For anyone living through the consequences of balding, it can be a serious issue that saps confidence. Baldness isn't easy for anyone, but women suffering from alopecia may suffer more than their male counterparts. The relative rarity of female pattern baldness when compared to male pattern baldness combined with a culture that elevates the importance of appearance for females makes the loss of hair particularly troubling for women. For years, treatments have been few and far between and those that were available often times were ineffective. Drugs like Rogaine® or Propecia® could regenerate some hair loss, but require continued use for years.
Exciting New Treatment
While the prospects have long been bleak for balding men, the appearance of a potential new procedure has excited the medical community and the follically challenged everywhere. RepliCel Life Sciences, Inc. (REPCF) is currently in Phase I/IIa clinical trial in Georgia testing a new treatment that has already shown solid results in SCID mice. The procedure involves taking a biopsy of healthy hair follicles from the back of the head, removing the dermal sheath cup cells, growing them in a culture, and injecting them into the areas where hair has stopped growing. The procedure should grow natural, real hair from the existing hair follicles that will be cosmetically and aesthetically pleasing. The trial, which began in December of 2010, is primarily focused on safety in these early stages, but the results could indicate the development of an exciting new treatment option.
Strong Potential for Treatment of Women
While the potential contained in the treatment being tested by RepliCel right now is clear, one of the most exciting prospects is the possibility for an effective treatment for women suffering from female pattern baldness. In an interview, Dr. Rolf Hoffman, Chief Medical Officer for RepliCel, expressed his excitement at the chance to help women suffering from baldness.
"For me, this technology means a lot, because then we could say we were the first company that was able to really deliver an effective treatment for hair loss; especially to women," he said. "I run a hair clinic and usually 90 percent of the patients here are women, and they are so desperate for a treatment. This technology could change lives tremendously for many, many women, so this would make me very proud."
The potential for a baldness cure for women isn't just exciting, it could also mean major profit potential for RepliCel if the clinical trial produces positive results.