While the early results for his new drug suggest it may offer an improvement on Rogaine, the current market leader, it is the backstory of Osman Kibar, the company founder, that caught our eye.
We came across Osman Kibar in an article carried by Forbes Magazine. Having never heard of him before we were delighted to read that this remarkable man has applied himself to a cure for hair loss… we say applied rather than dedicated because curing hair loss turns out to be simply a step on his planned goal of treating all the symptoms of ageing, one treatment at a time.
Kibar hails from Turkey and is a graduate of Robert College… an educational establishment that draws its intake based on the standard test that all eleven year olds take in Turkey – meaning that Kibar was in the top 0.2% of children to take that test. He has surrounded himself with trusted friends from his days there to form the executive team at Samumed, the company he founded around a decade ago – whose stated aim is to bring to market high tech treatments aimed at curing major societal diseases like arthritus and cáncer.
Kibar’s history is an interesting one. While still studying at Pomona College in California he co-founded one of two companies he would go on to sell in deals measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars. There is also a great anecdote about his brief stint as a professional póker player. He entered his first tournament in 2006 and won it, a year later he would come second on the World Series of Poker. Doubting his own ability and wanting to prove to himself it was no fluke he entered another tournament, won that one too, then promptly hung up his cards.
Samumed are certainly a company we will be keeping an eye on, hoping that the reports of their progress, when they come, are as exciting as their ambition and management team.
Of most interest to us at SMP Debate is the hair loss treatment Kibar’s firm has in development under the catchy title, SM04554. In a trial involving 300 patients it demonstrated it’s ability to regrow hair… instantly promoting it above Rogaine which at best can prevent further loss. The results were strong enough to move it to full FDA trials and over the next year and a half the first significant results should be announced.
Beyond hair loss Samumed have a drug aimed at regrowing cartilage in arthritic knees… successful so far only in rats, but of course that is the pathway that all these medications have to follow.
Hair loss and arthritus are far from the only conditions the team at Samumed have targeted, there’s a treatment for scarring of the lung and another for macular degeneration, which causes blindness.