcell revolves around cell reproduction and proposes to help regrow hair by providing the body with the tissues that produce hair. This formula is shipped frozen from the lab and is taken orally underneath the tongue. They claim that the results can been seen approximately 30-42 days after taking the 8 vials one per day. Guess how much it costs for the 8 vials?  $2,499.  No, I didn't say $24.99.  

Stimcell claims to grow hair on the entire scalp including the hairline. Michael also notes that hair first grows on the crown area of the scalp and then stimulates regrowth on the frontal areas. Interestingly, they claim that your scalp may also get itchy and tingly due to the immense number of hairs which are bursting forth with life from your skin.  (Take it for what it's worth folks).  They are also targeting hair transplant patients by suggesting that it can be used to soften up the look of a transplant by growing follicles in between the grafts.

Please check back here at HairlossSucks.com for updates on this rather interesting story...

You may also discuss this article with others in our discussion forum topic: "The Howard Stern Hair Growth Challenge"


Update on new hair loss Drug study by Bristol Myers-Squibb

Last month we announced a new drug being studied for hair loss by Bristol Myers which promises to be a thousand times more potent at performing the active mechanism (as a potassium channel opener) than Minoxidil.  You can see the large banner on the home page or view the entire description here:  http://www.HairlossSucks.com/therastudy.htm.

Unfortunately due to a confidentiality agreement imposed by the conductors of this study, Bristol Myers-Squibb, even the lead dermatologist in La Jolla California was unable to give us much information on the specifics. Nevertheless, in the past month, we have had nearly 200 people register to participate in the study, and through some of them we've been given more insight as to what this study entails. 

Here is a letter from one of our users regarding his experience at the local research branch office he was directed to. His anonymity will be maintained for obvious reasons:

"Dear Kevin, I recently spoke to a few of the dermatologists involved in the Bristol Myers study and was wondering if you could help clarify a couple of things. The first problem is that I may not qualify, as I have diffuse thinning all over the scalp, similar to female pattern baldness, rather than the recession and bald vertex that characterizes MPB. (the study requires men who are receding). The doctor, that I spoke to at the Cleveland, Ohio site stated that I might not qualify because they are looking for Norwood 3-4. However, the coordinator at the Michigan site said that I might qualify with diffuse thinning but that it was impossible to tell over the phone and that I would have to go down for a screening. Secondly, even if I qualify, I understand that I only have a 50% chance of actually getting the BM drug. [They are conducting the study with] 25% [of people on] Rogaine 5% and 25% [of people on] placebo. The thing that bothers me the most is that they said they are shaving an area of the vertex. One doctor said that the area will be the size of a quarter and another said that it would be a little larger than the size of a dime. I might be able to deal with a dime-sized bald spot. They said that these are phase II trials therefore they've completed phase I on animals (I've heard stump tailed macaques) and that they are looking for early baldness. I really appreciate your taking the time to read this. Your help means a lot. 

I will get more information on the Bristol Myers study and keep you updated. The Michigan and Cleveland sites both have stated that they have no idea what the drug is and Bristol Myers intends to keep it that way. The sites will be given precisely the amount of drug needed for the study, not a drop more, and will have to return the empty bottles etc. and follow very strict protocol. Apparently, the drug is a "cream" rather than an alcoholic solution. The idea of shaving a portion of my vertex is quite bothersome but I think it's written in stone. As I said, I'll get some more info and keep you posted."

We forwarded the above email to our representative in the La Jolla office, and received the following reply:

"I am the dermatologist in the San Diego area conducting the study along with other physicians in various parts of the U.S. I must admit that your description of your hair loss pattern makes it less likely that you would qualify for the study. It is not that Bristol Myers is not interested in your problem, only that such studies are designed with fairly rigid criteria to allow the greatest possible chance of succes for the drug. Eliminating variables make this easier. As far as the head shaving goes, the study uses hair counts as a measure of efficacy (still the best measure we have). These are done with careful macro photography of the scalp then digitization of the image for consistent counting. The photos are taken with carefully designed macrophotography devices that take a close up photo of ~12 mm of the scalp (they take 12 mm to get 10 mm readable). To get the photograph, the hairs in the area are clipped (not really shaved but it's semantics) to a length of ~1 mm. The area to be clipped is chosen by the doctor as a site of "active" hair loss (usually the front edge of the balding area on the vertex or crown). The area can often (but not always) be covered by existing hair (depending upon hairstyle). With regard to question #4; the phase I studies are primarily safety studies with only one efficacy trial that I know of. I do not expect this medication to be "really amazing at regrowing hair" but more likely that it is substantially better than the existing topical product, minoxidil. Thanks for your interest."

