Topical Finasteride Male Hair Loss Treatment Gets Clinical Trial
added 9th March 2017
At present there are two hair loss treatments approved for addressing androgenetic alopecia in men. One is a topical solution called minoxidil and the other is an oral DHT-blocking tablet of 1mg finasteride.
Propecia – the first brand name for finasteride 1mg tablets designed to treat male pattern hair loss – was released in 1997 following its approval by the FDA and MHRA medical bodies in America and the UK. Merck, the company who initially developed this BHP drug as a hair loss treatment, had its exclusive US patent expire in 2013 and its UK patent expire in 2014. Since then other companies have been able to manufacture and sell the drug under their own brands, such as Aindeem, or as a generic, but they have still had to be produced as oral 1mg tablets.
Whether finasteride would work as a topical hair loss treatment has been the subject of many debates and queries over the years. This is especially true due to the concerns regarding some potential side effects of the oral form of the drug. Topical medications tend to have fewer, or milder, side effect profiles associated with them so many have wondered if it would be possible for finasteride to be applied directly to the scalp and still be effective.
Now a new clinical trial conducted across Germany, Russia, Hungary and Spain by pharma company Polichem is set to investigate just that.
The phase III trial is recruiting 450 volunteers aged 18 to 40 from all over the world to take part in six-months of clinical research. As finasteride is currently only deemed suitable for men, this will also be a men-only trial. According to papers filed with the clinical trials registry, the trial is expected to conclude by the end of 2017, though results may be released after this time once the data has been processed.
As phase III is the last stage before a drug is released for prescription, it is important for the company to ensure thorough testing in order to meet the necessary requirements.