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Frequently asked questions

What is hair multiplication?

Hair multiplication is another term for hair regeneration.

It has been proposed for many years as the ultimate treatment for hair loss. Hair transplantation successfully moves hairs from one region of the scalp to balding regions but is not able to increase the total number of hairs available. Hair multiplication would in effect, disassemble a few hair follicles, multiply these cells in the laboratory and then reintroduce them into the scalp to both rejuvenate miniaturising hair follicles and induce brand new hairs. Other groups have tried this but it has been found that when human follicle cells are cultured, they rapidly lose their functionality and it is now generally accepted that hair multiplication/hair regeneration will require the formation of hair rudiments before implantation.  Several groups including HairClone are working actively in this area.

What is Cryopreservation?

Cryopreservation is a process where biological material is preserved by cooling to very low temperatures (typically -80 °C or -196 °C). Cryopreservation methods seek to reach low temperatures without the formation of damaging ice crystals during freezing. At low enough temperatures, any chemical activity in the cells is effectively stopped and cells enter a state of ‘suspended animation’. At these low temperatures, cells can be stored for many years and if thawed correctly are then able to resume normal function.

What are Dermal Papilla Cells?

Dermal papilla (DP) cells are mesenchymal cells that reside in the dermal papillae of the hair follicle (See What is the dermal papilla). They are  the focus of intense interest because the DP not only regulates hair follicle development and growth, but is also thought to be a reservoir of multi-potent stem cells that can rebuild follicles.

What is Scientific Innovation

Scientific innovation develops potential new therapies, often in isolation in the laboratory. The first time clinicians and patients are involved in any significant way is at the later stages of development during the clinical trial phase and by then the potential product is “fixed” and the link with the scientists is broken.  This means that clinical trials often fail, not because the product doesn’t work, but because the trial design was incorrect. The wrong patient group was tested or the wrong procedure was used to provide the product to the patient.  This is much more critical with products that use surgery of some form or another as it is the correct combination of product and surgery that is needed.  Unfortunately, when this is the case, the investment funds are not available to learn from the trial and start again.  This has been the case with hair multiplication and it has resulted in several companies trying to develop hair cloning and then moving out of the field entirely.

When will hair treatments be available

This is the question that we are asked most frequently and it is very difficult to answer and we need to define what we mean by “treatment” and “available”.

Our primary rejuvenation treatment requires the extraction of follicles, multiplication (cloning) of cells and injection back into the scalp. The initial step of extracting and storing follicles is already live, following HairClone’s launch of the World’s first follicle banking service. Patients can now bank follicles through one of our procurement centres. This allows immediate access to follicles when required.

The second stage involves multiplying dermal papilla cells. HairClone has developed a partnership with a GMP manufacturing facility at the University of Newcastle, where HairClone’s cell culturing technology has been transferred. This will allow HairClone to offer a “Cell Expansion Service” to clinical partners for use in the UK, hopefully within 2022.

In order to market our treatment, we must carry out clinical trials as soon as clinicians determine the most effective treatment system. It will take time to complete these trials and then apply for and obtain marketing licences from the regulatory bodies before this becomes a routine clinical treatment around the world; however, our “Cell Expansion Service” will remain active in the UK.

Our second, regenerative treatment will require the formation of hair rudiments before returning them to the patient and will be aimed at rebuilding brand new follicles (Hair Regeneration). This second treatment is much more challenging than merely rebuilding existing follicles and will take many years longer to bring to the clinic.

HairClone’s management, when in previous positions, have carried out over 19 different clinical trials around the world and have developed a variety of cell therapies that have treated over 2 million people so we have a huge amount of experience in this area.  We will do our utmost with the financial resources that we have to develop this therapy as quickly and efficiently as possible, but we will carry out each step ethically, with patient safety our top priority.  Please keep checking the website and follow us on Facebook (#HairClone) and Twitter (@HairClone) to keep updated on our progress.