For a number of years, hair loss and baldness blogs were buzzing with news over a revolutionary technique being developed which would allegedly make baldness a thing of the past. The proposed hair loss treatment was known as hair cloning, or hair cell regeneration, as well as hair multiplication. The company at the forefront of experimental research into the field was UK based Intercytex.
Feeding the hopes that baldness would soon be a completely ‘curable’ condition, some hair loss experts boldly claimed that the treatment could be available within three years, as reported by Belgravia in December 2009.
Intercytex Produces Key Research in Hair Cloning techniques
Intercytex’s Phase II clinical trials in hair cloning technology produced promising results and a proof of concept, but indicated that there was much work still to be done before the idea of re-growing a full head of hair could become a reality. In a report published by the journal Future Medicine, they concluded that, “while these systems are valuable for demonstrating the principle of hair induction, they do not provide a means to efficiently [grow] hair in the human scalp.”
However, before further research could be carried out Intercytex was forced to sell its assets and temporarily shut down its research, as a result of financial difficulties. The bulk of the company was then purchased by Regenerative Solutions Ltd, along with the rights to VAVELTA, a treatment for skin repair and rejuvenation. The scientific assets relating to the company’s hair cloning treatment (known as ICX-TRC), were meanwhile sold to Aderans (now Unihair), one of the world’s leading hair restoration companies.
Unihair Continues Search for Baldness Cure
Unihair’s research arm, Aderans Research Institute (ARI), is now continuing research into hair cloning technology, and announced earlier this month that it expects to enrol its 200th subject in Phase II clinical trials by the end of the year. Phase II testing is expected to be complete by early 2012.
ARI’s Executive Vice President, Ken Washenik, commented, “This clinical study is starting to show how our innovative cell-based approach to hair restoration can truly help those who suffer from hair loss.”
While conventional hair transplants involve moving hair follicles from one side of the scalp to the other, hair cloning is performed by removing tissue from the patient’s hair follicles, growing and multiplying this in a lab before re-implanting it back into the patient’s scalp. These cells then stimulate the growth of new hair follicles, enabling the individual to grow back their own hair.
As Dr Washenik points out, “the primary limitation in hair transplantation has always been the number of follicles that you can move – you only have a certain number.” It is hoped that this new hair cell regeneration procedure will overcome this limitation.
Limitations of Hair Cloning
There is no doubt that these developments offer exciting prospects for baldness sufferers, but it’s worth remembering that it may be some time before such treatments become widely available, and hair cloning will undoubtedly carry a high price tag. Furthermore, it may only be suitable for those who have already experienced total hair loss or baldness, as for those who are in the process of losing their hair, preventative treatments can already stabilise hair loss and regrow hair in most cases. Regrowing hair via tried and tested treatments already on the market will also provide a far more cost effective hair loss solution that will eliminate the need for such expensive and invasive surgery.
The Belgravia Centre specialises in providing hair loss treatments for people suffering from a wide range of conditions. Two of the formulas we use, Propecia and Minoxidil, are the only treatments which are currently scientifically proven to be effective in the fight against male pattern baldness as they are licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA . These are combined with various ‘Hair Growth Boosters’ and trichological monitoring programmes to not only stabilise hair loss but also induce hair re-growth. See results that so many people achieve by viewing our Hair Loss Success Stories. You can contact Belgravia for a consultation to learn more about our hair loss solutions.