Thanks to Dr Paul Kemp for this update from HairClone in the UK.
Thank you for your interest and for responding to our website, here is a roundup of our progress:-
At the end of 2016 we secured initial funding for our company through Angel investments allowing us to begin in earnest and start clinical work with Bessam and his team at the Farjo Hair Institute.
Last October our first clinical partner came on board. We are inviting the best, most highly respected and experienced surgeons from around the world to join us. To date we have 9 select clinical partners and 1 banking associate who have proved invaluable for both their insight and for the funding they provide. They are helping to develop the treatment and in due course will be trained to provide the treatments exclusively at their clinics. For a list of current partners please see the website. We will be announcing more partners in the coming months.
In August we signed a contract with a licensed UK cell bank. We are now working together to expand their license with the Human Tissue Authority to include hair.
We signed an agreement with a licensed UK contract manufacturing facility in the summer and we are establishing manufacturing costings for them to expand the follicle cells when we are ready to use them in the clinic.
Many people have asked about Crowdfunding and we had hoped to have been able to offer this in 2017. However, getting all the paperwork in place to allow us to do this is taking longer than we expected, but we are still working on it and will get a Crowdfunding Campaign up and running as soon as possible
Over the summer we carried out some work into the best ways to cryopreserve hair follicles. Patients that were undergoing hair transplant procedures at the Farjo Institute in Manchester consented to us using some of their hair follicles for research. These follicles were cryopreserved at the clinic in over ten different ways using a unique liquid nitrogen free controlled rate freezer. The preserved follicles were then shipped to Claire Higgins’ lab where she carefully thawed them and together we determined which cryopreserving method to proceed with.
To enable our clinical partners and their patients to access this banking service we have been developing and testing the best ways of shipping hair follicles. The hair follicles that have been shipped to date have arrived healthy and workable.
Some of our Clinical partners have been carrying out studies using micro dissected hair follicles on volunteers. This work has been helpful in understanding how to implant the cells.
We are very excited to be co-funding Summik Limbu as a PhD student. She will be working in Claire Higgins’ lab at Imperial College, London and will be supervised by Claire and Paul. Her project title is ‘The role of hair follicle dermis in follicular neogenesis’ . Her project will serve to increase our understanding of the use of dermal papilla cells as a cell therapy for hair regeneration.
Thank you again for your interest in HairClone. We want this to be a fully collaborative process between HairClone, scientists, clinicians and patients as we think that has the very best chance of bringing this therapy into routine clinical use. The most common questions we are asked are “When will a treatment be available?” and “How much will it cost?”. Unfortunately, at this early stage we can’t give specific answers to either of these questions, but we are working as quickly as we can to answer them.
We will keep you updated with regular newsletters but in the meantime please follow us on Twitter (@HairClone) and Facebook (#HairClone) and if you have any further questions get in touch.