Researchers just discovered a potential cure for baldness through a drug initially intended for the treatment of osteoporosis.
A team of researchers from the University of Manchester reportedly found a drug that could potentially be a cure for baldness. The drug was initially used to treat osteoporosis. However, the team discovered that it had “a dramatic stimulatory effect on human hair follicles donated by patients.”
The discovery was detailed in a paper published by the researchers in the journal PLOS Biology. According to the team, they hope that it could one day be developed into a form that can cure alopecia.
“The fact this new agent, which had never even been considered in a hair loss context, promotes human hair growth is exciting because of its translational potential: it could one day make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss,” Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw, the project leader of the team, said in a statement.
“Clearly though, a clinical trial is required next to tell us whether this drug or similar compounds are both effective and safe in hair loss patients.”
The team first studied an old immunosuppressive drug called CsA which allegedly has a hair growth side effect. They discovered that the drug could reduce the expression of the protein SFRP1 which blocks the growth of hair follicles and other tissues. Unfortunately, the drug has severe side-effects.
However, through further research, Dr. Hawkshaw and his team found the potential osteoporosis drug, WAY-316606, which also targets the SFRP1 but without side effects. They used it to treat hair follicles and discovered that by externally applying the compound to a balding human scalp, it could promote hair growth like CsA.
To date, there are only two drugs available for treating baldness, minoxidil which is for both men and women, and the finasteride which is for men only,