RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. (OTCBB: REPCF) (TSX: RP.V) – could be changing the way we treat baldness and hair loss in the future.
A clinical-stage regenerative medicine company, RepliCel is developing a unique biologic product that harnesses a patient’s own cells to treat pattern baldness and thinning hair, as well as products for aging and sun-damaged skin, and chronic tendon degeneration. The company recently announced the successful completion of its first-in-human clinical study of autologous cell therapy for the treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia, commonly known as pattern baldness.
In a culture that praises youth and beauty, hair loss and baldness can be devastating. As a society we associate hair with youth and stamina, as well as relative attractiveness. Women in particular associate a “good hair day” with happiness and success; men relate thick hair to masculinity. However, hair loss affects 40% of women and 70% of men as they age – 2016 statistics record over 35 million men and 21 million women reporting significant and noticeable hair loss. While this trait is often genetic, environmental factors such as stress, diet, product use, as well as hormonal changes, can have a dramatic impact on not only hair loss but also hair regrowth, providing an entry point for treatment.
To date, the only over the counter medications approved by the FDA to treat hair loss are Minoxidil and Propecia. Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, is currently used by 85% of hair loss suffers. In addition to a significantly smaller market share, Propecia has had disappointing results on women in the studies, with fewer than 20% of patients reporting improved hair growth. Moreover, it usually takes one year of continued use of either product to see results, and if the treatment is stopped, hair loss begins again.
RepliCel takes a different approach to cure baldness, using a patient’s own cells to replace compromised hair follicle cells in bald areas, similar in theory to the immuno-oncology approach which has revolutionized cancer treatments in recent years. Not only is RepliCel developing an improved and sustained treatment to traditional oral or topical solutions, but this technique acknowledges a trend toward a more holistic approach to treatments in general.
Having recently completed Phase 1 studies, RepliCel President and CEO, R. Lee Buckler, stated “We are very pleased with the result of this first-in-human study and are excited to move this product forward into the next phases of development.”
RepliCel reported success in meeting its primary end points in the Phase 1 study, in addition to a five-year trial data set confirming the complete safety profile of a high-dose of dermal sheath cup cells (DSCC) for patients with pattern baldness. These data results set the company up well as it continues research and testing for the treatment of male and female alopecia.
This is good news for the millions of consumers looking for a treatment for their hair loss problem.
With some studies indicating that the alopecia or hair loss market could be worth almost $12 billion dollars in the next 6 years, the company is well positioned to offer alternatives and solutions to millions of hair loss suffers. With successful Phase 1 results for its hair regeneration therapy, and promising products in both the skin rejuvenation and tendon repair, RepliCel appears to be a company whose value will continue to rise, especially given its contributions in a growing market space.