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The true cause of hair loss: The relationship between DHT, stem cells and progenitor cells

A lot of people have emailed us and are asking this simple question: We thought DHT is the primary cause of male and female pattern hair loss. But now all these scientists are saying something about how progenitor cells or malfunctioning stem cells cause baldness. Which is it… DHT or stem cells?

Well, that’s a doozy of a question, so let me try to answer it as best I can.

It’s true, the dominant theory for what causes male and female pattern baldness is a genetic hypersensitivity (like an allergy) to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative from the male sex hormone testosterone.

Make no mistake: DHT is potent stuff. It causes hair follicles to shrivel up and stop producing new hair. It’s also the hormone that causes benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, also known as an enlarged prostate.

Your body converts testosterone into DHT by means of an enzyme, 5-Alpha-reductase, which comes in two forms.

So, we have three elements in this equation: the male sex hormone testosterone… the enzyme 5-Alpha-reductase… and the product of the two of them, dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

You could try to reduce the amount of DHT by reducing the amount of testosterone in your body, but that has all sorts of negative consequences, such as impotence. You can try to reduce the amount of DHT on your scalp by means of anti-DHT lotions. Or, finally, you can try to block the action of the enzyme 5-Alpha-reductase.

This latter approach is known as 5-Alpha-reductase inhibitors… and these potent drugs, available by prescription only, were first used as a treatment for BHP until patients and doctors noticed the unexpected side effect of reduced hair loss.

So far, so good. But about a year ago, cutting-edge stem cell research threw a monkey wrench into the scientific consensus. Dr. George Cotsarelis at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School discovered that hair follicles in the scalps of bald men are not “dead,” as previously thought, but actually merely dormant. More precisely, Dr. Cotsarelis discovered that the hair follicles of bald men contain as many immature stem cells as healthy hair follicles but these stem cells don’t produce as many mature progenitor cells, also known as “workhorse cells,” that actually produce hair.

The key research question right now is: How do you re-active these dormant stem cells and get them to turn into the progenitor cells that grow hair? That’s the million dollar question (literally). At the moment, it looks like the answer involves chemical signals known as growth factors and cytokines – the key ingredients in products like RegenRXx and Histogen’s upcoming Hair Stimulating Complex – but which growth factors, in which combination, and delivered how?

But before answering that question, there is another one: What is the role DHT plays in this process?

And right now, the best guess seems to be that it is DHT that keeps hair follicle stem cells from growing up and becoming progenitor cells that grow hair. In other words, it’s not so much the hair follicle itself that has a genetic hypersensitivity to DHT but the stem cells in the hair follicles.

So, what are the practical implications of this research?

FIRST, 5-Alpha-reductase inhibitors are still effective although increasingly it looks like the side effects may be worse than we thought.

SECOND, protecting hair follicle stem cells from the baleful effects of DHT may not be as difficult as we thought.

In the fall 2011, scientists at Yale University discovered chemical signals from fat cells can stimulate hair follicle stem cells to “grow up” and become the much-wanted progenitor cells that grow hair.

In an article in the scientific journal Cell, the Yale researchers reported that, at least in mice, a special kind of stem cell found in fat – known as adipose precursor cells – was necessary for hair follicles to produce hair. More specifically, fat stem cells produce chemicals known as platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF), and it is these growth factors that may be the missing “on switch” that tell stem cells in hair follicles to turn into mature progenitor cells that grow hair. That’s one of the reasons why we’re so excited about Cygenx.

In other words: We’re pretty darn close to figure out the chemical mechanism that causes male and female pattern baldness. This is huge!

That’s why, despite all the cynicism you hear on the various hair loss forums – in which many denounce all research and leads as “scams” and con games – the research into stems cell hair treatments is truly moving forward. The problem is that science moves at a snail’s pace… and we’re all understandably impatient.

So, to summarize: It looks increasingly like DHT somehow acts like pixie dust on Peter Pan and keeps hair follicle stem cells from growing up and becoming the progenitor cells that produce hair. The result is that the follicles shrink, the hair gets thinner and thinner and eventually stops growing altogether.

If we can figure out how to counteract that process, and send the hair follicle stem cells the chemical signals they need to restart their engines, so to speak, we may at last have a realistic treatment for hair loss in our lifetimes.

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How to Hair Growth for 2012: 7 Steps to Take Right Now

Hair Fall Remedies – How to Hair Growth for 2012 can be outline in just 7 easy steps.

