It can only be good news, to see a major global pharmaceutical firm with hair loss on its agenda. Especially true after failing at an advanced stage last year with one promising product. With Allergan to reenter the hair loss market on the back of an announcement this week, we had to take a closer look.



Allergan is a Dublin based, global pharmaceutical firm. With a turnover last year in excess of $16B they are huge. With Allergan to reenter the hair loss market, sufferers the world over have every reason to be pleased.

They focus on developing, manufacturing and marketing branded products for patients around the world. One familiar name on their product list is botox. Although HQ’d in Ireland, Allergan started life as an American business called Actavis, who moved to Ireland to take advantage of the friendly corporate tax environment there. Once in Ireland, they acquired a number of large US pharmaceutical firms, including Allergan whose name they took. They received a $150M windfall in 2015 when a proposed merger with Pfizer broke down and Pfizer settled with a ‘break up fee.’ In fact, it was Obama’s plan to ban tax inversions that changed Pfizer’s plan to create what would have been the world’s third-largest merger.

A History Of Hair Loss

Allergan’s first attempt to enter the hair loss market did not fare so well. They took an oral hair loss drug through to a Phase IIa trial that completed last year. Unfortunately, the results of that trial disappointed and it was subsequently dropped from the Allergan pipeline list. 

Undeterred, Allergan has come back to hair loss with the announcement of a $750M deal. They have tied up a deal with a biotech firm called Exicure. Exicure work on developing gene regulating drugs. It is phenomenally complex bioscience. By tying up with a global pharma like Allergan they have big ambitions. Chief Executive, David Giljohann, said he was excited at the prospect of ‘combining our knowledge of nucleic acid therapeutics with Allergan’s deep expertise in medical aesthetics.’

Early Plan To Address Hair Loss

At this stage, the new partners are coy around exactly which markets they are looking to address. The great news for hair loss sufferers is that androgenetic alopecia is likely to be first on their list. They have correctly identified it as an underserved market. One where there is a $3.5B estimated annual spend on treatments and products. Most of which are extremely limited in efficacy.

HIS Hair Clinic

So it seems we can look forward to watching the work of Exicure more closely. They will be tasked with discovery and preclinical development work on any hair loss project. With Allergan then taking over at the clinical testing stage. 

You can read more about Exicure, and the science that underpins their research, by clicking here. They are an enormously welcome addition to the increasingly high-quality labs we see joining the fight against hair loss. It is exciting to see their work attracting the likes of Allergan. Equally, it is encouraging to see Allergan’s appetite for the hair loss market seems undamaged by their previous attempt. 

If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our friendly team of experts simply complete the contact form at the side of this page, or click here to find your nearest clinic.




By Ian Watson


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