ProCyte Corp. said Monday that a drug it is developing hasbeen shown in preclinical studies to prevent hair lossassociated with chemotherapy. A single treatment with apeptide-copper compound, called PC1332, was able to preventloss of fur in mice being treated with the chemotherapeuticcytosine arabinoside, the Kirkland, Wash., company said.

ProCyte has also been studying the drug as a treatment formale pattern baldness and alopecia areata, a patchy hair lossphenomenon believed to be caused by an autoimmuneresponse. The company hopes to file an investigational newdrug application (IND) and begin clinical trials for all threeindications by the end of the year, ProCyte's vice president,Karen Hedine, told BioWorld.

The company has previously reported that in animal studies ofPC1332 for male pattern baldness, the agent has shown asmuch as 20 times the potency of Tricomin, a peptide-coppercompound that the company has been developing for hair losssince 1991. The original Tricomin was able to produce 40percent new hair growth after several weeks of therapy,Hedine said.

PC1332, a smaller, more potent version of Tricomin, is a tri-peptide, consisting of three amino acids, as compared with thesix amino acids that make up Tricomin. According to Hedine,Tricomin is now on the back burner while the companyattempts to develop the more potent agent.

Hedine noted that ProCyte will use the name Tricomin to referto all of its candidate hair-growth compounds.

-- Karl A. Thiel Associate Editor

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