A popular skin care drug—which is intended to target eczema—was just found to have an unusual side effect: hair growth. According to an article on Newsweek, the FDA-approved drug dupilumab was given to a 13-year-old alopecia sufferer to treat her eczema. The patient, who hadn’t grown hair on her scalp since she was two, suddenly grew a significant amount of hair on her head after continual use of the drug, a study in the journal JAMA Dermatology reports.
Things get interesting when we discover a patent which was filed by Sangamo in May 2017 titled “Targeted Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia.” As with virtually all patents, the lengthy text of the patent is difficult to read or to create a concise summary from. An intriguing aspect of this news is Sangamo works in several technology spaces, including previously mentioned genome editing and gene therapy, either would make an advanced type of hair growth therapy we have never seen before. One caveat to mention is the company’s pipeline does not currently display any indication for alopecia, meaning the therapy is not fully developed yet, so it will be some time before trials begin. We certainly hope to hear more from Sangamo Therapeutics as soon as possible about their interesting development for hair growth technology.
Minoxidil and oral finasteride are the only treatments currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Both of these drugs stimulate hair regrowth in some men, but are more effective in preventing progression of hair loss. Although there are a number of other treatments listed in various texts, there is not good evidence to support their use.8
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It's called androgenetic alopecia, or female (or male) pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic "M" shape; hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman's hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
Some treatments in development hold particular promise for women. Angela Christiano, a hair geneticist and Columbia University professor of dermatology, is hoping to begin clinical trials in a year or two on a procedure in which she dissects hair-follicle stem cells, grows them in the lab until she has several million, then injects them into the scalp, where, a very small study done with a human skin model has shown, they induce new hairs.
But there is a Canadian company who has been working diligently to change that. And if they’re right—and so far the research indicates they are—baldness may become a thing of the past for those who choose not to tolerate hair loss anymore. And they're not only attacking baldness, Aging skin and tendon degeneration are on the cutting block as well. It's great news for the tens of millions of older Americans who suffer from these malladies. But the most fascinating part lies in the source of the cure. It’s you. The company focuses on the development of cell therapies using a patient's own cells.
Cloning has seen many false starts and wrong turns, Christiano told me. Now her team is building “an artificial skin with a dermis and an epidermis, with molds made to mimic the dimensions of hair density,” she explained. “When the artificial skin matures we pull out the pre-formed hairs and insert them into the skin.” Bernstein is convinced that, in the next ten years, cloned hair will happen. “And then the supply and demand problem is solved,” Bernstein said. “Without Bernanke!”
Now known as RCH-01, RepliCel’s procedure is a patented cellular replication and implantation technology designed to rejuvenate damaged and miniaturized hair follicles in a balding scalp. According to Buckler, the technology involves the extraction of as few as 20 hair follicles from the back of a patient’s scalp where healthy cycling hair follicles reside.  Specific cells are isolated from hair follicles and are cultured using the company’s proprietary cellular replication process.  The cultured cells are reintroduced or injected back into balding areas on a patient’s scalp and are expected to rejuvenate damaged hair follicles leading to the growth of new healthy hair fibers.

Many pharmaceutical companies and researchers are in the search for a hair loss cure. This is because 7 out of 10 men and 4 out of 10 women suffer from androgenic alopecia (genetically caused hair loss) in their lifetime. In the United States that amounts to around 80 million men and 40 million women currently suffering from hair loss. Of course, a permanent cure would relieve a huge percentage of the population.

