I covered Follicum (Sweden) and its FOL-005 hair growth peptide in eight posts between 2015 and 2021. The company’s unique osteopontin based approach to treating hair loss was very interesting.
The same approach could stimulate scalp hair growth and reduce excessive body hair growth (hirsutism). And the same technology could potentially treat diabetes and inflammation related problems.
Follicum’s regular press releases, CEO Jan Alenfall’s presentations, and the company’s rapid clinical trial progression impressed me. Their chief business officer Gunnar Gårdemyr was also in regular communication with me.
Follicum Past Clinical Trials
I covered both of Follicum’s past clinical trial results in 2017 and 2021, respectively.
- In 2017, Follicum’s Phase 1 clinical trial results were released. They were deemed as positive (8 percent increase in hair growth), with an effect comparable to that of Minoxidil. Moreover, safety was not an issue, with no major side effects in trial participants.
- In 2021, Follicum’s Phase 2 clinical trials of FOL-005 came out. The topical compound resulted in a 6.6 hair/cm2 increase in hair growth, but this was deemed to be insignificant compared to placebo.
Thereafter, the company ceased further development of FOL-005, and it all seemed over for yet another false flag operation. Or perhaps not?
Merger and Acqusition by Coegin Pharma
In September 2021, Coegin Pharma merged with Follicum. This merger was confirmed as an acquisition in 2022.
In the first of the two links above, Coegin’s CEO Tore Duvold said something of interest in the interview:
Question: “With regard to the hair loss project, which has recently been put on hold, how will it be handled once the companies merge”?
Answer: “Follicum announced that they have paused the hair loss project. In Coegin, we have strong capabilities in dermatology, and we will review and analyse the results before we make any conclusions”.
Follicum Back in the News
- In March, a Tweet from Coegin indicated that they were meeting with potential partners for Follicum’s FOL-005.
- Follicum was mentioned in February in an updated article titled: “Could We See a New Dawn for Hair Loss Treatments?”. It summarizes the problems that the company faced in trying to bring FOL-005 to market after the unimpressive Phase 2 trial results.
- When going through Coegin Pharma’s website, I found a highly detailed comprehensive corportate presentation on Follicum and FOL-005. It was presented at the end of 2022 by Coegin’s COO Kristian Lykke Fick.
Their take on the past trials is more positive. Key quote:
“FOL005 1.5% dose was on par with treatment effect reported for minoxidil and finasteride with a growth of 12 hairs/cm2 after 4 months of treatment. However, with more than 60% of subjects responding to treatment compared to competitors where 40% responders effect is previously documented after 4 months.”
Note that while Follicum’s old Swedish website is still active, the main English site is now revamped. It has an expanded research section where it covers FOL-005 in great detail. In 2022, they also filed for a patent related to wound healing. I am surprised they do not mention anything in relation to their osteopontin-derived peptide’s body hair growth inhibition.
Follicum plans to conduct various new scalp hair growth related clinical trials from 2023-2027. On their website’s plans section, they state the following:
“We believe there is a high likelihood of success based on the previous clinical data.”
Too bad about the new time frame and the wait for venture partners for funding. Otherwise, I am not entirely pessimistic about this product. I do feel that it can compete with Finasteride and Minoxidil in terms of effectiveness, but via a totally different mechanism of action. And with few if any serious side effects.