Bone Drug That Treats Baldness?

Desiree Burns
May 10, 2018

The drug targets so-called Janus kinase (JAK) enzymes, which cause dormant hair follicles, and it promoted a 92% improvement in hair growth.

A new study reveals that researchers from the University of Manchester's Centre for Dermatology Research were able to find an osteoporosis drug that offers a stimulatory effect on human hair follicles, according to a report from Eurekalert.

However, Finasteride only works for men and along with Minoxidil comes with side effects, doesn't always work and is not now available through a doctor.

Now there are only two drugs that can cure baldness and both have side effects while only producing disappointing results.

For the experiments, scalp hair follicles from over 40 patients were obtained through the means of a collaboration with British hair transplant surgeon Dr. Asim Shahmalak from Crown Clinic, U.K.

Project leader Dr Nathan Hawkshaw, from the University of Manchester, said it could "make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss".

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CsA often has severe side-effects, the least serious - but most interesting - of which is that it enhances cosmetically unwanted hair growth.

WAY-316606 was used on the hair for six days with the research discovering it "significantly increased hair shaft production" as early as two days after treatment.

The research has been published in the Public Library of Science Biology. Therefore the external application of WAY-316606 or similar compounds to balding human scalp may promote hair growth to the same magnitude as CsA (if not better), yet without its side effects. However, the drug's other powerful side effects make it unsuitable for use in treating hair loss.

Though, human trials are still required to be carried out with the drug that was developed to treat osteoporosis, tests with donated hair follicles in the laboratory can bring up a new advancement for treating hair loss. While men tend to experience a receding hairline and patchy loss of hair at the back of their head, women can notice significant thinning of their hair.

"That said, more research will need to be done before it can be used by people with hair loss".

There is a third option of a hair transplant, but this can be costly and out of reach for many men.

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