Swedish firm Follicum have received clearance to move to Phase II clinical trials for their hair loss treatment. We look closer.
One of the new breed of relatively small biotech firms, each with their own area of focus or expertise, Follicum is a Swedish business set up with a focus on discovering and developing peptide drugs. According to the US Library of Medicine the central event of each signalling step in biology is biomolecular recognition, the effectors of most signal transduction processes are peptides. Peptides can be anything from protein fragments, stand alone hormones, toxins, antimicrobials and more.
Follicum are working on creating synthetic peptides that can deliver signals which are absent in the patient. Given that peptides are performing this job of messaging throughout the body it would seem a fascinating area for research into all manner of ailments and new ways to treat them.
Positive Study Results Lead To Trial
Their successful application in Germany for a clinical trial on a drug candidate they are calling FOL-005, was only applied for in November following encouraging study results. FOL-005 is a remarkable addition to the cutting edge hair loss treatments currently being investigated. It involves a protein, oseopontin, which is understood to be involved in the growth of bone tissue. The Swedish team have taken a part of the protein and "parially modified its amino acid sequence." In early studies it has been shown to stimulate and inhibit hair growth.
The team plan to see what happens when they take 60 subjects, all suffering from hair loss, and treat two patches of scalp on each. They will receive injections containing one of two different FOL-005 dose levels or a placebo. The intention is to complete the trial and tell us the results during 2018.
HIS Hair Clinic
We love the idea that there are scientists out there, pulling apart proteins and playing with the amino acids in an attempt to give us our hair back What we find particularly interesting about the Follicum study results to date is that they managed to both encourage and inhibit hair growth. It possibly suggests they have a handle on something there... we look forward to their next announcement.
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