Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Biologic understanding of the hair follicle, the mini-organ that produces the shafts of keratin we call hair, has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last ten years. Now a handful of biotechnology companies are trying to translate this new knowledge into viable treatments for male pattern baldness and other types of hair loss.

I wrote about the new approaches for Nature Biotechnology (access limited to subscribers), which use cell-based therapies and topical drug cocktails designed to stimulate epidermal stem cells to create new follicles. Hair loss afflicts men, women, and children as a result of aging, disease, and medical treatments. The men's market is so huge, one researcher told me, “It’s mind-boggling.”

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