AbbVie-backed Stemson snags $15M series A for hairy brush-up with Rogaine, Propecia

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Tuesday, July 20, 2021

AbbVie wants more people to regain the pleasure of going to a barbershop or local hair salon, and the biopharma has a keen eye for aesthetics. So, it's backing Stemson Therapeutics as part of a $15 million series A, disclosed Thursday.

After picking up Botox through its $63 billion megamerger last year, AbbVie is not known for cutting short its chances in the aesthetics market, nor would it like missing out on an opportunity to enter a potentially hairy competition with Johnson & Johnson's Rogaine and Merck's Propecia. Not to mention all the other makers of minoxidil and finasteride, respectively.

Hair loss is an old market, but one that has seen a dearth of innovation in recent years. It's been nearly 30 years—1992 to be exact—since finasteride was first approved by the FDA. The regulatory body gave the green light to Rogaine for men in 1988 and for women in 1992.

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