Several days before I posted about IGF-1 and Follicept on March 30th someone e-mailed me to let me know that there was a new player in town called Follicum. Adding to the confusion is that there is also a much older and much hyped player in the hair world by the name of Follica that I have briefly mentioned in a few posts on this blog (and might cover in more detail in future). I wonder if I can start a company called “Follicle” or if that word is not allowed to be used as a company name?!

Follicum and its FOL-005 Hair Growth Product

Getting back to Follicum, the company is publicly traded and based in Sweden and has an unusual product under development called FOL-005. It is a small peptide designed for hair growth regulation through topical administration. It has a unique proprietary formulation based on a modified part of the endogenous human structural protein osteopontin.

The interesting thing about this product is that it can both inhibit hair growth as well as encourage hair growth. This would enable the drug to be used to reduce excess body hair (hirsutism), as well as to grow scalp hair.  I suspect that FOL-005 has some type of anti-androgenic properties.

Because this product has yet to undergo any clinical trials, I was not too keen to write a post about Follicum. However, I found some of the things about this company and its FOL-005 product interesting and therefore changed my mind. For one, the results from pre-clinical trials conducted by contract research organization Dabur Research Foundation (DRF) in India seem to indicate superior results from FOL-005 in comparison to Minoxidil. DRF also conducted similar studies with Minoxidil in the past and seems to be a reputable organization.

I find this whole idea of outsourcing pre-clinical trials quite interesting. It seems like new small-scale western drug producers can now get pre-clinical trials done for cheap in countries such as India. They can then skip expensive and lengthy stage 3 clinical trials by introducing their product in Japan, where there are more favorable regulations. We are finally moving faster.

As far as Follicum goes, there was a recent March 2015 article on the company in Life Science Sweden magazine. Of further note, the company could soon be working with relatively well known hair loss researcher Jennifer Klopper at The University of Lübeck in Germany. And with the The Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology EMB, also in Lübeck. The University of Lübeck is renowned as one of the world’s topmost institutions when it come to science and medicine. It seems like the city of Lübeck will be one of the world’s many biotech hubs in the coming years.

17 thoughts on “Follicum”

  1. I sometimes worry that this site, despite being selective in what it publishes about, places emphasis on so many different pharmaceutical products which we hear only the potential benefits of. Firstly, none of these have come to fruition and on the off chance that they do, will be far too expensive, and I think it adds to the frustration of a lot of people experiencing HL. Secondly, this is all pre-trial and mostly from marketing or sales presentations, I think it would be more pertinent to either discuss potential sides or at least wait until trials had been carried out before invoking false hopes. I wonder what value these kind of sites actually bring? Is it not better to accept the natural, or try and use natural approaches to combat it, than dangling on threads of false hope spun from pharmaceuticals marketing? I fear these sites hinder self acceptance by both confirming baldness as the worst thing that can possibly happen and at the same time dangling tiny threads of hope to keep it at the forefront of the mind?

    1. This.. No offense to the admin . since i believe you have done a nice thing with this blog.. You provide a layman-friendly update on medicines research and advances..But people have mentioned it on the chat some months ago… This site could have the potential side effect lol.. That come 2020 and no cure is here.. You will be BOMBARDED with hate mail from people who think Its your fault that your blog title raised their hopes…. Just be careful..

      1. I don’t think being bombarded with e-mails is really an issue. If a bunch of irrational people choose to send a series of angry e-mails, all the admin has to do is ignore them. Simple as that.

        At any rate, I really don’t share the same point of view in regard to these articles bringing false senses of hope. If that’s how you choose to interpret them, then so be it. I mainly appreciate this site because it functions as an aggregate for any hair-loss news. I really appreciate the admin taking the time to sift through all of the bullshit clickbait articles from the various “journalism” sites out there. No longer do I have to read about bogus “products” and “treatments” such as hair loss protocol.

        Also, just my personal opinion, I strongly feel that if a cure/effective treatment is ever discovered for hair loss, it’s going to be pharmaceutical. Realistically, if there existed a natural means to block DHT reception and promote hair follice growth/reactivation, we probably would have discovered it by now. Henceforth, I enjoy reading articles such as these, whether they’re hopeful or not.

