Earlier this month, a team led by Dr. Jeff Biernaskie (from the University of Calgary in Canada) got their hair related research findings published in the journal Developmental Cell. This research identifies the existence of hair follicle dermal (in the skin) stem cells in adults that can potentially be targeted to stimulate new hair growth in areas where there has been hair loss.
Although this was interesting research that was widely covered in the media, I did not think of at as too important to warrant an immediate post, despite several posts about this in the hair loss chat on this site and in all the hair loss forums that I read. Besides the fact that this was yet more research done only in mice, it seems like Dr. Biernaskie himself is a professor in the veterinary department! Moreover, most of the articles that I read on this development suggested that these findings could only lead to a potential cure in 10 years at best. With the seemingly exponential growth in science and technology in recent (or perhaps many?) years, 10-year time frames are usually a bit suspect to me unless the technology is truly new and groundbreaking.
Despite my not being overly impressed with this research, after writing my prior post on hair loss research at the University of Bradford, now seemed like a good time to praise a Canadian university. It should be noted, however, that other researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the US, and Université de Strasbourg in France were also involved in this research.
Most interesting of all, two days ago Replicel published an article covering this study and how it validates their RHC-01 product which utilizes dermal sheath cup cells (a type of dermal sheath cell resident in the dermal cup). It is ironic that both the Univerity of Calgary and Replicel are based in Canada, yet Replicel is about to start phase II trials of its product (and Shiseido could get there even faster), while Dr. Biernaskie and his team seem to be oblivious to Replicel’s research based on all the “cure is ten years away” statements that I have read in articles covering their work. Or maybe Dr. Biernaskie does not agree or is uncertain that his research findings are validating what Replicel has been doing for a while now?