RepliCel Life Sciences, the Vancouver, BC biotech company pioneering a new hair cloning technology, issued a press release on May 17th and clarified the results of its recent clinical trials. According to the press release, “further analysis” of the Phase I/IIa clinical trials of its hair cloning process revealed “substantial hair growth” among some study participants, with some participants seeing growth of between 17 and 20%.
Earlier, the company had reported that participants had seen on average growth above 5%. However, Replicel’s spokesman explained that the averages, especially in such small studies, are often deceptive. For example, a number of participants actually saw a decrease in the number of hairs as hairs fell out from the trauma of the process itself… only to grow back after the study concluded. When the scientists looked at the data more closely in recent days, the spokesman said, they noted substantially more growth than they had before.
According to the company, RepliCel’s technology involves the harvesting and implantation of autologous (the patient’s own) hair cells from their own healthy hair follicles. The hair cells are then multiplied in a lab and re-injected into balding parts of the scalp.
RepliCel is one of a number of companies attempting to develop viable hair cloning or follicle multiplication technologies for hair regeneration. The hope is that in the near future hair restoration doctors will be able to “re-seed” a person’s scalp the way gardeners reseed a lawn — and using cells taken from the patient’s own healthy hair follicles. RepliCel says it has won patents for its technology from the European Union and Australia and that other patents are pending in other international jurisdictions.
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