If you are interested in registering to be a part of this study, they have announced that the open enrollment period has been extended, and they may also be allowing men over the age of 40, which they were not before.  You may register to participate in this study by filling in the form at the bottom of this page: 

New article on Dutasteride goes Live...

An interesting article was released this month which reviewed Dutasteride, the long awaited new dual inhibitor by Glaxo Wellcome which many feel will outperform Propecia in fighting hair loss.  You can see the full article here:



Revivogen announces addition of Ingredient... enhancement

Revivogen, which contains the most potent natural inhibitors of type 1 and 2 5-alpha reductase, is now formulated with Procyanidin Oligomers for increased hair growth stimulation as well as active ingredients of saw palmetto extract for improved androgen receptor blocking. Other enhancements include refinement of fatty acids and addition of a liposomal delivery system.

Procyanidin Oligomers (also known as Proanthocyanidin) are naturally derived ingredients that have shown to stimulate hair growth similarly to Minoxidil (Rogaine®). Recent studies by Japanese scientists have shown that Procyanidin Oligomers possess growth stimulation activity toward hair epithelial cells in vitro and stimulate anagen induction in hair follicles in vivo. Addition of Procyanidin Oligomers to Revivogen is intended to increase the hair growth stimulation properties of the formula.

Saw Palmetto extract has shown to inhibit both 5-alpha reductase and androgen receptors. The ability of Saw Palmetto to inhibit the androgen receptors is due to specific ingredients found in trace amounts in an average extract. Now Revivogen contains a higher concentration of these active ingredients including beta-sitosterol to enhance the androgen blocking properties of the formula.

The new fatty acid source for Revivogen formula has been changed to only include GLA, ALA, Linoleic acid, and Oleic acid. These are the most potent inhibitors of 5-alpha reductase with GLA, ALA, and Oleic acids also having potent anti-inflammatory properties. 

Addition of liposomal delivery system is another enhancement of Revivogen formula. Liposome's are microscopic lipid packets that are used for delivery of many medications and are commonly used by the pharmaceutical companies in topical preparations. Adding liposomal delivery system further enhances the absorption of the active ingredients into the skin and aids in their delivery to the hair follicle where they can exert their effects.

For more information on Revivogen, please see:  http://www.HairlossSucks.com/revivogen.htm
Discuss Revivogen with others in our Discussion Forum:  Click Here

Studies related to the new ingredient in Revivogen: 

Study 1

Procyanidin oligomers selectively and intensively promote proliferation of mouse hair epithelial cells in vitro and activate hair follicle growth in vivo.

Takahashi T, Kamiya T, Hasegawa A, Yokoo Y

Tsukuba Research Laboratories, Kyowa Hakko Kogyo, Ibaraki, Japan.

We have previously reported that proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds possess growth-promoting activity toward murine hair epithelial cells in vitro and stimulate anagen induction in hair cycle progression in vivo. This report constitutes a comparison of the growth-promoting activity of procyanidin oligomers and the target cells of procyanidins in the skin. Results show that procyanidin dimer and trimer exhibit higher growth-promoting activity than the monomer. The maximum growth-promoting activity for hair epithelial cells with procyanidin B-2, an epicatechin dimer, reached about 300% (30 microM) relative to controls (= 100%) in a 5 d culture. Optimum concentration of procyanidin C-1, an epicatechin trimer, was lower than that of procyanidin B-2; the maximum growth-promoting activity of procyanidin C-1 was about 220% (3 microM). No other flavonoid compounds examined exhibit higher proliferative activities than the procyanidins. In skin constituent cells, only epithelial cells such as hair keratinocytes or epidermal keratinocytes respond to procyanidin oligomers. Topical application of 1% procyanidin oligomers on shaven C3H mice in the telogen phase led to significant hair regeneration [procyanidin B-2, 69.6% +/- 21.8% (mean +/- SD); procyanidin B-3, 80.9% +/- 13.0%; procyanidin C-1, 78.3% +/- 7.6%] on the basis of the shaven area; application of vehicle only led to regeneration of 41.7% (SD = 16.3%). In this paper, we demonstrate the hair-growing activity of procyanidin oligomers both in vitro and in vivo, and their potential for use as agents to induce hair growth.

