Category Archives: FOL-005

Follicum Phase I/IIa Results

I first covered Swedish company Follicum and its FOL-005 hair growth product in this post from almost exactly two years ago, followed by another post early last year. Thereafter, I have only covered the company in passing as part of my once a month “brief items of interest” posts, since most new developments were minor and related to country specific patents and so forth. My main reasons for following this company are due to the facts that they are conducting their research at the prestigious Charité Hospital in Berlin, Germany; they have an impressive group of hair loss related scientific advisers; and they have been providing fairly regular news updates.

Follicum 2016 Annual Report

Earlier today, a person by the name of “Rickard” e-mailed me and asked me to check out Follicum’s latest report (it was just a one sentence e-mail). When I then went to Follicum’s website, the news section had not been updated since last year, while the press release section had several updates from last week, one of which was the release of their annual 2016 report. Its in Swedish, but can be downloaded and then uploaded and translated via “Google Translate”. I learnt some interesting new things in the report:

  • Follicum was founded in 2011 based on research fron Lund University by Anna Hultgårdh Nilsson and Pontus Dunér.
  • The company’s technology entails isolating the protein osteopontin, which regulate hair growth.
  • “FOL-005 is a section of the protein, gathered in a small molecule (peptide) where two amino acids deleted and replaced by a third”.

Follicum Timeline

  • Company inception (2011).
  • Preliminary study on live mice (2012).
  • Study on human skin in vitro (2013).
  • Study on human skin transplanted to mice (2015).
  • Toxicity study for three months (2016).
  • Clinical Phase I study of subjects (implemented 2016-2017).
  • Clinical Phase IIa study – a limited effect on the study subjects in the phase I study (2017).

At first, I was not sure about writing a new post on Follicum just because of the above annual report…However, thanks to commentator “Hopeful” posting this new link, I realized that this was probably what “Rickard” was talking about earlier.

Follicum Clinical Study Shows 8 Percent Hair Growth

After translating this new link, it seems like Follicum’s FOL-005 resulted in an 8 percent increase in hair growth in patients treated at the Charité Hospital in Berlin in phase I/IIa clinical trials. CEO Jan Allenfal states that this compares favorably to existing treatments that results in a 4-14 percent average increase in hair count. With further testing and experimentation of dosage and composition, FOL-005 is likely to results in even superior results.

I think its great to get a third option to the two main current treatment options (Finasteride and Minoxidil). Even something new that only maintains existing hair would be very welcome (especially for those such as myself who are not keen to reduce their DHT levels for many years continuously via taking Finasteride).

However, will FOL-005 grow back hair in those who are already severely bald? Not likely.

Follicum Commences Human Trials for FOL-005

I covered the at-the-time relatively new Sweden-based company called Follicum in April of last year. Thereafter, the company has made a few announcements via press releases that I have largely ignored since it was yet to commence any kind of phase 1 human clinical trials.  And we all know how long those take, even after accounting for newer regulations in some countries that might eliminate or shorten the time for final phase 3 clinical trials.

However, last week Follicum finally announced that they had commenced phase 1 clinical trials of their FOL-005 product.  This product can interestingly both inhibit hair as well as stimulate hair, although it seems like the company might be naming the hair stimulation product something else down the road, and it could be slightly different from FOL-005. According to Follicum, both the hair inhibition and hair stimulation products are based on “a large human protein which has been manipulated and modified.

They currently have 1 patient on whom the drug is being tested upon, but aim to have a total of 30 patients soon.  The study is being undertaken at the highly respected Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin that I have covered on this blog before.  This makes me take Follicum a bit more seriously.

The company’s research on mice (undertaken by contract research organization Dabur Research Foundation in India) has suggested that this product will be significantly superior to Minoxidil when it comes to scalp hair growth.

Note that the current press release by the company only mentions testing FOL-005 for hair inhibition (important for those who suffer from excessive body hair, aka hirsutism), but I assume they will also be doing testing for hair stimulation with another similar product or the same product?  I am not interested enough for the time being to ask the company about that important detail, but perhaps will do so after they come out with one more press release in the coming months.  My intuition tells me that the hair stimulation product will have a different name and slightly different chemistry.

FYI — I was reluctant to write an entire post on Follicum, but changed my mind after a request on the hair loss chat on this site, and also because my monthly brief items of interest post is still over two weeks away (in which I planned to mention this development in one paragraph).

Follicum share price since the company first started trading (source):

Graph for Follicum