Recently, I read an article about an Australian company called Cellmid being granted an Australian patent in January 2015 for the use of midkine in hair loss prevention and treatment. The patent will last till the year 2031. Apparently, the company was also granted a similar patent for the UK market in July 2014. Midkine is a protein and type of growth factor called NEGF-2. However, on Cellmid’s website, there is no mention of any kind of hair loss product in their development pipeline.
However, they do have a section for their Advangen line of hair loss products that were developed based on old research from Japan related to fibroblast growth factor-5 (FGF-5) inhibition and resulting hair growth. FGF-5 accelerates hair follicle transition from anagen/growth phase to catagen/cessation phase (and therefore also to telogen/resting phase). Cellmid also has a separate website for Advangen with abstracts from three FGF-5 related studies on there. The two Japanese studies are especially interesting and well worth reading in their entirety.
The first of these, from 2007, concludes that Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract (SO extract) is a reliable FGF-5 inhibitor. Consequently, Advangen has since developed a number of Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract containing products to combat hair loss.
The second of these, from 2002, concludes that FGF-5 inhibits hair growth by blocking dermal papilla cell activation. Work focusing on dermal papilla (DP) cells and nearby dermal sheath cup (DSC) cells is today among the most import areas of hair loss research.
More recently, a 2014 study found that FGF-5 is a crucial regulator of hair length in humans, although it seems like the study only focused on forearm and eyelash hair. I would venture to guess that similar results would be realized on human scalp hair.
***On a related matter, it should be noted that fibroblast growth factors 1 (FGF-1), 2 (FGF-2), 7 (FGF-7) and 10 (FGF-10) have been shown to promote hair growth rather than discourage hair growth like FGF-5.