PMID: 10084307, UI: 99181798 

Study 2

Acta Derm Venereol 1998 Nov;78(6):428-32

Proanthocyanidins from grape seeds promote proliferation of mouse hair follicle cells in vitro and convert hair cycle in vivo.

Takahashi T, Kamiya T, Yokoo Y

Tsukuba Research Laboratories, Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ibaraki, Japan.

For the purpose of discovering natural products which possess hair growing activity, we examined about 1000 kinds of plant extracts concerning growth-promoting activity with respect to hair follicle cells. After an extensive search, we discovered that proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds promote proliferation of hair follicle cells isolated from mice by about 230% relative to controls (100%); and that proanthocyanidins possess remarkable hair-cycle-converting activity from the telogen phase to the anagen phase in C3H mice in vivo test systems. The profile of the active fraction of the proanthocyanidins was elucidated by thiolytic degradation and tannase hydrolysis. We found that the constitutive monomers were epicatechin and catechin; and that the degree of polymerization was 3.5. We demonstrated the possibility of using the proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds as agents inducing hair growth.

PMID: 9833041, UI: 99050235 


Biotech Race - Breakthroughs for Hair Loss on the way...

Biotech firms find prescription for staying power

TORONTO - An economic slowdown could crimp spending on exotic vacations, electronic gadgets or monster sport utility vehicles, but analysts doubt consumers will reduce their appetite for promising new heart medications, anti-impotence drugs or pills to restore hair loss. 

North American biotechnology firms are holding firm to gains established at the beginning of the year, despite a meltdown in high-technology valuations from semiconductors to telecoms and optical equipment manufacturers. 

The Toronto Stock Exchange biotechnology sub-group is up 25 percent on the year, while Nasdaq's biotech index is up 29 percent in 2000, albeit considerably lower than the 79 percent return achieved in the first-quarter. Unlike the short-lived biotech boom of the early 1990s, today's companies are well funded with plenty of promising products in the late stages of development, analysts say. Biotech financings in North America amounted to over $4 billion in October. 

"A lot of money has been raised in the past 12 months and, I think, over the next two years, a lot of of those projects that have been funded will come to fruition," said Brian Bapty, healthcare analyst at Goepel McDermid in Vancouver. 

At least six Canadian biotech companies are poised for initial public offerings, including Nexia Biotechnologies, which is developing a fiber as strong as steel from the milk of goats that have been genetically modified with a spider gene. Analysts believe investors might sell down high valuation biotech stocks to buy some of the new issues, but strong demand is expected to temper the dilution. 

At the crux of the biotechnology boom are an aging western world population and drug developments aimed at socially stigmatized disorders such as impotence or baldness.  "People are recognizing the dynamics of the biotech industry as being a lot more robust from a demographic perspective and from a steady inflow of cash," said Bapty. 

QLT Inc. is now marketing what could turn out to be a billion-dollar product to treat a form of degenerative blindness that afflicts the elderly, said Bapty. Also, healthcare spending in the Group of Seven industrialized nations remains steady at about 10 percent of gross domestic product, Bapty added. 


The robust spending mixed with discoveries based on the human genome project and a better understanding of the immune system enhances the fundamentals of the sector. 

"We are seeing a ton of good news and lots of products moving through the pipeline right now, so I think fundamentals are moving the sector," said Robertson Stephens analyst Steve Harr. 

Analysts said more North American biotech companies have drugs in late stages of clinical trials than ever before. 

Twenty percent of drugs in phase one clinical trials make it to pharmacy shelves. This rises to about 33 percent for drugs in phase two and over 50 percent for drugs in the last stage, or phase three, of human trials, said Harr. 

