I’ve quite pessimistic on Intercytex lately…Still here is an interesting Economist article about Intercytex…
Hair today, hair tomorrow
Jun 5th 2008
From The Economist print edition
A cure for baldness
THE success of Silvio Berlusconi’s hair transplant, four years ago, relied on the fact that the
septuagenarian prime minister had enough of a thatch on the back of his head to enable some of it to be transferred to his thinning top. Although hair transplants have advanced to the stage where they are virtually undetectable (no more plugs of hair), they still rely on moving hairs from one place to another. So, though hairlines such as Mr Berlusconi’s can be thickened up, or even straightened, there may well not be enough material available to lower a hairline to its former, youthful level.
Finite supply remains the main drawback of this sort of transplant surgery. The most common form of
hair loss in men is “male pattern baldness”, characterised by a receding hairline and the thinning of the hair on the crown. It is caused by hormones and mediated by genetic predisposition. Hair transplants work because the hairs at the back of a man’s head are not vulnerable to hormonal attack, and will thus grow quite contentedly in their new home—assuming there are enough of them to transplant.
For those so follicularly challenged that they have little hair to move around in this way, however, there is now hope. This comes not in a jar, but in a test-tube from a Manchester-based company called Intercytex. The firm’s technique exploits the regenerative properties of what are known as dermal papilla cells. These are the cells that create hair follicles in the first place. They remain at the base of the hair when they have finished their job.
Some years ago it was discovered that when these cells are relocated, an entirely new hair will grow. That observation is only useful, though, if you can multiply dermal papilla cells—and do so in a way that allows them to keep their ability to induce hair growth. For, in normal culture, dermal papilla cells quickly lose this sought-after ability.
This, says Nick Higgins, Intercytex’s boss, has taxed scientists for years. Intercytex appears to be working on two solutions. Although it is understandably tight-lipped about the exact mechanism behind its success, one probably enlists the help of cells called keratinocytes, which interact naturally with the dermal papilla cells of the hair follicle and secrete a chemical factor that supports their growth. At present, the identity of this growth factor is a mystery. However, it is likely that one of Intercytex’s methods involves supplying this factor to cultured dermal papilla cells. Intercytex’s second approach seems to involve culturing the dermal papilla cells with proteins that take part in signalling during the process that creates hair.
The long and short of it is that being able to multiply these cells while preserving their efficacy opens the way for unlimited supplies of head hair. Intercytex is therefore conducting a trial of the technology in Manchester. Nineteen “patients” have had a small amount of hair removed, follicles and all, from the backs of their heads. Their dermal papilla cells have been extracted, multiplied and re-injected into their scalps. The trial’s full results will not be available until March 2009, but the company has already said that at least two-thirds of its patients have generated new hair within six months.
Unfortunately for eager baldies, regulations require more trials. As a result it is likely to be five years before any product is on the market. Nor will Intercytex’s technique do anything about that other bane of ageing, the tendency of hair to go grey. For the time being, even Mr Berlusconi will have to continue to dye his locks."
I’ve on thought about intercytex that I’ve already mentioned in an implicit way : It’s possible that Intercytex researchers just have been able to achieve a significant breakthrough in their technology and protocol…Yhis could have been achieved after their public ,expected for, public communicant, the one in which they announced that they wont go alone for the ICX-TRC.The latest unexpected communication about their work just a suprise…We might consider PR work or stock tactics but we might also consider that they have achieved something on that keratinocytes field or that protein signaling approach.
Finally remember one thing they could just have been inspired by recent discoveries of follica ( aka : dermabrasion and protein signaling) or other teams that published results lately about protein signaling dynamics.