Step #1: Stop using shampoos with sulfates! Chemical additives in shampoos known as sulfates (sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate) are what cause the lather most people expect when they use shampoos. Sodium Lareth Sulfate (SLS) is a powerful degreaser that is also used to clean garage floors and car engines. Unfortunately, these chemicals tend to dry out your hair, strip it of its color and, worst of all, may damage delicate hair follicles in people with a genetic predisposition to hair loss. The evidence suggests that sulfates irritate the skin and should only be used sparingly and in small concentrations. The problem is, most people in developed countries wash their hair often and use copious amounts of shampoo. What sucks is that virtually 98% of all commercial shampoos use sulfates. The exception are shampoos designed specifically for people who have their hair dyed. Many brands imply that they are sulfate-free but are not. I personally like the Coloresse brand of volume shampoo “for fine, thin, color-treated hair.” We also recomend the Revita shampoo and Revita.COR conditioner by DS Labs.  Buy it or something like it. Throw all your other shampoos and conditioners in the garbage.

Step #2: Begin taking an advanced hair vitamin such as TRX2 immediately. Research suggests that the top vitamins for hair growth are Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-6, Zinc Oxide and Pantothenic Acid. In otherwise healthy individuals, nutritional factors appear to play a role in people with persistent increased hair shedding. The role of the essential amino acid, l-lysine in hair loss also appears to be important. In addition, a product such as TRX2 adds powerful metabolic stimulants (Potassium, BCAA, Nicotinic Acid) with a natural energy-generating substance (Carnipure™ tartrate) to promote hair growth on a molecular level. Double-blind data confirm the findings of one study in women with increased hair shedding, where a significant proportion responded to l-lysine and iron supplements. Bottom line: Take a good hair and nail supplement from a trusted vendor.

Step #3: Begin using a laser for hair growth. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is among the most exciting new options in the treatment of hair loss. European studies have shown that LLLT stops hair loss in 85% of cases and stimulates new hair growth in 55% of cases. As a result, in 2007 the FDA approves the use of LLLT as a treatment for hair loss. A 2009 study of the HairMax Lasercomb found significant improvements in overall hair regrowth were demonstrated in terms of patients’ subjective assessment after 26 weeks of using the product.

Step #4: Use a good anti-DHT topical agent for hair growth. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is believed by most experts to be one of the principal causes of hair loss. More precisely, doctors people that people who suffer hair loss may have a genetic hyper-sensitivity (a kind of allergy) to DHT that causes the minaturization of hair follicles that leads, eventually, to hair loss. One strategy for dealing with this problem (at least in men) is the use of an oral medicine that limits DHT throughout your entire system. However, this approach has drawbacks because there is some evidence that some men can experience negative side effects from many hair fall remedies, such as impotence. Another approach, therefore, is to use anti-DHT topical agents directly on the scalp… and this has shown some success.

Step #6: Consider using a dermaroller with a doctor’s supervision. A doctor’s supervision is required because of the possible risk of infection in the scalp. In recent trials, over a 3 month period men treated with a dermaroller experienced an increase in hair growth. Some experts warn against this. Talk to your doctor. We do not recommend anyone use a dermaroller (which puts tiny holes in your scalp) without consulting a physician first.

Step #7:  Try Spectral.DNC or Spectral.F7 with Astressin-B.  These are two of the very latest hair growth products on the market.  Do some research on the Internet and you’ll find they are both highly regarded — a bit experimental, and no results guaranteed, but a lot of people seem happy with both of these products.  Another product that many people are experimenting with is Cygenx’s RegenRXx growth factor serum, derived from human stem cells.  As with all stem cell treatments, the goal with RegenRXx is to release chemical signals into the scalp to turn the dormant hair follicles (which are dormant and not dead) back on, to wake them up again, so they begin producing hair.

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RepliCel Now Accepting Applications for Upcoming Clinical Trials of Hair Cloning Technology

RepliCel™ Life Sciences, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is currently accepting the names of people interested in maybe participating in the next round of its clinical trials of its new hair cloning treatment. Its current Phase I/IIa clinical trials, being conducted in Georgia, are scheduled to end in April 2012.

Replical’s hair regeneration technology involves the harvesting and multiplication of what are called dermal sheath cup (DSC) cells located in a “bulb” at the base of the hair follicle.

