Wake Forest Clinical Trial and USUHS Hair Patent

(Published July 2015)Wake-Forest-Baptist-Health-logo
I was wondering when Wake Forest was going to get in the hair game. 

The school has one of the most advanced regenerative medicine programs in the country. According to the Wake Forest website, they are currently gearing up for a clinical trial on a “topical investigational medication” for hair. At the bottom of the page there is still a link button to sign up and participate in the study, but according to members of the hair forums, the trial is already filled up. That’s not awful news. WF should be all set to go ahead and start this trial then. (Update: since this article was written the webpage was taken down) In other recent news…

US Military holds patent for Hair Regeneration?

The Wake Forest news coincides with the recent online buzz about a patent that was filed by the US Military for hair growth. Sounds kinda funny doesn’t it? At least it makes me smile. The patent is found here Skin substitutes and methods for hair follicle neogenesis. The inventors listed for the patent are Rajesh Thangapazham, Thomas N. Darling, and Shaowei Li. It seems that the Uniformed Services University is the major backing entity for the research. One memorable quote from the write up “Thangapazham and colleagues have shown de novo hair follicle neogenesis in skin substitutes made entirely with cultured human cells.” Giggity.

Some have wondered online if the Wake Forest study and the recent discovery of this USUHS patent have anything to do with each other. I’m fairly certain that the Thangapazham patent has nothing to do with the the study at Wake Forest. The wording in the patent does not sound like a topical formulation at all. Another theory is that the topical being tested at Wake Forest is actually Samumed’s SM04554. It’s also very possible that the topical is something that has been developed in-house by Wake Forest’s hair program. But to be clear, this is all a guessing game at the moment.

Joseph’s Thoughts

First off, it’s a good thing that there is government-funded hair research going on. Mostly, because they have a virtually unlimited amount of funding, and hence, resources, to develop a technology. As far as the Wake Forest trial, having another next-gen topical in the works feels good. Between Samumed, Follicum, and potentially a PDG2r antagonist (if they make one) there’s some great technology coming. We will know shortly which topical is being trialed at Wake Forest. Also, thank God for smart doctors coming out of India.

One Comment on “Wake Forest Clinical Trial and USUHS Hair Patent

  1. It appears they’re more concerned with hair follicles in regards to the follicles aiding in wound healing

    currently available skin substitutes cannot perform all the functions of normal skin. For example, hair follicle (HF) neogenesis is not observed using any currently available skin substitute, which limits their use in patients. HFs and their associated sebaceous glands are important for appearance, skin hydration, barrier formation, and protection against pathogens, In addition, HFs store epidermal stem cells that may be called upon during wound healing. Thus, skin with HFs heals more rapidly than skin without HFs. In addition, any stem ceils that might exist in skin lacking HFs are located in superficial layers of the epidermis, making the cells susceptible to loss through minor trauma and damage through ultraviolet light. Thus, treatments that involve neogenesis of normal HFs would find much wider application for restoring normal skin function and appearance.

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