Exciting news out of South Korea where a team have been working with a protein that they tell us holds promise as a hair loss cure.
Who we hear you cry! For the uninformed we can tell you that Yonsei is one of Korea's oldest universities, established in 1885... the first year that Charles Down published his Dow Jones Industrial Average and the year that AT&T were incorporated in New York as a subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone Company. Today it is considered Korea's most prestigious university so news of a study claiming great success for a hair loss treatment is to be taken seriously, particularly when the lead declares a product is in the pipeline.
It is an essential step on the road to a hair loss treatment, making bald mice hairy again and proving you understand exactly how you did it, and that there were no negative side effects, are all necessary if you are to proceed to trying to make people hairier. The problem for avid followers of these stories is that often it can be difficult to gauge the level of success and how it might translate to humans. Then there is the issue of time, it can take months and years to progress to a human treatment, through a series of clinical trials where everything has to go right and arrive at a new systemic treatment.
A New Dawn?
Professor Kang-Yell Choi, who led the research, is exceptionally bullish about their prospects. His team created a protein, a "CXXC-type zinc finger protein 5," that disrupts a cellular process around follicle development and healing. They tested their protein on mice over 28 days and hey presto... hairy mice. The team also discovered that a chemical, valproic acid, was an effective catalyst for their protein.
In the words of Professor Choi; "We have found a protein that controls the hair growth and developed a new substance that promotes hair regeneration by controlling the function of the protein." He went on; "We expect that the newly developed substance will contribute to the development of a drug that not only treats hair loss but also regenerate damaged skin tissues."
HIS Hair Clinic
While this reads like great news we are aware that, as is often the case, we just do not know how hairy those mice got. Just the same, Professor Choi is unusually strident in his forecast for success... hopefully that is because he is extremely confident and not because he is struggling to get funding for the next phase. We watch with interest.
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