Dr. Yang, In your study using Formononetin from the Red Clover, can you describe what alopecia type this may be applied to for treatment?
In our study, we used C57BL/6 mice with natural hair loss in the telogen phase. These naturally depilated mice were in spontaneous catagen phase (premature or retarded catagen development), which was characterized with apoptosis in the hair follicles.
Telogen effluvium is a form of nonscarring alopecia characterized by diffuse hair shedding. The hair follicle tends to be in the form of premature termination of anagen. Later the follicle precipitates into catagen and transforms into resting stage mimicking telogen.
Although animal models for alopecia have limitations to match with specific alopecia type, we suppose these aspects in used model might be closer to telogen effluvium. Based on our results, we suppose that formononetin might be effective for telogen effluvium.
How did you decide on Formononetin as your focus of study for hair regrowth?
We are doing research in terms of finding a new remedy for hair loss from several herbal extract and phytochemicals. Formononetin is one of candidate materials to have efficacy on hair loss. Except formononetin, we explored another samples, such as Astragaloside IV and Angelica sinensis (Beneficial effects of
Astragaloside IV for hair loss via inhibition of Fas/Fas L-mediated apoptotic signaling. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 27;9(3):e92984; Angelica sinensis induces hair regrowth via the inhibition of apoptosis signaling. Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(4):1021-34). In addition, we registered the patent titled “A composition comprising Astragaloside IV for preventing hair loss or promoting hair growth”.
How much faster and how much stronger/denser was the hair regrowth using this product?
At this stage, it is difficult to clarify the efficacy, because the animal model can’t be directly compared to human alopecia. However, short-term treatment of formononetin (2 weeks) showed outstanding effects on hair loss in vivo. Although there is no evidence to conclude how much faster and stronger/denser formononetin induced hair regrowth in human, we believe that formononetin could be one of the alternative materials for the hair loss.
What time line do you anticipate such a product would have before it is seen in human applications?
In the present, we’re screening drug candidates for alopecia. In addition, we’d like to develop the optimal formula, which is composed of effective herbal extract and phytochemicals. Because human alopecia is a complex skin disease with various mechanisms, we expect optimal formula could show therapeutic potentials with multi-targeting.
Do you plan, or no of, human studies using this product for hair loss?
Of course, we are planning human studies; however, as described above, there are lots of steps for human application (For example, toxicity, safety, optimal doses, et al.). We are trying to make a progress to develop a new treatment for hair loss including clinical research (human studies).
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