We continue our look at the leading runners and riders in the race for a hair loss cure, Histogen has been drawing investment and interest for a while now…
Since they were founded, in 2007, this San Diego based startup has raised nearly $50M over five rounds of funding, enough to suggest that some deep-pocketed people have done due diligence and thought them worthy of significant investment. Although we should always bear in mind the scale of the market for any sort of winner in this race.
Histogen’s proposition is based on some smart patents involving the production of multipotent stem cells in the lab, from regular connective tissue rather than embryos. The technology is the basis for two principal areas of research, with one aimed at creating a hair loss treatment and the other at producing an insoluble extracellular matrix – which has potential in wound healing and cancer care.
Current State of Progress
Since registering their first patent in 2012, which covered the Company’s new method for growing cells, they have added another 7 US patents along with 40 issued foreign patents and a further 30 active applications.
They have already gone to market, in partnership with Allergan, on a skin rejuvenation product available through dermatologists… but that is low hanging fruit compared to an injectable hair loss treatment. Any injectable treatment needs to pass a far more stringent set of medical trials than any cream.
So far they have conducted a couple of small studies on an earlier version of their compound, HSC660, which showed a “marked improvement” in terminal hair count.
The company has been encouraged by these results, and those of another small study which showed, they tell us on their website, excellent efficacy for women. Plans are for a Phase 1 Clinical Study in the US using the latest version of their compound.
HIS Hair Clinic
The fact that the research is based on a patent which sees them capable of producing their own supply of pluripotent stem cells is exciting. They have also proven adept at generating cash to fund their research, with any luck they will also be generating some income through their skincare product. That will only help compress the time to market for their hair loss treatment, which if it successfully negotiates the various clinical hurdles must still be some 3 years away at least.
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