The next in our series of articles looking at the latest news from across the world of hair loss research, is a study of progress at one of the most valuable healthcare startups in the world.
Some of the companies we are looking at in this series are young, very young. Others have been around a few years and struggle through the stages of clinical study through a lack of funding. Samumed are different. Since they began work in 2008, they have developed several stem cell research projects with each aimed at a different, underserved, market all in the age-related disease arena. The list of ailments they are aiming to remedy is impressive, it includes some of the most widespread and damaging illnesses including Alzheimer’s Disease and Osteoarthritis. In fact, they have no less than eight compounds in development at various stages.
Their compound SM04554 reached the end of its Phase 2 clinical trials earlier this year, with results that were solid rather than impressive. Along with their Osteoarthritis treatment it is at the most advanced stage of development. The early phases of these clinical trials have to demonstrate efficacy, usually in mice. Phase 2 is where the developer aims to prove safety along with efficacy. So we are currently to hear more detail on the Phase 3 clinical trials that they pretty much immediately moved on to. Signs are good and there seems every reason to be optimistic. Lessons are learned about dosage and other factors during Phase 1, which inform the team ahead of Phase 2 and hopefully lead to improvements… the same is true of lessons learned during Phase 2 when it comes to those Phase 3 trials.
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We have followed the work of Samumed for years. They have a super smart executive team and some seriously exciting products in development. You don’t even have to take our word for it. The fact is that they started out well-funded, but success has seen them raise an incredible $650M in equity over their time… including an impressive $438M Series A (when a private company invites external funding for the first time) in August. That level of funding is not easy to attract for any business at any time, it certainly testifies to the credibility of Samumed. We can only hope it translates into meaningful treatments for them, any one of their eight compounds holds the promise of improving the lives of millions of sufferers.
We should finish with a reality check, despite its intended use as a topical application those Phase 3 trials are still extensive. Do not expect, even with Samumed’s deep pockets, anything approaching a marketable product this side of 2022. Even then, the likelihood is that this will be a replacement for minoxidil… something that might halt your hair loss progressing and, with luck, add somewhere around 10% to the number of follicles.
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