When the drug WAY-316606 was created, it’s intended purpose was to treat osteoporosis, which causes brittle bones. But it may cure baldness as well.

As scientists from the University of Manchester observed in lab experiments, it had a dramatic effect on hair follicles donated by men with male pattern baldness. It caused hair to grow a third longer than it normally would, achieving two millimeters of growth in just six days. It also helped maintain hair growth for longer.

According to the scientists, the osteoporosis drug targets a protein that acts as a brake on hair growth and plays a key role in hair loss. It may even be able to treat women with alopecia.

“The fact this new agent, which had never even been considered in a hair loss context, promotes human hair growth is exciting because of its translational potential,” said lead scientist, Dr. Nathan Hawkshaw. “It could one day make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss.”

But, as he stresses, “a clinical trial is required next to tell us whether this drug or similar compounds are both effective and safe in hair loss patients.”


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