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Histogen is a biotech company from San Diego founded by Gail K. Naughton. They are researching an injectable treatment to promote hair growth called Hair Stimulating Complex, or HSC. This treatment is manufactured using harvested infant foreskins removed by circumcision.[1]

Hair Stimulating Complex

HSC contains proteins, chemicals called growth factors and other substances produced by skin cells called fibroblasts. The substances are produced when the cells are grown in a low-oxygen environment mimicking an embryonic environment.

The fibroblasts are taken from neonatal foreskins, the byproduct of circumcisions. These are the same cells used by the defunct San Diego company Advanced Tissue Sciences, which produced a living skin product called Dermagraft It's not a coincidence: Naughton was president and COO of the company. Dermagraft is now being made in San Diego by a subsidiary of Shire, a medical company based in Dublin, Ireland.[1] Shire was sold to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company on 8 January 2019.

The United States Patent & Trademark Office issued patent 8,257,947, entitled "Extracellular Matrix Compositions Produced Under Hypoxic Culture Conditions" to Histogen. The patent, which is the Company's first patent issued in the United States, covers Histogen's method of growing cells under low oxygen and suspension conditions, and the process through which the naturally-secreted protein compositions are produced.[1]

On October 2012 Histogen announced preliminary data from a combined Phase 1/2 clinical trial. In this trial, patients aged 40–59 showed a mean increase of 39 percent in so-called terminal hair, as opposed to fine hair called vellus hair. Hair regrowth took place across all regions of the scalp.[1]


  1. a b c d REFweb (19 October 2012). Hair growth treatment works, says San Diego's Histogen, UT San Diego. Retrieved 16 November 2012.