Last week, Kythera pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to “setipriprant,” a prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) drug for the treatment of hair loss.
The PGD2 theory of hair loss was initially proposed by Dr. George Cotsarelis at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. Cotsarelis and his team found elevated PGD2 levels in bald scalp compared to non-balding scalp. Cotsarelis believed this finding demonstrated a connection between PGD2 and hair loss, and began devising treatments for PGD2 enzyme blockers, PGD2 receptor blockers, and direct PGD2 blockers.
Work on PGD2 treatments remained quiet over the next few years. Kythera changed this last week when they announced the purchase of the setipriprant drug, a blocker – or antagonist – of the PGD2 receptor, and the intellectual work of Cotsarelis.
According to Kythera:
“The University of Pennsylvania’s discovery and associated intellectual property assets, combined with access to the PGD2 antagonist setipiprant, provide KYTHERA a strong foundation for this novel approach to hair loss,” said Frederick Beddingfield, III, M.D., Ph.D., KYTHERA’s Chief Medical Officer. “These observations are potentially the most innovative new thinking in hair loss over the last two decades. Setipiprant is believed to directly affect this hair loss pathway, and our own preclinical and in vitro human hair models confirmed this effect. It is a well-characterized molecule with a large safety database and we believe we can quickly initiate a development program to study it in hair loss. Putting these two pieces of the puzzle together is ideal and represents an example of our approach to scientifically sound and efficient drug development.”
Clearly, Kythera plans on starting research soon. While setipiprant is unlikely to “cure” hair loss or restore hair in completely bald scalp, it may serve as an exciting new maintenance medication like Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride).
Check back soon for updates!
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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