It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for – finally a hair loss drug is on the way that claims not just to prevent male-pattern hair loss, but actually to reverse any thinning that has already occurred.
Pharma company Histogen announced that they had submitted an application to begin trials of the drug back in May 2020, and now they have issued a press release stating that they have completed patient dosing at the six week point of the 18-week trial.
How does this differ from other hair loss drugs on the market?
Histogen refers to the drug as HST-001, or Hair Stimulating Complex (HSC). HSC is designed to be a physician-administered treatment in the form of injections.
Most existing medications for hair loss are produced in the form of tablets to be taken orally – the main injectable treatments available are platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP), which uses the plasma from your own blood to try to stimulate the hair follicles, and corticosteroid injections, which are used as a treatment for alopecia areata.
The major difference between this and other existing hair loss treatments, however, is that HSC claims to actually trigger new hair growth, rather than just reduce or prevent further hair loss.
How does the clinical trial process work?
There are 36 patients taking part in the trial, which is being conducted over an 18-week period. Of the patients, two thirds have been randomly selected to be injected with HSC, while the rest will receive a placebo. Patients are unaware which group they fall into.
The injections will take place at the 0, 6 and 12 week time points, so patients have just received their second round of treatment. Each patient rexeives a total of 20 injections at each time point – 10 in the temporal recession (receding hair line), and 5 in each vertex scalp region (around the crown), as these are the areas most commonly affected by male-pattern hair loss. Results will be assessed at the end of the 18 weeks.
When is HSC likely to become available to the public?
As with all drugs, it all depends on the results of the clinical trial – the treatment needs to be safe as well as effective. If all goes to plan, the aim is to receive top line results by the end of 2020, and for the product to hit the market by 2025.
In the meantime, if you’re experiencing male-pattern hair loss and don’t want to wait four years for a viable treatment to become available, there are other options open to you. While there might not be a drug that can reverse your hair loss, we can certainly create the effect of more hair.
Both hair transplant and scalp micropigmentation (SMP) offer a proven, effective way to reduce the appearance of hair loss.
For more information, or to book a consultation with one of our resident hair loss experts, please contact us.