Hair cloning could provide cure for baldness
2nd June 2008
Follicular cell implantation works by replicating remaining hair strands and has already shown positive results in continuing clinical trials on human beings. It could eventually help millions of people to regain a full head of their own hair.
The technique has been hailed as a major advance in hair restoration and is backed by a £1.9 million government grant.
It has the potential to re-grow a limitless supply hair for individuals who have become bald during cancer treatment, from suffering severe burns, or simply the onset of age.
Trial results presented at a conference of leading hair replacement surgeons in Rome suggested that the cell therapy can increase hair count in at least two thirds of patients after six months, and four out of five if the scalp is stimulated beforehand through gentle abrasions which encourage hair growth.
The procedure is being developed by Intercytex, a British company based in Manchester, which is among many competing to find a cure for hair loss – a condition which affects 40 per cent of men over 50.
It may require more than 1,000 tiny injections to produce that number of hairs in extensively bald patients, but it promises to be quicker and less invasive than current hair transplant techniques.
Scientists say the therapy could be made available to patients within five years.