In laboratory studies, RepliCel™ scientists have found that DSC cells both stimulate the development of mature hair follicles and the creation of new ones. The scientists discovered that the DSC cells are capable of actually regrowing the dermal papilla and hair follicles themselves.

The way the treatment works is this. Trained technicians harvest DSC cells at locations in the base of the neck, where they are plentiful. These harvested DSC cells are then placed in a special nutrient medium in a laboratory where they multiply.

Once there are a sufficient number of DSC cells taken from a patient’s own neck hairs, the new cells are injected directly into the scalp where hair loss has occurred. Like reseeding a lawn, the DSC cells “migrate” to hair papilla that already exist and effect an regenerative transformation. They also create brand-new hair follicles.

Most importantly, the harvested DSC cells are taken from hair follicles, at the base of the head near the neck, that are not as sensitive to male sex hormones (androgens) which, scientists believe, are what cause the hair follicle miniaturization that makes hair loss happen in the first place.

Also, because the DSC cells come from the patient’s own body, rejection of the cells is far less likely.

RepliCel™ is now accepting queries from individuals who might be interested in participating in its new round of clinical trials. If you’d like more information about possibly participating in its new Phase I/IIa clinical trial of its hair regeneration technology, fill in the form below:

iGrow Hair Growth System Uses Lasers to Grow Thicker Hair

The iGrow hair growth system has been released for 2013-2014, which claims to revolutionize the way hair is grown. The developers say that the iGrow will “re-energize” hair follicles so that they will go back to growing hair. The system costs £665, but it will reportedly start to show results in as little as 6 weeks, though the system will take a full 9 months to complete the hair growth process.

About the iGrow Hair Growth System

The iGrow hair growth system is a helmet that is designed to be worn for 25 minutes every day. People that are already suffering from hereditary hair thinning or have already gone bald can use this system to help address their symptoms. The iGrow system does not promise results before nine months, but claim that it can help people start growing hair back as soon as 6-8 months into treatment. Some are concerned over purchasing the machine because it comes with an expensive price tag, but manufacturers note that a full hair transplant would cost £4,000 – £30,000 which is significantly more than what one could expect to pay for a home treatment, particularly one that is said to be just as effective.
The iGrow system is not said to have any side effects, and those that have used it have not reported any kind of discomfort when using the system. The only negative aspect of the iGrow is that users must wear the helmet for 25 minutes at a time, but the system has incorporated an MP3 interface and built-in iPod to help the time pass more quickly. Dr. Thomy Kouremada-Zioga who performs professional hair transplants notes that the form of light treatment used in the iGrow system is safe and has been known to improve the effects of pattern balding or andorgenetic alopecia on both men and women.

How the iGrow Hair Growth System Works

The iGrow hair growth system is based on technology that has been used in a variety of hair management systems for many years. Laser combs using LLLT hair growth technology have been around for many years and are also known to help people re-grow hair in balding areas. The iGrow has simply expanded the idea by encouraging hair growth on a larger area than the comb could manage to treat. Those using a small comb may only notice that areas that were thinning become thicker which may not be a suitable option for many who are seeking out a solution for their hair loss.

The iGrow is not without its critics, however. Some claim that while the iGrow can make thin hair look thicker, it is not necessarily capable of reversing baldness that has already set in. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of conditions, and not all can be treated equally. Doctors recommend that those interested in the iGrow make the effort to talk with their doctor to determine if this could be used as a long term hair growth solution or if this laser treatment is not designed for the type of hair loss they suffer.

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Alpecin and Caffeine as a Treatment for Baldness and Hair Loss

A number of readers have asked us about Alpecin, the German hair-loss product made up of potent amounts of caffeine. Alpecin is not officially sold in the United States (presumably due to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) – although it is available online in Canada and even on Amazon.com.

There are two primary products: Alpecin caffeine shampoo and a more potent Alpecin liquid.

We don’t recommend Alpecin primarily because we believe that you can get whatever benefits there are from caffeine through the Revita.COR conditioner which we promote – along with a dozen other DHT-blocking and hair-stimulating ingredients, such as Copper Tri-peptides, Arginine, Encapsulated Cultured Plant Stem Cells, and others.

The question is: What role does caffeine play in slowing or reversing hair loss?

Anecdotally, there are a lot of people who swear by Alpecin… and some of the research we’ve seen is intriguing.

