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Hair Loss Treatments

Histogen HST-001 Goes Under and No One is Surprised

Histogen Stimulating Complex (HSC) showed great promise back in 2012 when they released their 24-week results from their phase I/II clinical trial. HSC was manufactured to promote Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF), Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), and follistatin. These growth factors signal stem cells in your body to form new hair follicles and stimulate resting hairs. In this article, we will be talking about the predictable demise of Histogen HST-001. 

Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells Are Not Viable Yet

You can market any product and slap the word stem cells behind it and fool some people into believing the product is legit. But truthfully speaking, stem cells are nowhere near ready for mass production and development. For example, HST-001 was supposed to stimulate growth factors that signaled stem cells, so it wasn't necessarily a stem cell product, but it was marketed that way by many. 

Now, some regenerative treatments do work, like micro-needling. Creating tiny micro-wounds causes your body to signal regenerative tissue and growth factors, which stimulate hair growth. But, unfortunately, HST-001 did not work the same way. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) stimulates many of the same growth factors as KGF and VEGF. However, like HST-001, the jury is still out on the efficacy. Very little evidence exists beyond some anecdotal evidence presented by a few hair transplant surgeons who use PRP regularly in their practice.

HST-001 Showed Promise and Then Fizzled out

HST-001 was touted as a new development/breakthrough in the hair loss world. In one trial, HST-001 84% of men showed new terminal hair growth, and the treatment had a low incidence of adverse reactions/side effects. Now, even though you may get new terminal hair growth, there is no guarantee that the newly grown hair won't be affected by DHT. DHT is the hormone responsible for causing male and female pattern hair loss. In our opinion, a treatment that does not treat the root cause of hair loss most likely won't work long-term. 

Histogen released a statement in June 2021, following their phase 1b/2a clinical trial. Essentially, what Histogen said was they considered their results in their latest clinical trial, and as a result, decided to suspend the necessary resources needed to complete the project. In other words, the cost to make HST-001 a viable treatment in the foreseeable future was too much money. Therefore, Histogen decided to suspend the project and redistribute those resources into their other orthopedic ventures. 

Conclusion

Histogen joins a long list of new hair loss developments to bust this year, like Replicel RCH-01 and Intercytex in the 2000s. It's easy to get excited when you hear about a new treatment with no side effects that regenerates the dying hair on your head. But how realistic is it? That may sound cynical, but when you've followed the hair loss industry for over twenty years, healthy skepticism is a must. To date, the best treatment to restoring a bald/balding head of hair is surgical hair restoration. Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for hair transplant surgery. If you are interested in learning more about hair transplantation or want to determine the cost and receive a graft estimate, click HERE