        1. Thanks for the support and I laughed when I saw the words “hair loss protocol”…. am quite sick of reading about that all over news feeds and alerts for the past month or two.

        2. I’m glad we agree that the creator of this site is a respectful individual.. but it really isn’t about how people interpret the news on this blog.. this whole site comes with the pretext of there being a cure in the coming years.. the title of this blog is just like “hair loss protocol” scams.. cus the reason that title is like that is to attract the viewers attention… a more suitable name would have been “hair loss news advances etc..” if people read this blog long term… it doesn’t matter if they are irrational or not… it will cause a false sense of hope 99% of the time… because this is just speculation.. and the same reason for which people complain that the media makes fun of the baldness “cure”.. if we are fed with medical advances and research every 3 days, in a blog with the title “the end of hairloss and balding by 2020” it will inevitably raise hopes.. and if theres one thing that this dreaded indsutry has got.. it is TONS of BREAKTHROUGHS every month. which will only add to people getting excited when we really cannot afford to do so.. since it’s been going on for years…. we have the internet which means we have access to all the apparent breakthroughs when 90% don’t come to fruition… again.. thanks admin for this grouping of news. which makes it convenient to read.. but that truly is my opinion…

          1. And that is why I allow 99 percent of the comments on this blog to remain there so that people can read such opposing viewpoints.

            The title of this blog was never meant for publicity. I wanted to be specific about the date and that we have had enough of “the cure is 5 years away”. Read the Intro page (link at the top) carefully in its entirety for my thoughts.

            Only fools would base their important life decisions on one blog author’s opinions. Unfortunately, there are many fools like that so I am glad people like rowloboo are out there to warn others.

            If I am guilty of providing false hope, I am also setting myself up for huge disappointment since I am counting on a hair loss cure and am not willing to shave my head every few weeks.

            FYI — the “breakthroughs” or “significant developments” in this industry have only intensified in the past few years and were never this frequent in the past.

  2. Some good points Greg.

    There is NOTHING better then just shaving it all off and not wasting time. But many people (including myself) do not want to do that unfortunately so we waste a lot of time on this.

    Drugs will always have side effects, but for most people these side effects are tolerable and preferable to hair loss. There will always be the 5 percent who get major issues such as libido problems etc… I often say “buyer beware” or say that I would not want to be among the first guinea pigs when the product comes out. Can’t warn people much more than that. I have even said that I am not a doctor or a scientist a few times.

    The good thing about hair loss is that it affect most people after they become young “adults”. As “adults”, we can make up our own minds and one blog should not be all you use to make your decision! Would be very foolish and childlike rather than adult-like.

    Finally, I have to write about every significant new development, including drugs. Otherwise, I will have little to write about beyond celebrity before and after hair transplant photos:-)

    FYI — cell based treatments could also be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced clinic. Almost nothing will be 100 percent safe other than head shaving (or wig).

    1. I get a lot of the points being made, and I also think that it is highly useful to have a resource which is up to date with latest news etc. My main worry, which isn’t at all specifically directed at this site, instead at all Hair loss forums etc, is that we are building up an issue which we can do nothing about, I wish men could just accept it. I know throughout history this hasn’t been the case, but we are in a more liberal, understanding society. The way I see things, our obsession with our hair and aesthetics is a result of this consumer culture which sees beauty as a route to happiness which can itself be purchased. As a result, there is so much money in hair loss remedies. So much so that I genuinely question whether there will ever be a “cure”, as there seems to be such a variety of money spinning approaches.

      What I would love to see is just acceptance of baldness. It is what it is. Pills, creams, lasers, transplants etc just being ignored. These manipulative, faceless companies exploiting insecurities investing loads on marketing to fall simply upon deaf ears…because we have enough pride to demand and wait for a genuine breakthrough.

      I think we only do care because they tell us to, and the more we spend time on forums and websites clutching at straws, the more we convince ourselves that what they tell us is truth.
      I am a young guy, 25, and it feels catastrophic to be at the NW phase that I am. I also don’t want to shave it yet, but nor can I afford any other approach/want to pollute my body with chemicals.

