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Is Samumed, the Wealthiest Biotech Startup in Silicon Valley For Real?

The anti-aging industry has grown to larger-than-life proportions. The desire to obliterate wrinkles and reacquire that lustrous mane of hair of one’s youth has spawned a global market raking in hundreds of billions of dollars a year. That’s why it should be no surprise that Samumed, a relatively new regenerative medicine brand, is now the highest valued biotech startup on the scene.

With a $12 billion valuation, Samumed promises to deliver medication that regrows hair on a bald head, reverse white hair back to its original color, permanently smooth out wrinkles, and replenish cartilage in arthritic knees. Samumed also has plans to cure blindness and Alzheimer’s. They plan to tackle diseases one by one.

Although many are skeptical about Samumed’s visions, the startup is already conducting successful trials of their medications. In the phase two trial of SMO4554, a topical treatment for those with androgentic alopecia, or male-pattern baldness, 300 men between the ages of 18 and 55 were divided into three groups: one was prescribed .15 percent dose of the ointment, another .25 percent, and a third was given a placebo. Ten percent of the group with the smaller dose reported hair regrowth, and only seven percent taking the larger experienced increased hair. The placebo group participants saw no change.

Samumed is now conducting clinical trials of seven drugs. The company’s arthritis drug, SM046900 also produced positive results in its 60-person trial. Although the company is exceptionally secretive and refuses to disclose targets and chemical structures, they make a point of publishing their trials in academic publications and presenting data at conferences.


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