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Hair Cloning
Dr Walter Unger

Dr Walter Unger is Toronto-based dermatologist who specializes in hair transplantation. Dr Unger is also a professor at the University of Toronto Medical School where he is currently conducting research on hair cloning.

Dr. Unger is conducting a study with Dr. D.N. Sauders on culturing hair matrix cells to produce unlimited donor hair. He is trying to discover what is required to culture and re-implant hair matrix cells. Dr Unger recently started his trials on humans after succesful trials in mice and this is a correspondence we recently received from Dr Unger's office.



According to a spokesperson from Dr Unger's office, he is currently involved in conducting phase II human trials with a small group of patients and is experiencing positive results. Only current patients of Dr Unger who reside in Toronto, Canada are eligible to participate in the trials, and there will be an update on the whole project in January 2002.


We have had numerous calls and emails about the current status of our studies on Hair Cell Therapy that laymen refer to as "cloning". As of May 24, 2001, the forearms of 10 patients had been injected with their own cultured hair root cells and had no negative side effects. No hair grew at the sites of injection, but the purpose was not to grow hair there but rather to provide an easily seen site for the patient to observe for possible negative side effects.

In the mice we studied, the hair that grew was in fact derived from miniaturized hair similar to the miniaturized hair seen on the scalp of patients with male pattern baldness (MPB). These hairs incorporated components of the cells that were injected and reversed their miniaturization growing into normal mouse hair that persisted for virtually the entire life of the mouse. Because there were no miniaturized hairs where we injected the forearms, "reversal of miniaturization" was not expected in the 10 patients. We believe that positive results from our technique will occur only in areas where such miniaturized hair exists and hence the results we are hoping for in the scalp. These same 10 patients are now about to begin injection of their cells into their scalp. They will be treated over a period of several months and results in each will only be assessed after several months. Therefore, nothing should be reportable before at least six months from now - unless we're very lucky.

On another matter entirely, at present there is no opportunity for individuals or companies to invest in this project. I am constantly being asked if this is possible but the sponsor of our studies has adequate financial resources and has thus far not been interested in having others take part. Please do not contact this office in that regard.

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