One 2007 study, in the International Journal of Dermatology, looked at the effects of testosterone and caffeine on hair follicle growth. The application of just a tiny amount of testosterone (5 µg/m) suppressed follicle growth… while the addition of small amounts of caffeine (in concentrations of 0.001% and 0.005%) immediately counteracted this effect. Not only that, but the application of caffeine alone significantly stimulated new hair growth.

The authors concluded, therefore, that caffeine is “a stimulator of human hair growth in vitro” and should be studied as a possible treatment for androgenetic alopecia (AGA) or pattern baldness.

Another study, “Follicular Penetration of Topically Applied Caffeine via a Shampoo Formulation,” published in 2007 in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology and available here, found that the caffeine in caffeine shampoos (such as Alpecin) definitely penetrates the into the stratum corneum of the scalp and into the hair follicles.

The studies presented by the company that manufactures Alpecin seem impressive, but most are small and not conducted under rigorous conditions. One, conducted at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, found that 82.5% of test subjects saw significant improvement in hair loss after just two months of using the Alpecin liquid.

At the very least, Alpecin and caffeine generally deserves far more study as a hair follicle stimulant.

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Aderans Research and Clinical Trials in Stem Cell Hair Regrowth Technology

Aderans Research [ARI] is a subsidiary of two companies interested in the development of resolving the issues of hair loss from a number of differing causes including medical treatments for cancer, genetic disturbances and inheritors, and injuries resulting in damage to hair follicles such as burns or wounds. Aderans Research is located in Atlanta, Ga. The parent company, Aderans Co., LTD is located in Beverly Hills working in conjunction with Bosley hair treatment and clinics.

ARI is in the second phase of developing cellular restoration products for hair regrowth applications. In November 2011, Aderans announced that it was opening new facilities for additional clinical trials in association with Radiant Research in four new cities across the nation. Some clinics are still accepting people who wish to participate in the study. To date, over 356 individuals have been joined the study as clinical subjects.

Aderans’ research develops rejuvenation using a subjects own hair stem cells eliminating the need for concerns about rejection. By cultivating stem cells from the subject, other complications such as infections or disease transmission is dramatically reduced. ARI studies include both regeneration of hair cells at the follicular level for both men and women.

A stem cell is any cell from any part of the body – skin, brain, fatty tissue, hair, or organs – which has the ability to replicate itself. This process is much like the stem of a plant which sprouts leaves along its length. These cells are one part of the ingredient in hair regeneration. The second part is the cell that acts an alarm clock waking dormant cells.

It has been known since the University of Pennsylvania’s study in 2004 that hair follicles include multiple cells. Some of these cells are hair replication cells, which control cyclical growth of hair. Other cells are communicator cells, which are necessary to wake the dormant cells when it is time for them to grow. People with certain types of hair loss are now known to lack the alarm clock cells. Unless there is a method to inform the dormant cells that it is time to activate, hairs are not generated.

In a Yale University research program, it was discovered that the communication cells, which instruct the hair cells to grow, is found in the fatty layer below the epidermis. The complete ramifications of the results are still not clear but hopes remain strong that this will lead to the ability of medical research to replicate other cells in the human body. Until this time, the value of the fatty layer was not understood.

With the latest breakthroughs in molecular endocrinology regarding communicator cells in the fatty layer beneath the skin and Yale Research in the importance of fat cells for hair growth, Aderans has developed products that are addressing these issues. However, this does not address issues with an underlying cause related to the contraction of hair follicles.

One of the major problems that medical transplants observed was the patchy effect of surgical transplants. The question of why one area of the scalp would allow hair regrowth while another in close proximity would not could not be explained. The Yale and University of Penn studies shed light on this problem. With that, researchers around the world have been working to develop methods to overcome the problem.

During Phase I conducted in the U.K., Aderans research has focused on pattern redistribution issues noted in traditional surgical transplants and medical treatments for regrowth. One of the problems documented was the limitation of distribution of hair regrowth in surgical transplants.

The process used by Aderans involves the reproduction or replication of hair cells taken from a subject. By removing hair samples from the subjects scalp, the stem cells from the follicle are stripped out and placed in a medium that incubates the cells. The medium contains nutrients that are necessary for the cells to replicate on their own. In this way, there are an unlimited number of hair follicles to replant in the subjects scalp. In addition, the fat cells that are a necessary part of the continuation of hair growth develop simultaneously during replication due to the medium used.

