South Korean Scientists Find Cure For Baldness That Actually Promotes Hair Growth
A group of South Korean scientists may have solved male pattern baldness with a potential drug candidate that could regenerate hair follicles.
Seoul-based Yonsei University researchers have reportedly discovered a potential drug that targets the protein that blocks hair follicle growth, Korea Herald reports.
The research, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology last month, is seen to pioneer new forms of hair-loss treatments in the near future. Current treatments are limited to growth acceleration and delay of hair loss, which are not applicable to subjects with no hair follicles left.
Professor Choi Kang-yell, who led the research team, identified a protein called CXXC-type zinc finger protein 5, a substance that can bind the disheveled protein that is responsible for hair loss.
“This newly developed substance is a first-in-class drug candidate. It is expected to become a treatment for not only hair loss and baldness but also for regenerating damaged skin tissue,” Choi was quoted as saying.
The scientists then developed PTD-DBM, a biochemical substance which prevents CXXC from binding to the badness-causing protein.
“Disrupting the CXXC5-Dishevelled interaction with a competitor peptide activated the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and accelerated hair regrowth and wound-induced hair follicle neogenesis,” the research paper Targeting of CXXC5 by a Competing Peptide Stimulates Hair Re-growth and Wound-Induced Hair Neogenesis noted.
Choi explained that the study, backed by the Korean Ministry of Science, is different from existing studies like MSD’s Propecia (finasteride), which simply slows down hair loss. He noted that their solution is unlike existing hair-loss treatments which are known to have side effects caused by hormonal imbalances such as impotence and abnormal ejaculation.
Hair loss affects millions of men and women around the world and has been a subject of extensive scientific research for decades.