      Questions to Admin/others – is anyone aware of Danny Roddy “Hair like a fox” – I have read it, and it seems actually fairly sound in theory. Has anyone tried it?

      Any other natural approaches anyone finds effective? @Admin – would you be interested ever in writing an article summarising natural approaches which have suggest efficacy?

  3. Interesting you guys are talking about side effect from drugs for hairloss. Every drug natural or man made has side effects sadly and even if a cure came out tomorrow it would be generations before we truly knew if it had no long term side effects. There is a new product about to be launched soon that promises a somewhat physical/electrical solution with no side effects as it is not a drug. Fingers crossed it’s for real.

    1. could you elaborate? what product this is? and I agree with you… altering things in the human body is something which has it’s consequences always.. but i don’t think everyone has the same notion of side effects… because some are temporary and truly harmless, by products of something else.. and then you have irreparable, life-altering sides.. which make the treatment worse than the disease.

  4. One thing I look at with publicly traded companies is the movement of shares with volume. If institutions and bigger investors believe this company has potential, it will be reflected in strong moves to the upside in the stock. Unfortunately, with the low volume and sloppy uptrend, this stock does not reflect anything to get excited about.
    An example of what I want to see in a stock chart is a company like Auspex Pharmaceuticals (ASPX). This company was trading around $25 per share when the company made an announcement of a success with one of their trial products. The stock is now trading at $100. One could have bought this company at $15 earlier last year. This move reflects institutional money believing in the company. It would be great to see any of these companies have this kind of a move.

  5. What people want is a more effective and better treatment than there are today this is true as a temple .
    Minoxidil and Propecia should go down in history . We are in the XXI century please …

  6. I hail the ADMIN for Putting a Timeline on when he expects a cure. Even if it is False Hope it is better than No hope at all. Hope is what keeps us going.

  7. Im 18 and i have a nw2 hairline with frontal diffuse and im depressed as hell.
    I was told hair loss comes when you age so how the helll can 18 is aging???
    I have been on this blog and my time here has taught me many things and more importantly about my misconceptions about hair loss.
    Thank you admin for this wonderful step you took.

    Me personally, i believe the cure would be to :-
    1. Inhibit DHT at the follicle
    2.Then send some estrogen and igf-1 their at the dermal pappilae(controlled one’s that won’t cause cancer)
    3. Patience…..
    Why i believe this method would work is coz the dermal pappilae is just a HUGE cluster of growth factors. These growth factors help the hair to grow,pause and stop and go on again.
    What DHT does is that it basically “Kills”/”Oppress” the growth factors, with micro inflammation making the hair follicle literally starve to death. Estrogen and igf-1 can counter this and much effectively than finasteride or minox is what i believe.

    Their are even studies which prove that Estrogen helps with healing and igf-1 helps with cellular hyperlasomething.
    Thereby, we could just rejuvenate the growth factors and be back to a full head of hair.

    Im not very good at english so pardon me and if my theory is a bit way off or more, pls correct me. I don’t wanna stay in the dark anymore now

    1. Your English is decent.

      What you say makes sense, but there are other things that might end up being superior to just IGF-1. e.g., AAPE or ADSCs, which contain IGF-1 as well as other growth factors. A PGD2 antagonist such as Setipiprant might also end up being excellent.

  8. Thank you for that Admin :-)

    I haven’t been able to understand this whole PGD2 antagonist craze. I mean it basically just doesn’t cause inflammation but what about the Dht still present at the follicle. It might still wreck havoc in one way or another.
    Shouldn’t that dht inhibition be our primary concern to take down the problem??
    But if setipiprant does help to maintain whats left them im in for the journey.

    Also i don’t think we will be getting the ADSC or AAPE treatment/meds very fast like in about 5 years. Thats why i try my best to look for alternatives and found out about igf-1 and estrogen.

    Also admin, i have queston which i hope you could clear me( call em silly):-
    1.How many “hair” come out from a hair follicle
    2.Also do the AGA sensitive follicles have aromatose enzyme??
    3. Do the occipital scalp have no 5ar enzyme or no androgen receptors?? Or do they have more aromatose enzyme than compared to those AGA follicles??

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