A new company focused on regenerative medicine has entered the race to produce the next generation of treatments for hereditary hair loss
San Diego-based Histogen, Inc.
develops therapies which stimulate an individual's own stem cells to regenerate tissues. The company claims that by using its unique technology to grow cells in a 'bioreactor' which simulate an embryonic state, they can naturally produce proteins and growth factors in order to restore youthful function.
Having worked with a number of skincare brands, Histogen has now turned its attention to producing an injectable drug for Female Pattern Hair Loss
known as Hair Stimulating Complex (HSC660).
Investigational New Drug trial application
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the American company's Investigational New Drug (IND) application, which means it can now proceed to conduct clinical trials using the soluble drug on female test subjects.
A physician-sponsored study has already been carried out in relation to HSC66's predecessor drug for both male and female pattern baldness but it only included 10 participants. The findings reportedly showed a 100 per cent response rate in the women that took part. The precise responses and how many of these 10 volunteers were women was not indicated in the company's press release.
Hair Stimulating Complex (HSC) has been being developed since around 2008 mostly for use in treating Male Pattern Baldness
. It is understood to have been targeted towards people with temporal hairloss - also known as 'thinning edges' - where the hair thins at the temples, forming a receding hairline
. These hairs tend to take the longest to regrow compared to other areas of the scalp. However, HSC660 is an updated version of the original formulation.
Whilst both male and female pattern baldness only affect the follicles situated along the top of the scalp, from hairline to crown, they tend to present slightly differently. Men often display more intensely defined areas of hair loss, for instance a receding hairline or a thinning crown
, whilst women often experience more diffusely thinning hair
all along the vertex and in the temple regions.
"HSC660 is the first complex biologic consisting of a cocktail of naturally-secreted growth factors to be approved by the FDA as an investigational injectable treatment for alopecia
," said Dr. Martin Latterich, Histogen Vice President of Technical Operations.
The HSC660 'cocktail' is produced by enriching growth factors taken from fibroblast-induced multipotent stem cells using Histogen's patented technology. The solution is known to include KGF, VEGF and follistatin growth factors, placental growth factor, angiogenin and hepatocyte growth factor, These all play important roles in hair formation and stimulating hair follicles from the Telogen (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle
into the Anagen (active) growth stage.
The Phase I trial has not yet been officially registered so no further details as to its scale or timeline are known at this stage.
Women's hair loss solutions
Due to the increasing prevalence
of hair loss in women, especially from an earlier age
than witnessed in previous generations, many pharmaceutical companies are now developing products they hope will treat this growing concern. Additionally, non-proven therapies are also becoming more popular, despite a lack of evidence as to their efficacy in treating genetic hairloss. These include PRP
However, there are already MHRA licensed and FDA approved female pattern hair loss treatment
options available in the form of a discreet topical medication
which is applied directly to the affected area of the scalp. A vasodilating solution can help to open up the potassium channels, encouraging accelerated hair growth.
, a tailored treatment course based upon a client's pattern and level of shedding, as well as their medical profile, often includes appropriate formulations of this solution, plus additional supporting hair growth products
. These range from FDA-cleared low level laser therapy (LLLT) devices - which can be used at home to stimulate the follicles, and come in handy hairbrush
- or headband
-style designs - to exclusive food supplements.
Hair Vitalics for Women
is a premium one-a-day tablet which was developed by Belgravia's experts to include a custom blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts, including selenium, biotin and zinc to promote healthy hair growth. Whilst not designed to replace a balanced diet, in a 2016 survey, 9 out of 10 people who took Hair Vitalics regularly said they had benefitted their hair and that they would recommend them to a friend.
Thinning hair in women
can actually be caused by a number of factors and is not always hereditary - it even may be a temporary issue. Therefore, it is always advisable to get a hair loss specialist's professional diagnosis as soon as possible for anyone worried about excessive hair fall.