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Promotion of anagen, increased hair density and reduction of hair fall in a clinical setting following identification of FGF5-inhibiting compounds via a novel 2-stage process

Authors Burg D, Yamamoto M, Namekata M, Haklani J, Koike K, Halasz M

Received 28 September 2016

Accepted for publication 22 January 2017

Published 27 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 71—85


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg

Dominic Burg,1 Masakuni Yamamoto,2 Masato Namekata,2 Joseph Haklani,1 Koichiro Koike,2 Maria Halasz1

1Cellmid Limited, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2Hair Gene Research Laboratory, Advangen Inc. Kashiwanoha, Chiba-ken, Japan

Background: There are very few effective, scientifically validated treatments with known mechanisms of action for treatment of hair loss in both men and women. Fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5) is an important factor in the irreversible transition from anagen to catagen, and inhibition of FGF5 prolongs anagen phase and reduces hair loss.
Objective: We aimed to screen botanically derived molecules for FGF5 inhibitory activity in vitro and assess efficacy in a clinical setting.
Methods: We screened for FGF5 inhibitory efficacy via a novel 2-step in vitro pipeline consisting of an engineered FGF5 responsive cell line, followed by an activated dermal papillae (DP) cell method. Efficacy in a clinical setting was assessed in a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial against early- to mid-stage pattern hair loss in men and women.
Results: We observed FGF5 inhibitory activity for a number of compounds from the monoterpenoid family, many showing greater inhibitory efficacy than our previously reported crude plant extracts. Evaluation of a lead candidate in a clinical study over 112 days showed a significant improvement in anagen:telogen (AT) ratio (p = 0.002), reduced hair fall (p = 0.007) and improved visual grading (p = 0.004). Scientifically matched photography on a subgroup of randomly chosen participants highlighted significant improvement in hair density, with increases evident in all tested participants compared to baseline.
Conclusion: Isolates from the monoterpenoid family displayed efficacy in FGF5 inhibition in vitro. A topical formulation containing a leading isolate significantly improved AT ratio, reduced hair fall and increased apparent hair density in the tested population of men and women.

Keywords: hair growth, hair treatment, in vitro testing, hair loss, anagen, FGF5

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