I first covered Swedish company Follicum and its FOL-005 hair growth product exactly two years ago. I wrote another post on the company early last year. Thereafter, I have only covered them in passing as part of my once a month “brief items of interest” posts.
Most recent 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 us 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. 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. It is in Swedish, but can be downloaded and then translated via “Google Translate”. I learnt some interesting new things in the report:
- Follicum was founded in 2011 based on research from 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 are deleted and replaced by a third”.
- 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.
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.