A new study was published in the P L O S (Public Library Of Science) Biology online journal regarding the effects of a Cyclosporine A-like substance. Cyclosporine A is a metabolite from fungus that act as an immunosuppressant. It is used to treat many medical conditions, including osteoporosis, but it’s use is limited by its high levels of toxicity. One of the side effects of cyclosporine A is hypertrichosis – in other words, it causes you to grow hair! The researchers in this article wanted to find a substance that have the same positive effects of cyclosporine A without all of the negative toxicity.
Enter the molecule known as WAY-316606. Through a series of ex vivo experiments, several important steps necessary to grow hair were promoted, including stimulation of the dermal papilla (DP) of the hair follicle and prolongation of the anagen part of the hair growth cycle. The enhancement of human hair growth with this promoter is “targeted.” That is to say it appears to be a very specific molecule that may have potential to only promote hair growth and not promote undesirable side effects like increasing cancer risk or causing immunosuppression.
This is very exciting news for those of us to our interested in hair not only professionally but personally. Identification and further testing of this molecule may lead to therapies for many patients with hair loss. It is unclear if this therapy will assist patients with scarring hair loss, or with hair loss that has already progressed to complete baldness. No one knows if this molecule would be taken by injection or systemically with a pill or even rubbed on topically. It is far too early to determine the answers to these specific kinds of questions. The studies are quite sophisticated, but were simply done in petri dishes and with experimental medical equipment. Human in vivo trials would really prove the efficacy of a substance like this and are years away, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, this study has provoked excitement in the hair community much like the excitement over JAK-STAT inhibitors a few years ago. We are hopeful that novel therapeutic approaches for treating hair loss will expand our armamentarium from minoxidil, finasteride, and low level light therapy to include a multitude of additional options. We will continue to investigate these and other promising treatments and keep you updated as cutting edge options become available.
For more information on our ongoing medical studies and those exciting ones that we have starting soon, stay tuned to www.Californiahairsurgeon.com for more information!