Hair-challenged men of the world may have a reason to celebrate in the future: Researchers have found what they think could be a possible cure for baldness.
A group of scientists at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Dermatology Research have been working on a project involving an osteoporosis drug, and in one study they found a treatment that had a “dramatic effect on hair follicles in the lab, stimulating them to grow,” according to the BBC. The new research was published in the journal PLOS Biology.
The study examined the immunosuppressive drug, Cyclosporine A (CsA), and found that the drug can restrict a protein in the body that slows the growth of hair follicles. But since CsA has some other side effects, project leader Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw discovered another compound that’s used to fight osteoporosis also had the same effect.
The scientists think the drug, which is called “WAY-316606,” can be “administered without dramatic side-effects,” according to CNBC. The group worked on samples containing scalp hair follicles of over 40 male hair-transplant patients and were successful in their experiments.
“This makes our research clinically very relevant, as many hair research studies only use cell culture,” Hawkshaw said.
But there are currently only two drugs that can be used for men to treat balding: minoxidil and finasteride. For Hawkshaw and his team, the next step is to do “a clinical trial to see if the treatment was effective and safe in people,” he told the BBC.