Plucked Hair Biomarker Platform
Epistem's extensive knowledge of epithelial biology has been translated into a unique hair biomarker platform. Proprietary techniques have been combined with in-house expertise to provide a highly sensitive and powerful platform to support both pre-clinical and clinical phases of the drug discovery and development pipeline.
Epistem's highly sensitive, GCLP compliant platform can be applied to the analysis of hair collected during clinical studies. Plucked hair provides a simple, inexpensive and minimally invasive sampling technique to access epithelial tissue. Multiple, independent samples can be collected over the course of a clinical study with minimal discomfort and inconvenience to the patient.
Epistem's proprietary ex vivo culture technique is highly reproducible and can be used to monitor the effects of novel therapeutic agent exposure on gene and protein expression in hair providing valuable pre-clinical proof of concept data.
Applications of the Plucked Hair Biomarker Platform:
- Monitoring pharmacodynamic response to treatment
- Duration of drug effect
- Dose response
- Confirmation of mechanism of action
- Patient stratification
- Hair growth
Plucked scalp hair is an ideal surrogate for measuring a direct response following treatment. Highly vascularised, the hair follicle can rapidly respond to novel therapeutic agent exposure. Given this vascularisation, the epithelial nature and rapid rate of proliferation, the cells in the hair bulb and outer root sheath are a highly relevant surrogate tissue for biomarker analysis.
Profiling of hairs is possible from both rodents and humans during pre-clinical and clinical studies. In humans the scalp is the preferred source of plucked hair as most hairs in this region are in the anagen (active growth) phase of the hair cycle.