I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I started browsing the website for HairClone, a new hair regeneration startup based out of Manchester, UK. Just like that another hair growth technology company has sprung up seemingly out of nowhere, and they have a very interesting plan to make hair regeneration a reality.
Update: The Personnel Section has been updated 9/8/16 Check it out
HairClone is based on a model of “banking” a person’s extracted hair follicles in cryopreservation which can be used later when the HairClone cellular therapy has been fully developed. HairClone notes that the younger the follicles are, the more potent the cells within them may be. When HairClone’s cellular therapy is ready to go a patient’s follicles will be taken out of preservation and then dissected, expanded in culture, and micro-injected back into the person’s scalp. Apart from the cryopreservation banking, it’s a format we are familiar with. HairClone intends to raise funds for further research and create a patient pool through offering hair follicle banking initially.
There’s a lot of good information on the HairClone website about the companies plans for development and growth. The website even mentions plans for crowdfunding and getting input from patients to develop their treatment. Here are the most informative quotes from HairClone’s website:
“Other groups have tried this but it has been found that when human follicle cells are cultured, they rapidly lose their functionality. Recent scientific breakthroughs however indicate how culture multiplication systems could be developed which is why we have created HairClone Inc. now.”
“In order to develop a successful system that uses hair cloning for the treatment of androgenic alopecia, HairClone will need to develop strong and continuing interactions with leading hair transplant surgeons, scientists and forward-thinking patients in order to successfully carry out the various scientific and clinical developments.”
“HairClone will generate funding to carry out this research and clinical development in a number of ways: Clinic Membership, Follicle Banking and Storage, Pre-payment or reward based crowdfunding, Cell Treatment, and Investing in HairClone.”
“The banking activities could start within a year and will create a patient pool and short-term revenue to the company which will help support the clinical and product development and bring it closer to clinical reality.”
About The Treatment
“When the process for expansion and re-implantation has been developed by the scientist/clinician/patient partnership, portions of the banked follicles would be dissociated and expanded in culture, transported to the treatment clinic where they would be micro-injected back into the scalp. It is expected that this process will both rejuvenate miniaturising follicles as well as inducing new follicular structures. This process could be repeated every 2-3 years as the balding process continues by taking additional portions of the patient’s banked follicles and expanding them.“
“In a later version of the product injected cells would be able to create brand new hair follicles by a process called follicle neogenesis.”
“..We expect that this could be in the clinic within the next few years although it will take several years before it is fully licensed around the world.”
From Twitter: “Had great @webex with @BessamFarjo and a German company that has an nice technology that could be great fit with HairClone. More to follow!”
Wait, so I didn’t say who was responsible for HairClone yet? You’re right. I wanted to build up a little suspense, this is the internet after all. The CEO at HairClone is Paul Kemp PhD who has over 25 years experience in the field of Regenerative Medicine. What’s even more compelling is that Paul was the sole founder of Intercytex aka the first company ever to trial cell therapy for hair growth. Intercytex was eventually unsuccessful at getting significant results in their hair growth trials, however, that experience and background is a big plus and adds credibility to HairClone. Vincent Ronfard PhD serves as CSO at HairClone and his resume boasts over 26 years of experience of applied research and product development in the fields of regenerative medicine, wound healing, and cosmetics.
Paul and Vincent have teamed up with two clinical partners so far, Dr. Bessam Farjo and Dr. Nilofer Farjo, both hair transplant surgeons of The Farjo Hair Institute of London, UK. Here’s a tidbit that you might have been unaware of, Dr. Bessam and Dr. Nilofer Farjo carried out the original Intercytex trials with Paul Kemp!
There is also one member of the scientific advisory board at HairClone, drum roll please…..Dr. Claire Higgins! Dr. Higgins is currently faculty at the Department of Bioengineering at the Imperial College London. She has also done postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Angela Christiano, one of world’s most renowned hair follicle researchers. The HairClone website mentions that more scientific advisory board members will be announced soon. Is it just me or is it starting to feel like Christmas already? 🙂
Not surprisingly, I really like this company HairClone……but I think I like that picture of Claire Higgins even better.