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Follica Raises $5.5 M To Advance New Treatment for Androgenetic Alopecia Into the Clinic
Date:1/4/2008

BOSTON, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Follica Inc., a privately held developer of a novel therapy for androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss caused by androgens in genetically susceptible men and women) and other hair follicle disorders, today announced a $5.5 million Series A financing round. Interwest Partners led the financing and existing investors PureTech Ventures participated. The funding is expected to take the company through a clinical proof of concept study. Follica was co-founded by PureTech Ventures and a group of academic dermatologists from leading institutions such as Harvard, UCSF and the University of Pennsylvania to address the critical issue of alopecia.

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"There is a great need for novel therapies; androgenetic alopecia begins as early as the teenage years or twenties, and affects about half the men and women in the United States by the age of 50," noted Vera Price MD, co-founder of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, the Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation, Director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Hair Research Center and a Co-founder of Follica Inc.

In a paper published earlier this year in the top tier scientific journal Nature, technology licensed by Follica from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine was used to generate completely new hair follicles for the first time in normal adult mammals. "After skin disruption, adult epidermal stem cells that do not normally make hair follicles are reprogrammed to respond to signals instructing them to make hair," says George Cotsarelis MD, Albert M. Kligman Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, a leading epithelial stem cell biologist, and Follica Co-founder. The new hair follicles function normally, cycle through the normal stages of hair growth and exhi
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SOURCE Follica Inc.
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