"When trying to handicap risk, every time you move up the ladder to the next phase you're increasing your odds of having revenue in the long run," said Harr. Large drug companies are also looking for ways to expand their product lines, which should translate into an accelerated pace of consolidation that has already started. 

For one, Amgen Inc., the maker of blood-cell stimulators Epogen and Neupogen, is showing an appetite for biotech acquisitions with its recent purchase for $170 million of privately held Kinetix Pharmaceuticals, which it bought to advance its small-molecule drug development. 

The sector is primed with cash from recent financings and, although this is expected to give companies the confidence to go it alone, a downturn in market valuations could open the door to further acquisitions. 

"If there is any weakness in the sector, I think you will see a consolidation wave," said Harr, adding that he expects this wave to hit over the next two to three years. 

11:45 11-03-00

Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited.
  Used with Permission.

Off Topic, but Interesting....

Anti-Cancer Drug that actually works?

Nov. 9, 2000 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) -- Researchers gave a thumbs-up to one of the most eagerly awaited cancer drugs -- a genetically engineered protein that may prevent tumors from developing a blood supply and thriving. The drug, called endostatin, interferes with the ability of small tumors to recruit cells to build blood vessels. Without those blood vessels, the cancer can't grow or spread to other parts of the body. 

But while the studies showed that endostatin was not harmful and did have some cancer-fighting activity, doctors cautioned that even in the best scenarios, endostatin will not reach the nation's pharmacies or hospitals for at least eight years. The preliminary studies were announced here at a meeting of cancer experts. 

On all fronts, endostatin succeeded, the researchers say, but most importantly, in the area of safety. "If you are going to have a drug that has to be taken for long periods of time -- and that is probably going to be the case with endostatin -- it cannot have serious side effects," says James Thomas, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison. 

No significant side effects were seen in any of the 61 patients in the three studies, two of them sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the third sponsored by drug manufacturer EntreMed of Rockville, Md. "There were a couple of cases of rash that went away," Thomas said. There also were a few cases of infection, which were cleared with antibiotics. 

As far as fighting cancer goes, one of the Houston patients, a 58-year-old man with malignant melanoma, experienced some reductions in skin tumors. And another patient achieved more than a 50% reduction in a head and neck tumor. Researchers from one of the other studies also reported two minor responses to the drug. Researchers will tweak existing studies, and new ones will get under way. In fact, the University of Amsterdam will begin a study next week in which patients will wear an infusion pump that continuously delivers the drug. 

All the patients in the endostatin study were suffering from end-stage cancer, says James Abbruzzese, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. They all had progressive disease, and none were on any other active medication. All had taken one to 10 previous regimens of anticancer drugs, but the therapies failed to stop disease. 


Cure to the Common Cold?

Just in time for the start of the sniffling season, a zinc-based nasal gel has been shown to ease the cold bug’s bite. Zicam shortened the duration of the common cold by 75 percent in a study released Tuesday.

ZICAM, an over-the-counter gel spray, knocked a week off the cold’s stay and reduced the severity of symptoms, according to results published in the October edition of the Ear, Nose and Throat Journal. Currently available in many drugstores for $9 to $12 a bottle, the gel contains ionic zinc, which has been tested as an oral cold remedy with mixed results, ranging from no effect to cutting the cold’s duration by nearly half.
Sabrina Novick-Sobel, an associate professor of chemistry at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., who has studied zinc’s effect on the cold, said the mixed findings in trials of zinc lozenges are a result of varying formulations. 

She said some zinc lozenges include ingredients such as citric acid added to make them taste better, but which can chemically interfere with the activity of zinc ions, rendering the lozenge ineffective. But the nasal gel appears to be a good formulation, she said. “Zinc lozenges have been shown to reduce cold duration by about three or four days, [Zicam] showed up to a seven-day reduction,” said lead study author Dr. Michael Hirt, a clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Novick-Sobel said it makes sense that the nasal gel would work better than zinc lozenges. “The cold virus is most concentrated in the nose. There’s also the post-nasal drip effect where it gets into the throat. It’s a more targeted approach,” she said. 

