The haircare market is big business, generating $500 billion a year in global sales. Alongside haircare products, there is also the contribution of the drug and biotech sectors that are searching for treatments that could slow down hair loss – or, the holy grail, cure baldness for good.
In the past, age-related hair loss might have been seen as inevitable, but now pharmaceutical companies are working hard to find a medical solution and hair loss expert Dr David Fenton recently spoke to MoneyWeek, Britain’s bestselling financial magazine, about potential new developments.
Currently, the two main treatments for hair loss are Minoxidil (also known as rogaine) and Finasteride (propecia). As David comments, these products can “significantly slow down the rate of hair loss” but once you stop taking them then hair loss “will immediately resume”. They also come with some potential side effects because they affect hormone production and they are limited in their ability to regrow hair that has already been lost.
As a results, David often sees patients that decide not to start treatment after they have consulted with him. He believes that patients would be more “particularly open to a one-off treatment, as well as one that doesn’t involve hormones” and, if such a treatment was found, boosting the hair loss sector even further.
New hair loss treatments
David explained to MoneyWeek that the two drugs he was most enthusiastic for are Dutasteride, originally developed by
GlaxoSmithKline, and Clascoterone, developed by Cassiopea and Intrepid Therapeutics, particularly the latter.
Clascoterone was originally designed as an acne treatment but has now been repurposed as a hair loss drug after studies showed that it increased hair density. With no impact on hormone levels, side effects are minimal. The drug entered late-stage trials at the end of last year.