Combining Scientific & Medical 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 a clinical trial doesn’t work the first time, 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 multiplication and then moving out of the field entirely. However, randomised clinical trials, when the do work as planned, provides the best indication of a product’s efficacy required in evidence based medicine.
Medical innovation on the other hand involves clinicians and surgeons using their skill and best judgement to develop a therapy. With this process, different procedures are tried and communicated to colleagues and there is the steady evolution of best practice. This is indeed exactly how hair transplantation developed from plug grafts, to strip grafts to follicular unit extractions.
HairClone will combine the best of both of these systems of innovation to finally develop a successful system that uses hair multiplication for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. In order to do this, it will need to develop strong and continuing interactions with leading hair transplant surgeons, scientists and forward-thinking patients in order to successfully carry out the various scientific and clinical developments.
The basic elements of hair multiplication involves, obtaining a patient’s follicles, dissembling them to obtain the required cells, expanding these cells in culture (cloning) and then reimplanting them in the patient. Some of these stages are already understood and HairClone will optimise each in parallel both in the laboratory and the clinic in order to develop an effective therapy.