While there’s now good evidence that zinc is effective at battling the cold, no one has really proven how it works, Hirt noted. Novick-Sobel theorized that zinc ions fill in the cold virus’ binding site so that it can’t attach to the body’s cells. Nearly 66 million cases of the common cold are reported each year in the United States. They are caused by viruses, most commonly rhinoviruses, that are spread from one person to another by sneezing, coughing or direct contact.


Hirt and colleagues recruited 213 adult volunteers in the Los Angeles area who had at least three of nine cold symptoms — cough, headache, hoarseness, muscle ache, drainage, nasal congestion, scratchy throat, sore throat or sneezing — for 24 hours or less. Half were given Zicam and half a placebo nasal gel. The gels were doled out in a double-blind fashion, meaning neither the researchers nor the patients knew who was getting which formulation. The volunteers were instructed to use the gel every four hours for as long as they experienced symptoms and were provided with diaries to make twice-daily entries about the severity of their symptoms. 

The patients who received Zicam were free of cold symptoms an average of 2.3 days after starting the regimen, while the placebo recipients weren’t cold-free for nine days. Additionally, the Zicam recipients reported less severe symptoms. The participants experienced no side effects, except for a slight tingling or burning sensation, which was reported by both groups. This is an advantage over zinc lozenges, which have caused nausea in some patients due to the metallic taste, Hirt said. The research was funded by Zicam’s manufacturer, Gel-Tech, and the results confirm the findings of an earlier, smaller study done by company scientists. Novick-Sobel said the next step is to study the zinc gel on children. “Kids are the greatest virus carriers in the world, and the ingredients would be safe for them as far as I can tell.” 

Dr. David Pomeroy, a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, said the downside of zinc cold therapies is that they generally must be taken within 48 hours of symptom onset. “Cold symptoms can just be a scratchy throat a day and a half before the stuffy nose starts, and if you wait too late, you can be pushing the 48-hour timeframe,” he said. Pomeroy added that while zinc is generally safe, pregnant women should avoid it.

New Hope for topically applied Treatments

New Drug-Absorption Technology meets the Challenge of Converting Old Drugs Into New Opportunities

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Nov. 2 - MacroChem Corporation (Nasdaq: MCHM), a company developing through-the-skin medications for people who cannot, should not or will not swallow tablets and capsules, reported today that its technology is being recognized as a potential solution to industry drug-development challenges faced by many of the 7,500 formulation and manufacturing experts attending the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists meeting here. 

"These executives are interested in exploring the possibilities of our absorption-enhancing technology, known as SEPA(R) (Soft Enhancement of Percutaneous Absorption)."

"Our technology may enable pharmaceutical companies to reformulate drugs presently administered as tablets or capsules, or even injected, so they can be delivered through the skin as gels, creams or other topical forms" Mr. Snyder said. 

Since 1997, MacroChem has sought and received U.S. and foreign patent protection on SEPA-containing topical formulations of off-patent drugs such as minoxidil, a family of hormones, a group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-fungal agents and alprostadil, the active ingredient in its Topiglan(R) product. 

According to Mr. Snyder, Topiglan demonstrates how pharmaceutical companies can apply MacroChem's absorption-enhancement technology to create valued, patentable products. 

"Our Phase 3 topical for erectile dysfunction, Topiglan(R), is being recognized as the virtual 'poster child' for life cycle management," Mr. Snyder said, "because it addresses all the objectives the industry is trying to meet: New patent-protected products created less expensively out of old ones ... drugs capable of meeting the needs of industrial society's aging consumers ... drugs that don't interfere with the many medicines these individuals are already consuming ... drugs with potential sales of $1 billion or more." 

Topiglan combines alprostadil -- a synthetic version of a blood-vessel dilator discovered in the 1930's and found in human semen -- with SEPA, MacroChem's patented excipient that enables through-the-skin absorption of many drug molecules. Alprostadil has key advantages over most oral drugs marketed and being developed for male impotence, because it acts on the penis, doesn't appear to interact with any drugs likely male patients are taking, and, due to its metabolic profile, is not likely to pose a challenge to their aging hearts. 

"Unlike the active ingredient in oral drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, alprostadil cannot be taken by mouth, and has not been shown in clinical trials to induce intercourse-capable erection in impotent men when applied alone directly to the penis. Currently, it must be injected into the shaft of the penis, or inserted into the urethra as a suppository -- considered too uncomfortable by most men." Mr. Snyder said. 

