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Potential 'cure' for baldness found in side effect of osteoporosis drug: study

A study identifies that a possible cure for baldness may be found in a drug used to treat osteoporosis. Source: AAP

A side-effect of an osteoporosis drug could open up new avenues to help promote hair growth.

A potential new cure for baldness has been identified through a drug that is designed to treat osteoporosis. 

Cyclosporine A is a drug used to treat autoimmune diseases and enhances hair growth as a side effect.

Research has found the drug inhibited SFRP1, a vital protein that blocks molecular pathways for hair growth.

This result has prompted researchers to use compound WAY-316606 in a test drug to stop a protein that blocks hair production and could be a "promising new promoter of human hair growth", according to PLOS Biology.

The study used the drug on human hair follicles donated from 40 patients undergoing hair transplant surgery.

Only two drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration are currently used for hair loss disorders: minoxidil and finasteride.

Neither guarantees 100 percent success, according to the research.

WAY-316606 was used on the hair for six days with the research discovering it "significantly increased hair shaft production" as early as two days after treatment.

The study was released on Tuesday and suggests the compound was able to prolong anagen, which is the active growth phase of hair follicles.

One of the researchers on the project Nathan Hawkshaw said the next step for the drug would be for a clinical trial to find out whether WAY-316606 is safe.

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