'World first' start-up HairClone launches baldness cure
The start-up, which has been granted a licence by UK regulators to launch the service, will save a user’s existing hair follicles until they are needed later in life.
Headquartered in Manchester, the firm says it wants to ‘make hair loss a thing of the past’.
It has been authorised by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) to launch the banking treatment, which hopes to allow male and female patients concerned about hair loss to save some of their hair follicles in ‘cryopreservation’.
It is hoped that in the future, subject to further approvals, these follicles could be used to combat balding.
Hair follicle banking will be open to all adults, aged 18 and over, and will cost around £2,000.
Patients will begin with a consultation, and those accepted will have around a hundred hair follicles removed from the back of the head.
The surgical procedure is said to take less than an hour, and should allow patients to continue with their regular activities.
The saved follicles are then cryopreserved to maintain cell viability, before being stored at minus 180C at HairClone’s partner tissue bank.
Dr Paul Kemp, HairClone CEO, said: “HairClone aims to replace the dermal papilla cells and rebuild these miniaturising follicles back to their original thickness and length.
“By multiplying these cells from a patient’s own banked follicles our hope is that we will be able to rebuild thousands of miniaturising hairs from a few banked follicles. Our goal is to maintain a patient’s hair density while also preventing these treated hairs from miniaturisation in the future.”
HairClone is also researching the formation of new hair follicles.
Dr Kemp says: “Creating brand new hairs generates a lot of interest, but it will be easier and probably more cosmetically suitable to rebuild a patient’s own natural hairs that are just miniaturising, rather than generating new ones.”
HairClone said it expects to increase the number of clinical partners in the coming months but there are already over 100 million people within 50 miles of a partner clinic in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.