Part of the medium used by Aderans is a small amount of tissue removed from the nape of the subject’s neck. By using this method, the fat cells become an integral part of the cloning process and compatible with the subject. This tissue used with Wnt proteins stimulates the replication system of the cells in a natural way.

In January 2012, Dr. Ken Washenik participated as a presenter for the 2012 Winter Dermatology Conference in Maui. Speaking on “Emerging Therapies for Hair Loss,” Dr. Washenik discussed the treatments and new breakthroughs of molecular dermatology as well as the latest advances in Aderans’ Ji Gami product line. He stressed the advance in products still in the pipeline that are proving to be consistently stable.

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A Quick Way to Cure Hair Loss: Growth Factor Fgf9

In 2013 there have been many discussions in the scientific community regarding the treatment of baldness. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believe that they have found a method that allows for the regeneration of hair follicles using growth factor that will harness the power usually used to repair skin that has been damaged to create skin that is capable of growing hair in areas that were previously bald. This growth factor, known as fgf9 has been found to double the number of hair follicles present in areas of skin on mice when it is expressed in the cells. It is believed that these effects could be mimicked on human skin to help to eliminate baldness.

How Fgf9 and Growth Factor Works

Fgf9 is expressed in specialized T-cells that are used by the immune system to repair damage when the skin is injured. Humans have very low amounts of T-cells that are expressed naturally which can cause areas of skin that have been damaged to heal without hair follicles. It is believed that applying this growth factor to human skin could improve the presence of hairs to reverse the effects of baldness. Over time, these treatments could grow hair anywhere a person wanted it, on chests, the tops of head or other areas. Because these growth factors are naturally present in the body, this treatment would, at least in theory, not cause any negative side effects for those that would undergo this treatment.

The key to this expression is that these cells are part of the immune system and appear to help address skin that has been damaged. This means that a slight amount of damage would need to befall the skin cells that a person would like to start growing hair. Many processes including chemical peels that are already used as part of a plastic surgery regimen could be used to create the reaction necessary to get these cells to react as desired. A treatment could then be applied that would present the body with further doses of fgf9 to increase the reaction of the body that would case this area to start developing hair follicles.

Issues that Must be Addressed with Growth Factor and Fgf9

Before full treatments of growth factor can be used to eliminate male pattern baldness, additional testing on humans must be performed to ensure that this treatment does not cause side effects that are not currently anticipated. This would include any side effects for topical treatments that would be necessary to stimulate the presence of fgf9 in the desired cells. As research progresses, more information about the likelihood of these concerns and how to properly manage them will become more readily available.

Because cells would need to be damaged to ensure that new follicles will be developed in the areas where the patient would like increased hair growth, it will be necessary to find a way to trigger this reaction without damaging existing, healthy follicles that are present in the area where the treatment will be applied. Ongoing research will better determine how to avoid these problems.

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Get Rid Of Hair Loss with Nisim Hair Loss Products

Hair loss is a problem that affects both men and women. Although men seem to suffer more from hair loss particularly baldness, women also undergo hair thinning. There are various treatments in the market and most of these treatments work only to a certain degree.

Nisim hair loss products are proving to be quite effective when it comes to managing hair loss in both men and women. The Nisim hair loss range has a wide range of shampoos and conditioners which use only the safest ingredients giving hair loss patients a reason to smile. Nisim hair loss shampoo is particularly very popular and this is because the shampoos help to control excessive hair loss with its herbal ingredients. The popular Nisim Newhair Biofactors has been successfully preventing hair loss for two decades throughout 40 countries which just goes to show that it is a product worth reckoning. Besides their world renowned hair loss shampoo, Nisim also have their F.A.S.T package which contains a shampoo and conditioner as well. Their F.A.S.T hair growth formula promises to deliver 99 percent hair growth and so far it has sold more than 1.5 million bottles. This is a great feat to achieve considering they have not spent millions in advertising or marketing the range of products.

Why Nisim Hair Loss Products?

Nisim hair loss products are designed to cater for different types of hair and this has been very effective in tackling hair loss. Their hair loss formula strengthens hair which in effect discourages thinning and hair loss. Now one of the major reasons why Nisim hair loss treatments stand out is the ingredients used. These treatments are made using herbal products which have been proven to control hair loss and balding as well. They contain an intricate mixture of natural herb extracts such as saw palmetto extract and DHT blocker which create a healthy environment for the hair to thrive.

Who Needs Nisim Hair Loss Products?

