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Potential targets in the discovery of new hair growth promoters for androgenic alopecia

Ruchy Jain, Wanchai De-Eknamkul
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 2014, 18 (7): 787-806

INTRODUCTION: Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is the major type of scalp hair loss affecting 60 - 70% of the population worldwide. It is caused by two potent androgens, namely testosterone (T) and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT). Till date, only two FDA-approved synthetic drugs, minoxidil and finasteride, are used to cure AGA with only 35 and 48% success, respectively; therefore, a search for new drug based on the mechanism of androgens action is still needed.

AREAS COVERED: Relevant literature was reviewed to identify current therapeutic targets and treatments for AGA. The potential targets are classified into three categories: i) 5α-reductase; ii) androgen receptor and iii) growth-factor-producing genes related to hair growth.

EXPERT OPINION: Relevant assay systems using the right targets are required in order to obtain specific and effective drugs for AGA treatment. It is unlikely that single targeted agents will be sufficient for treating AGA, and therefore, it would be a challenge to obtain compounds with multiple activities.


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