I feel inspired to share on the Updates thread a few uplifting comments I received from readers in the past week. Following my admonition to a previous commenter that sending out short, supportive emails to hair growth companies (without asking for extra information that you know they are not ready to share) would be a worthwhile endeavor and boost morale, I received some encouraging responses from two frequent visitors of this site who followed through on the idea. Their comments are shared below. 🙂
Always shampoo and condition your hair regularly. Let your hair breath by avoiding wigs that are made with cotton and nylon caps that absorb moisture and lead to drier and more damaged hair. Instead, choose those with netted caps. Make sure your wig isn't too tight. Secure it with hypoallergenic double-sided tapes. Do not put your wig on over wet hair to avoid the growth of mildew and bacteria.
“Once that hair has stopped shedding, it does regrow, at a rate of about a centimeter a month,” said Dr. Senna, who suffered from the condition after each of her pregnancies. She shares photos of herself with patients, to show she can sympathize. In one, her entire frontal hairline clearly is growing back in. “If I’d used a treatment, I would have thought it was a miracle drug,” she said.
“We are extremely pleased with the continued development of the patent portfolio we exclusively licensed from Columbia.  This new issuance continues to expand the breadth and depth of our JAK inhibitor intellectual property portfolio covering methods of use for certain JAK inhibitors for the treatment of hair loss disorders. The issuance of this patent is another step in the development of a robust patent portfolio relating to JAK inhibition and hair loss,”
RepliCel is a regenerative medicine company focused on developing autologous cell therapies (or therapies that involve one individual as both donor and recipient) that address conditions linked to a deficit of healthy cells required for normal healing and function. Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the company has developed first-of-their-kind cell therapies that will, they hope, treat conditions that now affect 1 in 3 Americans: pattern baldness, aging and sun-damaged skin, and chronic tendon degeneration.
A bathroom covered with loose strands or an ever-scrawnier ponytail can be startling but doesn't necessarily mean anything's wrong. By age 50, half of women will complain of hair loss. "As we age, overall hair density changes and individual strands become finer," says dermatologist Doris J. Day, MD. But just because thinning is natural doesn't mean you have to accept it. Here are 13 solutions to help you keep the hair out of your brush and on your head.

“Curis (now-dormant company) had performed a lot of studies on targeting the Hedgehog pathway for hair growth with very promising results, however, their compounds caused orthosteric activation of the pathway (turning it on everywhere and robustly which is not safe) vs. Oxy133 which causes a much more regulated and limited allosteric activation of the pathway only in stem cells. This could make Oxy133 a blockbuster. Let’s see what happens.” 


Finasteride (brand name Propecia) is the closest to a hair loss cure pill that scientists have discovered to date. This is a DHT hair loss cure. DHT is made when 5 alpha reductase converts testosterone, and Propecia has been found to be an effective inhibitor of DHT by preventing this process from happening. It works internally, at the root of the cause. Therefore, DHT sensitive hair follicles in the front and top of the scalp don’t have to fight off nearly as much DHT.
Women with androgenic alopecia may consider trying prescription ketoconazole at a strength of 2 percent. This drug comes in the form of a shampoo and also goes by the name Nizoral. It’s an antifungal agent and may help reduce the body’s production of testosterone and other androgens that lead to hair loss. You can also find 1 percent strength at your local pharmacy, but it may not be as effective.
But there is a Canadian company who has been working diligently to change that. And if they’re right—and so far the research indicates they are—baldness may become a thing of the past for those who choose not to tolerate hair loss anymore. And they're not only attacking baldness, Aging skin and tendon degeneration are on the cutting block as well. It's great news for the tens of millions of older Americans who suffer from these malladies. But the most fascinating part lies in the source of the cure. It’s you. The company focuses on the development of cell therapies using a patient's own cells.

Recent update: “Breakthrough” in South Korea (11/21/17). We don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up prematurely, and we definitely hope this is not just another false alarm, but this recent discovery does seem to hold some promise. At best it would probably be 3-5 years out for wide availability, we think it’s still worth checking out. Professor Kang-Yell Choi of South Korean University Yonsei lead research indicating that they may have discovered a new protein that controls hair growth. The study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology as well as a news article in the Korea Herald are good places to start reading about this new development.
While there can be numerous reasons behind the thinning of your hair, including certain hairstyles, excessive chemical processes, hereditary factors, and nutritional deficiencies, the most common is aging. But why does hair become thin as we age? Well, as we get older so do our hair follicles. With age, the size of hair follicles begins to shrink, meaning the rate of hair growth begins to slow down and, in some cases, ceases completely. Another reason for thinning hair lies in the production (or lack thereof) of estrogen as we age. Aside from regulating the reproductive system, estrogen plays a big part in hair growth. So, when we begin to produce less estrogen, there's less available to stimulate new hair growth (especially after old hair has shed), ultimately resulting in thin hair.
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