Nisim hair loss products can be used to treat various types of hair loss. Whether you are suffering from traction alopecia which is caused by constant pulling of the hair follicles or androgenic alopecia which is the most common hair loss problem in men and women, Nisim range of hair loss products can help.

There are two categories of Nisim hair loss products and these are:

  • Dry hair treatments
  • Oily hair treatments

It’s important to note that both the oily and dry hair treatments can also be used on normal hair. The treatments are guaranteed to help your hair loss problems and a good example in the Nisim New Hair Biofactors range of shampoos. These shampoos contain ingredients such as biotin, rosemary extract, chamomile, horsetail extract and other ingredients known for their potent hair rejuvenation properties.

If you notice any of the following hair loss signs, you may want to begin using Nisim hair loss products.

  • A receding hairline at the forehead
  • Weakened hair and clumps of hair in the comb and bathroom floor due to constant shedding
  • Visible signs of less hair in the head or hair thinning
  • Visible patches of hair
  • Widening gaps revealing the scalp

Nisim hair loss products have been used for decades and their results speak for themselves.

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Doctors: 3 Different Types of Hair Loss in Older Women

Three distinct stages of pattern hair loss in women are related to the age of onset, and are not necessarily androgen related.

Between puberty and age 40 years, hair miniaturization in females tends to be caused by androgenetic alopecia, a common hereditary thinning or balding induced by androgens in genetically susceptible people of both sexes.

By contrast, women in their 60s or older may develop hair thinning from age-related, or “senescent” alopecia, which is distinct from androgenetic alopecia because senescent alopecia is not mediated by dihydrotestosterone, Dr. Vera H. Price said at the annual meeting of the Pacific Dermatologic Association.

However, a newly identified stage that often occurs between 45 and 55 years of age is gaining popularity in the lexicon of hair loss. In this stage, called “female pattern hair loss,” the role of androgens is less clear-cut, and other hormonal and nonhormonal factors may play a role, said Dr. Price, professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.

All three stages show similar histopathology, with follicular downsizing, normal sebaceous glands, and no significant inflammation. However, recognizing and understanding the three stages help inform management, said Dr. Price.

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Hair Loss Products: RepliCel Life Sciences to Conduct Phase II Clinical Trials of its Hair Cell Replication Technology

RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. announced February 5th that it is negotiating with German government officials for its upcoming Phase II clinical trial for its hair multiplication product, known as RCH-0, at the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), a medical regulatory agency located in Langen, Germany.

The clinical trial will test the effectiveness of RCH-01 in more than 100 male volunteers suffering from various stages of hair loss. The purpose of the clinical trial is to further test the safety of RCH-01 injections as well as to determine the optimal protocol for the treatment to increase hair growth.

Hair Loss Products That Grow New Hair

“We are happy with the progress made with the design of our upcoming Phase II trial and are quite eager to get input from the PEI that will allow us to conduct the best clinical trial for the development of our product,” said Darrell Panich, Replicel’s vice president of clinical affairs. “Designing a trial in consultation with the PEI will facilitate the completion of the formal clinical trial application for our upcoming trial.”

Replicel is has developed what is says is a natural hair cell replication technology that, it claims, has the potential to become the world’s first “minimally invasive solution” for androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness) and general hair loss in both men and women. The technology involves removing hair follicles from a patient’s scalp, reproducing them in a laboratory, and then re-injecting them into various sites on the scalp – much like “re-seeding” a lawn. This hair cell replication technology would overcome one of the principal obstacles for surgical hair restoration: the lack of a sufficient amount of donor hair on many patients for a cosmetically satisfying result. The RepliCel technology, if it works, would provide what its supporters hope will be a virtually limitless amount of donor follicles for “re-seeding.”

The Phase II clinical trial represents a significant advance in the research. In the Phase I clinical trial, the company produced only 16 “data points.” The Phase II trial aims at 288, enough to determine the optimal type and amount of injections for treating hair loss.

The Vancouver, B.C.-based company says it has won patents for its technology from both the European Union and Australia and that patents are currently pending in other jurisdictions.

“The Company has made significant advancements in its manufacturing procedures and these improvements are expected to have a meaningful impact on our RCH-01 program,” said Replicel CEO David Hall, in a written statement released in early February. “We are committed to receiving guidance and implementing the recommendations provided by the regulatory authorities to ensure we have a well-constructed Phase II trial that will lead to the optimum dose to treat pattern baldness.”

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