A Topiglan user is expected to apply a small (0.25ml) fingertip of gel to the head of his penis about 15 -60 minutes before attempting intercourse, as SEPA takes alprostadil through penile skin. 

"Topiglan shows how MacroChem can add SEPA to an off-patent drug with known pharmacology but limited by route of administration or systemic side effects, and formulate it into a patent-protected new product with great appeal to patients and physicians," Mr. Snyder said. 

MacroChem is a drug development company specializing in transdermal (through-the-skin) drugs with sales potentials of hundreds of millions to $1 billion or more, based on its platform absorption-enhancer, SEPA(R). MacroChem expects to complete its current Topiglan phase 3 trial and other requirements for submitting an NDA for Topiglan in late 2002. While engaged in these trials, MacroChem is simultaneously supporting the due-diligence evaluations of several major multinational drug companies interested in licensing Topiglan and its through-the-nail treatment for nail fungus, EcoNail(TM). Other SEPA-enhanced products in the MacroChem development portfolio address other major-market indications, including localized pain and hormone deficiency. 

German site joins HairlossSucks Newsletter distribution

We would like to formally welcome all of the new subscribers to the HairlossSucks newsletter from the web site based in Germany www.Alopezie.de !

The owners of Alopezie.de have teamed with HairlossSucks.com to bring our newsletter to all of their users on a monthly basis.  Consequently, there will be a translated version going out in German to all Alopezie.de users.  With this addition of subscribers, we are now reaching over 1,250 people on a monthly basis.  Details regarding this event can be found at: http://www.derminfo.de/alopezie/sonstiges/hairloss1.htm

Soon we hope to also be teaming with Salusmaster.com to provide an Italian version of the newsletter to their Italian users.  Here's to working together across many languages to help keep the information flowing.

Propecia (Finasteride) and inducing Anagen (the Growth Phase)

Recently Kevin Davis, a member of alt.baldspot posted an informative recent study regarding Propecia's ability to help promote the conversion of hair into the "growth" phase.  We wanted to share this study with you, since we found it informative.

"Finasteride increases anagen hair in men with Androgenetic Alopecia." 

Br J Dermatol 2000 Oct;143(4):804-10.

BACKGROUND: The growth of scalp hair is a cyclical process of successive phases of growth (anagen) and rest (telogen). In previous clinical trials in men with Androgenetic Alopecia, treatment with finasteride increased scalp hair counts in a defined area (i.e. increased hair density).

OBJECTIVES: The current study used a phototrichogram methodology to assess the effect of finasteride on the phases of the hair growth cycle. Patients/Methods Two hundred and twelve men, age 18-40 years, with Androgenetic Alopecia were randomized to receive finasteride 1 mg daily or placebo for 48 weeks. At baseline and at 24 and 48 weeks, macrophotographs were taken to measure total and anagen hair count in a 1-cm2 target area of the scalp.

RESULTS: At baseline, mean total and anagen hair counts in the finasteride group were 200 and 124 hairs, respectively (% anagen = 62%) and the anagen to telogen ratio was 1.74 (geometric mean). In the placebo group, the respective values were 196 and 119 hairs (% anagen = 60%) and 1.57. At week 48, the finasteride group had a net improvement (mean +/- SE) compared with placebo in total and anagen hair counts of 17.3 +/- 2.5 hairs (8.3% +/- 1.4%) and 27.0 +/- 2.9 hairs (26% +/- 3.1%), respectively (P < 0.001). Furthermore, treatment with finasteride resulted in a net improvement in the anagen to telogen ratio of 47% (P < 0.001). In this study, treatment with finasteride 1 mg day-1 for 48 weeks increased both total and anagen hair counts, and improved the anagen to telogen ratio. 

CONCLUSIONS: These data provide direct evidence that finasteride 1 mg daily promotes the conversion of hairs into the anagen phase. These data support that finasteride treatment results in favourable effects on hair quality that contribute to the visible improvements in hair growth observed in treated patients.

Read more about Propecia here:  http://www.HairlossSucks.com/propecia.htm



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