Replicell, these days a collaborative project, is fast approaching a critical reporting stage in its development as a hair loss treatment. We take a closer look.
Replicell is a Canadian company set up to develop a new hair loss treatment. When we say new, we really mean new... this is a 21st Century approach involving the harvesting of dermal sheath cup cells, from which when everything is working properly hairs will sprout. These cells are replicated in huge numbers before being injected back into the problem bald areas in the hope that they will regenerate and produce hair. A Phase 1 trial produced positive results... though we should point out that the trial was very small with just 19 volunteers (10 men and 9 women). These volunteers were monitored for 2 years and most of them for 5 years with encouraging results, at least encouraging from a scientific point of view that is. For the scientists the main result from those first two years turns out to be that there were no unpleasant side-effects, where the main concern was that the introduction of these stem cell type sheath cells might trigger the growth of tumors. In fact there were absolutely no attributable side-effects.
Last summer we reported the exciting news that Shiseido (read that post here
), one of the world's oldest cosmetic companies, used their very deep pockets to commit $35 million to their own clinical trial of Replicell. With lessons learned over the last five years there is great optimism among the team that efficacy, currently pretty poor, can be improved. The results were not exactly disastrous, the top result was a volunteer who achieved a 21% improvement in density over the two years. Three of the volunteers achieved a 10% or more gain with the bulk averaging around 8%.
The hope must be that the injection of cash, the experience of Shiseido and improvements in methodology can all combine to greatly improve those results. It is hard to see too many bald people getting excited at the prospect of a sub 10% improvement... but we recognise the incredible result that is achieving any improvement at all.
HIS Hair Clinic
We will always greet advances in hair loss science with due respect and no little optimism. But we understand the glacial pace of this progress, as Replicell enters another phase of trials which will take years to produce results.
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