A drug to cure baldness in men discovered
New Delhi : Baldness in men could be a thing of past as a new drug shows potential to cure it.
Researchers from the University of Manchester’s Centre for Dermatology Research have made a drug, originally designed as a treatment for osteoporosis, which can be used for the treatment of baldness. The drug showed a "dramatic stimulatory effect" on human hair follicles donated by patients undergoing hair transplantation surgery.
Currently only two drugs - minoxidil and finasteride - are available for treatment of male-pattern baldness. But, mostly the results have been a disappointment, said researchers. The only other option available to patients is hair transplantation surgery.
A team of researchers studied drug Cyclosporine A (CsA) and its side effects which include growth of human hairs. During the analysis, they found that CsA reduces the protein SFRP1 in the body, which inhibits the growth of hair follicles.
Dr Hawkshaw gave his inputs to learn that a compound originally developed to treat osteoporosis, called WAY-316606, targets the same mechanism as CsA by specifically reducing SFRP1. When he then treated hair follicles with WAY-316606, the compound worked like CsA to enhance human hair growth, but without the other side effects.
"The fact this new agent, which had never even been considered in a hair loss context, promotes human hair growth is exciting because of its translational potential: it could one day make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss," Dr Hawkshaw commented.
"Clearly though, a clinical trial is required next to tell us whether this drug or similar compounds are both effective and safe in hair loss patients."
The findings from the study have been published in journal PLOS Biology.