Update: May 6, 2021 — Follicum just released top-line results of their Phase IIa study of FOL-005 for the treatment of hair loss. The results are disappointing.
“In those treated with the highest dose of FOL-005 studied, hair growth increased by 6.6 hair/cm2, compared to 5.6 hair/cm2 in the placebo group.”
The difference between the treated group and the placebo group was not significant. While I never expecting this treatment to be anything much better than Minoxidil, I was still hopeful. Follicum has been extremely professional and fast in its trial progression and updates since I first started covering them in 2015.
In any cased, it is also rare for a company in the hair loss world to give us disappointing news in an honest manner. A number of other hair loss companies in the past (and present?) tend to extend their importance beyond a decade. Then they ultimately fold or go out of business.
Update: October 9, 2020 — Follicum has completed its over 200 patient enrollment in its Phase IIa trials for FOL-005. Treatment will finish in all patients at the end of January 2021. Results are expected to be announced in Spring 2021. So far, no adverse effects and no patients have discontinued with their participation in the trials.
Follicum Trials to Restart
June 8, 2020
Follicum chief business office Mr. Gunnar Gårdemyr just sent an encouraging e-mail, part of which I am pasting below. Note that these Phase IIa trials entail topical application of FOL-005. In two prior trials, FOL-005 was administered via intradermal injections.
“Some good news. We will restart the clinical Phase IIa study with a cream-like formulation of FOL-005 this month, following a pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To increase the recruitment rate, we have contracted a third study centre. The study comprises approximately 200 male patients with hair loss who are treated daily for four months with the newly developed formulation of FOL-005 or placebo.
The study is being conducted at the Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science (“CRC”) in Berlin; proDERM in Hamburg; and the new center, CentroDerm in Wuppertal. The patients themselves will apply a cream with three different strengths of FOL-005 or placebo in the scalp, once daily in the evening. The study is expected to be completed and the results communicated in spring 2021.”
February 1, 2020
I have written about Sweden-based Follicum and its FOL-005 hair growth product numerous times. Several days ago, Follicum’s CEO Jan Alenfall announced that German authorities have granted the company approval to commence Phase IIa clinical trials for FOL-005. The go-ahead was granted by the German Medicines Agency (BfArM) and the German Ethics Committee.
Also see this recent article titled: “The rise of therapeutic peptides: Follicum at the forefront.” Key quote:
“Peptide-based drug candidates are more likely to reach the market compared to small molecule drug candidates.”
Follicum Phase IIa Trials in Berlin and Hamburg
The trial will comprise about 200 patients who will be treated with topical FOL-005 or placebo daily for 4 months. Results will be released in the fourth quarter of 2020. The upcoming phase IIa study will investigate the safety, efficacy and response to a topical formulation of FOL-005. Note that in 2018, an injectable version of FOL-005 produced a good safety profile and hair growth results.
The press release states that patient recruitment will start soon. I contacted Follicum to see if any of this blog’s European readers would be able to volunteer as test candidates. However, the company’s chief business office Mr. Gunnar Gårdemyr replied in the negative. He said that all 200 test male patients for the trials have now been recruited and are from Germany.
The trials will be conducted at:
- Charité Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science (“CRC”) in Berlin. A highly reputable institute that I have covered in the past on this blog.
- Hamburg-based proDERM, which just celebrated its 25-year anniversary. The have an interesting website section on hair care and hair removal.
According to Follicum, FOL-005 is a proprietary peptide. Its development was based on research involving the human protein osteopontin. FOL-005 is a shorter sequence of osteopontin. The sequence has been slightly modified, but is still based on natural amino acids according to Follicum.