Stemson Therapeutics announced today a $7.5 million seed financing led by Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie Company, and impact investor Fortunis Capital to advance development of Stemson’s therapeutic solution to cure hair loss. Stemson aims to restore human hair growth with a novel approach using the patient’s own cells to generate new hair follicles. Allergan Aesthetics is a world-leading medical aesthetics company. Fortunis Capital, a London-based venture capital firm, is committed to continuing support of Stemson’s regenerative cell therapy to treat hair loss. Fortunis Capital’s new Impact Fund intends to invest in companies, such as Stemson, who offer significant social or environmental benefit.
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Human hair follicle dermal papilla cells produced in Stemson’s lab (Photo: Business Wire)
"Stemson’s novel cell therapy approach to treat hair loss has game-changing potential. Their experienced management team is poised to elevate its proprietary regenerative cell therapy method as it begins the next phase of its preclinical program," stated Sir Andrew Ross, Director of Investments at Fortunis Capital. "Fortunis Capital is committed to supporting companies that are creating innovative solutions with worldwide social or environmental benefit, and we believe that Stemson has the team, technology and the tools in place to develop a therapy capable of solving the hair loss problem for millions of people in need."
The seed funding supports the preclinical development of Stemson’s Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) based technology, which is capable of producing the cell types required to initiate hair follicle growth. Globally, hundreds of millions of men and women suffer from various forms of hair loss, and no solution today is capable of generating a new supply of follicles for patients in need.
"Allergan Aesthetics’ research and development efforts are focused on products and technologies that drive the advancement of aesthetics medicine. Hair loss is a significant unmet medical need for millions of men and women, and Stemson Therapeutics’ efforts to develop novel methods to regrow hair is an opportunity to make a difference in this area," said Yehia Hashad, M.D. Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Allergan Aesthetics.
The initial seed financing allows Stemson to expand its management team and R&D resources, while recent approval of a foundational patent provides stability surrounding the Company’s efforts to develop its radical solution for hair growth. The additions of Meghan Samberg, Ph.D. as Vice President of R&D and Preclinical Development, and Cenk Sumen, Ph.D. as Chief Technology Officer, complement the work of Stemson’s cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Alexey Terskikh and the R&D team. Stemson received approval in the United States of its cornerstone Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) method patent licensed exclusively from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. The patent covers a novel process developed by Dr. Terskikh to differentiate iPSC into dermal papilla cells, the cell type primarily responsible for controlling hair follicle generation and hair cycling. The patent secures foundational methods using iPSC cell therapy to grow hair.
"Stemson has established the biological and technical building blocks which are needed to solve the problem of hair loss. A truly curative solution is now feasible, and we have built a world-class team to deliver a therapy for the millions of hair loss sufferers across the world," said Geoff Hamilton, cofounder and chief executive officer of Stemson Therapeutics. "We are grateful for support from Allergan Aesthetics and Fortunis Capital, and we look forward to expanding our base of investors as we move toward our first human clinical trial."
About Cell Regeneration Technology
Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) have the unique capability to replicate indefinitely and give rise to all cell types of the human body, including the cell types required for repair. iPSC-based technology is capable of producing the cell types required to initiate hair follicle growth. As a new therapeutic platform, iPSCs represent an emerging area of regenerative cell therapy. Stemson is one of a growing number of companies at the forefront in developing iPSC-based treatments.
About Fortunis Capital
Fortunis Capital is a London-based impact investment venture capital firm, whose vision is to support the positive evolution of society through sound and intelligent investment. The Company is the 101st signatory to the IFC led impact principles scheme under the auspices of the World Bank and a UK Home Office endorsing body that seek out and supports global innovation. Fortunis Capital invests in concepts that support the positive evolution of society by providing solutions to problems worth solving. Fortunis Capital seeks ground-breaking and innovative concepts and drives these companies forward to success. For more information about Fortunis Capital and their impact venture capital investing, please visit www.fortuniscapital.co.uk.
About Stemson Therapeutics
Stemson Therapeutics is driven by a vision where anyone battling the emotional trauma or social stigma of hair loss has an opportunity to truly cure their condition and safely restore their natural hair. Stemson was founded in 2018 based on a novel cell engineering process capable of producing the cell types required to regenerate hair follicles. Our engineered cells are combined with a unique tissue engineering solution and are capable of generating a net new supply of hair follicles for patients in need. Stemson Therapeutics is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit www.stemsontx.com.
Amy Caterina (email@example.com) at Stemson Therapeutics