Companies working on hair loss cures
RepliCel’s hair regeneration procedure is based on a patented method for efficiently isolating human dermal sheath cup cells from a subject’s healthy hair follicles and preparing them for re-injection to the donor subject. These cells are isolated from a small skin biopsy taken from an area on the back of a subject’s scalp that still grows healthy hair follicles and are replicated in culture for injection back into the subject.
Once these cells are replicated into the millions in a proprietary culture medium, they are re-injected back into areas of hair loss on a subject’s scalp. It is expected that human scalp areas treated using RepliCel’s process will show increased hair count and density.
RepliCel’s novel procedure has been in development over the past nine years by the company’s research scientists and medical experts, and is currently undergoing Phase I/IIa clinical trials in Europe.
Hailed as a breakthrough in the science of hair loss, cellular hair regeneration is a cutting-edge technique that promises to address the riddle of the finite number of hair follicles. In the past, hair loss treatments, including surgical transplantation or medication, faced a troublesome problem: the finite number of hairs on an individual's head limited the degree of redistribution possible. Once a person begins to lose hair, his or her supply of hair-generating follicles necessarily diminishes. For clients who are considerably bald, there often isn't enough hair on the back of the head to make up for the loss on top, leaving the client with a make-do patchwork of thinly implanted follicles.
To date, all mainstream efforts to reverse hair loss have addressed the problem by trying to stimulate (or transplant) existing follicles. Follica's approach is completely novel. The company has obtained an exclusive, worldwide license from the University of Pennsylvania to develop and commercialize a breakthrough technology that has been demonstrated to stimulate the genesis and development of new follicles. Dr. George Cotsarelis discovered that physical disruption of the skin, under the appropriate circumstances, can lead to follicle neogenesis. This capacity of the adult skin to generate new follicles had been observed in the scientific literature from the 1950's and 1960's, but due to lack of understanding of the fundamental biology of the follicle, could never be definitively proven.
Histogen's Hair Stimulating Complex (HSC) is a proprietary liquid formula created by the culturing of newborn cells in a simulated embryonic environment of suspension and very low oxygen, and then harvesting the naturally secreted growth factors, proteins and other synergistic bioproducts that are produced.
HSC is currently being developed and evaluated as an injectable for hair growth. The embryonic-like proteins and growth factors within the complex, including follistatin, VEGF and KGF, have been shown to both stimulate resting hair follicles to produce new hair, as well as induce stem cells in the scalp to form new follicles.