Histogen Reports Lasting Effects In Small Study of Baldness Treatment

4/14/10Follow @bvbigelow

Few life sciences companies have gotten as much mileage from a pilot trial that enrolled two dozen patients as San Diego’s Histogen, a startup developing a variety of therapies derived from human cells that are grown in the laboratory. On the other hand, we have discovered at Xconomy that the appetite for news about potential treatments for baldness is unusually high.

Histogen has announced a one-year follow-up study of 24 patients who participated in an experiment using its Hair Stimulating Complex, or HSC, shows “statistically significant” new hair growth. Participants in the study, which was done in Honduras, also showed a statistically significant increase in hair density.

The latest findings basically extend results that Histogen reported last July from the study, in which HSC, which consists of certain proteins and other molecules secreted by human fibroblast cells grown in a laboratory culture, was injected just below the scalp. The persistence is what’s significant in the latest study, Histogen founder and CEO, Gail Naughton, tells me by phone.

“Most of the experts asked, ‘How long will it last before hairs drop off?’ ” she says. Naughton adds that currently approved treatments for baldness, such as finasteride (Propecia) or monoxidil (Rogaine), must be used every day to prevent hair loss. She maintains that Histogen’s treatment appears to have some lasting effect, at least in 85 percent of these patients.

Histogen Study Results

Histogen Study Results

Histogen laid off all 36 of its employees last year after its fund-raising efforts were knocked into a hat when a cross-town rival, Carlsbad, CA-based SkinMedica, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the startup. With the case still pending, Naughton says Histogen managed to raise additional funding needed to keep a core group of 12 employees working, and to support the follow-up research. Since my last update three months ago, Naughton says Histogen also has gotten a commitment for substantial funding needed to underwrite additional research in Singapore.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • Sweden

    Great results but- “She maintains that Histogen’s treatment appears to have some lasting effect, at least in 85 percent of these patients.”, especialy “some lasting” & “at least” are big buts!

  • happy1

    As Pee-Wee Herman once said: “Everybody’s got a big butt”

    Seriously though, an increase from 179 to 268 after a year!
    That’s nothing short of remarkable.

    Sweden, a little less pessimism would do you good.

  • rev

    Follica could learn a thing or two from Histogen’s rapport. I wish them all the best with their trials.

  • Tansu

    You can listen to an interview with Dr. Naughton on the Bald Truth radio website (thebaldtruth.com) wherein she shares her findings with David Kobren. When you listen to her you learn that she is a very serious and guarded researcher who is not given to hyperbole. Her results from the trial study are very promising but she does not engage in ‘marketing blah blah blah’ in order to puff up the company. I really think they’ve got something here with Histogen.