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Hair Growth Stimulating Peptides
July, 2009

Although hair disorders are not life threatening, their profound impact on social interaction and on patients’
psychological aspect is undeniable. The demand for the treatment of hair loss has led to a multibillion-dollar
industry. Despite this, most currently marketed products are ineffective, evidenced by the fact that the
FDA has approved only two treatments for hair loss. Our research is focused on developing safe, low-priced,
and highly effective hair growth stimulating agents as the ingredients for topical formulations.
 
                                 
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Figure 1. Normal Hair Follicle Cycle>

The mammalian hair follicle represents a unique, highly regenerative neuroectodermal-mesodermal interaction
system that contains numerous stem cells. It is only organ in the mammalian organism that undergoes
life-long cycles of rapid growth (anagen), regression (catagen), and resting periods (telogen) (Fig. 1).

These transformations are controlled by changes in the local signaling melieu, based on changes in
expression/activity of a constantly growing number of cytokines, hormones, neurotransmitters, and their
cognate receptors as well as of transcription factors and enzymes that have become recognized as key
mediators of hair follicle cycling. The length and size of hair is dependant on the anagen term in its hair
cycle.

It has been reported that some cell growth factors, such as VEGF, FGF-5S, IGF-1 and KGF, maintain
follicles in the anagen phase. On the other hand, negative factors, like FGF-5, thrombospondin, and NGF,
terminate the anagen phase. If the negative factors become dominant against cell proliferation factors
according to fulfilling some time set by the biological clock for hair follicles,TGF-β induced in the matrix
tissues evokes apoptosis of matrix cells and shifts the follicles from anagen to catagen.

Based on the above-mentioned biological understanding of the molecules and pathways regulating hair
follicle formation and hair growth, we have developed many short peptide products with anti-alopecia
and hair-growth stimulating effect, which act as agonists or antagonists for some active proteins and their
receptors involved in hair follicle cycling (Fig. 2)


                   <Figure 2. Biological Mechanism of Hair Growth Stimulating Peptide>


 In Vivo
Results of Hair Growth Stimulating Peptides



Figure 3 shows in vivo hair growth stimulating potencies of DermaPepH321, H260 and H251. Among three
peptides, two peptides, DermaPep H260 and H251 were turned out to be even more potent stimulators
than the known drug, minoxidil. Their stimulating efficiencies were far better than all the known topical
stimulators, such as copper peptides, NANO (3-carboxylic acids pyridine N-oxide), etc. (data not shown)


<Figure 3. In Vivo Hair Growth Stimulating Effects & Hair Regowth Rate  of DermaPep H321, H260 and H251>