It's a molecule believed to be the trigger for growing hair in moles. The research for growing hair in moles was performed by Amplifica.
The company’s founder Dr. Plikus and his research team (Maksim Plikus and Natasha Mesinkovska) discovered the molecule that makes hairy moles grow hair.
Plikus partnered with the renowned Dr. William Rassman to create Amplifica. Dr. Rassman announced his involvement on Redditt in July 2022. Amplifica just completed a $11.8 million Series A financing round.
Research into this molecule has been ongoing for 10 years by an international team of scientists.
More importantly, osteopontin can induce hair follicle growth when administered anywhere on the skin.
The initial work on osteopontin was performed on mice, but Amplifica has announced that future treatment and trials will likely involve a combination of osteopontin and some other newly-discovered hair-growing proteins, such as SCUBE3
Plikus and his team have also researched SCUBE3
Part of the ongoing research would include trials where osteopontin and the SCUBE3 would be combined into one formula and needled into the scalp of balding men and women to reawaken dormant hair follicles. The procedure would be a near-painless procedure similar to Botox injections
Dr. Plikus was quoted as saying:
The new formulation of osteopontin and SCUBE3 when applied to balding scalps:
"Will grow (hair) like you remember when you were 18. It would not grow like wiry armpit hair. Instead, the molecule burst is shown to hair follicles on a scalp, and they're like, 'OK.OK, Time to grow."
Osteopontin was part of ongoing studies by Follicum, a company that disbanded in 2021 but came back in 2023 under new ownership
Their use of an osteopontin-based peptide slightly differed from what Amplifica will do via osteopontin (plus another molecule) injections.
Follicum’s Phase 2 clinical trials resulted in a hair growth increase of 6.6 hairs/cm2, which was deemed insufficient to continue with Phase 3 trials at the time
Hopefully, Amplifica will see more favorable results.
Human trials on Amplifica’s lead compound (likely not SCUBE3) are expected to begin later in 2023.