A New Approach to Hair Loss Grounded in Stem Cell Biology

We target the hair follicle directly to stimulate growth

Innovative Science

Based on UCLA scientists' groundbreaking discovery that hair follicle stem cells have a unique metabolic switch, Pelage's platform is the first to target this novel mechanism to activate stem cells and regrow hair.

For Everyone

By targeting the intrinsic metabolic properties of hair follicle stem cells, Pelage's treatment has potential to induce robust hair growth for all genders, skin types, and hair types.

Non-Invasive

The small molecule drug platform stimulates hair growth without the need for invasive procedures or oral systemic exposure.

Our Mission

At Pelage, our goal is to deliver a clinically-tested treatment grounded in innovative science for all genders, skin types, and hair types. Based on breakthrough discoveries by Pelage co-founders, we activate hair growth through a first-in-class mechanism that targets the metabolism of hair follicle stem cells.​

Types of Hair Loss

Current Hair Loss
Treatments Are Inadequate

Existing therapies target external factors affecting hair growth (e.g. anti-androgen drugs like finasteride Propecia)

Current treatments have limited efficacy and unclear mechanism of action (e.g. minoxidil Rogaine and platelet-rich plasma PRP). Most are not FDA-approved.

Treatment options are not suitable for all patients and can be invasive or require oral dosing (e.g. spironolactone, hair transplantation)

The Pelage Solution

A novel, non-invasive, topical small molecule drug platform that activates stem cells in the hair follicles directly to stimulate robust hair growth. By targeting an intrinsic metabolic switch in hair follicles, Pelage’s platform is suitable for all genders, skin types, and hair types.

How Our Drug Works

Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) undergo cycles of dormancy and activation to power hair growth.

In alopecia related to age, stress, hormones, and chemotherapy, hair follicle stem cells can become "stuck" in the dormant phase and unable to trigger hair growth. However, these stem cells are still present and viable in the follicles.

Our drug activates dormant hair follicle stem cells, restoring the regenerative capacity of the follicle and triggering new hair growth.

Selected Publications and Presentations
  1. American Academy of Dermatology 2024 Annual Meeting. Inhibition of pyruvate oxidation activates human hair follicle stem cells ex vivo.
  2. Experimental Dermatology. Inhibition of pyruvate oxidation as a versatile stimulator of the hair cycle in models of alopecia
  3. Nature Cell Biology. Lactate dehydrogenase activity drives hair follicle stem cell activation
Phase 2a Clinical Trial Now Enrolling

Our Phase 2a study for men and women with androgenetic alopecia is now enrolling. Click here to learn more

ClinicalTrials ID NCT06393
Safety, Pharmacokinetics and Efficacy of PP405 in Adults With AGA

Leadership

Press

  • Potent topical MPC inhibitor, based on discovery of a metabolic switch, reawakens dormant hair follicle stem cells to stimulate hair growth
  • PP405 demonstrates statistically significant activation of Ki67 in the hair follicle, a well-established marker of stem cell proliferation
  • Pioneers novel approach to restore the body’s natural ability to grow hair by reactivating dormant hair follicle stem cells
  • Phase I clinical data meets primary safety endpoints and shows statistically significant stem cell activation in hair follicles after one week of treatment with PP405; Phase 2 clinical trial to begin in mid-2024
  • Announces the appointment of Qing Yu Christina Weng, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer

Investors

GV Logo
Visionary Ventures Logo White
YK Bioventures Logo
Main Street Advisors Logo

Leadership

William Lowry, PhD

President & Co-Founder

President & Co-Founder
Professor, UCLA Molecular, Cell and Dev. Biology 

Dr. Lowry is a leader in the stem cell field with 20+ years of research experience resulting in the discovery that hair follicle stem cells can be activated by metabolic manipulation. His work has led to the creation of several startups including Pelage and Sardona, as well as other efforts under development.

Leadership

Heather Christofk , PhD

Co-Founder

Co-Founder
Professor, UCLA Biological Chemistry

Dr. Christofk is a leader in the metabolism field with a research focus on how metabolism regulates cell state transitions. Her groundbreaking collaborative research with Dr. Lowry revealed that changes in metabolism can instruct hair follicle stem cell activation, forming the basis for the Pelage’s approach to treat hair loss. She is a Professor of Biological Chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Associate Director of Basic and Translational Research at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, her PhD from Harvard, and conducted postdoctoral research at UCSF before joining the faculty at UCLA in 2008.

Leadership

Michael Jung, PHD

Co-Founder

Co-Founder 
Professor, UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Jung is a renowned Medicinal Chemist and co-founder of several successful startups. He is also co-inventor of two FDA approved drugs for prostate cancer (Xtandi & Erleada) with several drugs currently in clinical trials.

Leadership

Daniel Gil, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Gil is the CEO of Pelage. He is also a Venture Partner with Visionary Ventures. Until 2018, Dr. Gil was a Vice President at Allergan, overseeing the research portfolio and early clinical development. His research contributed to development of 5 marketed drugs and he led 8 clinical development projects. He is an inventor on 70+ issued US patents and author on 45 peer-reviewed research articles. Dr. Gil has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Harvard University and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Leadership

Qing Yu Christina Weng, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Weng is the CMO of Pelage. She is a physician-scientist and entrepreneur, board-certified dermatologist, and Lecturer at Harvard Medical School. She is experienced in corporate startup strategy as Head of Business Development & Strategy at Kira Pharma and CSO and cofounder of Mymiel Skincare. She is on the Board of Directors for the Dermatology Innovation Forum and Dermatology Summit. Dr. Weng has an undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology, MD from Harvard, and she completed dermatology residency and fellowship at Harvard.

Clinical Advisory Board

Arash Mostaghimi

Position

Arash Mostaghimi, MD, MPA, MPH is the Vice Chair of Clinical Trials and Innovation and Director of the Consult Service for the Department of Dermatology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  With board certifications in dermatology, internal medicine, and clinical informatics, Dr. Mostaghimi is an active clinician with an emphasis on complex medical dermatology and hair loss disorders.  As a clinical researcher, Dr. Mostaghimi has over 275 peer reviewed publication, and served as a principal investigator involved in the design and implementation of numerous clinical trials. He has received numerous teaching and mentorship awards and is co-director of the Complex Medical Dermatology Fellowship.

Clinical Advisory Board

Amy McMichael

Position

Dr. Amy McMichael is a Philadelphia native who received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed Dermatology residency training at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

Dr. McMichael is a Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC. She has held leadership positions in the Department for over 20 years first as Residency Program Director for 12 years and Chair of the Department for 11 years. She has been a leader in her field, including her roles as past President of Skin of Color Society and past President of the National Medical Association Dermatology Section. She recently served as a Board member of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Dr. McMichael’s clinical and research interests include: hair and scalp disorders, psoriasis, and skin of color. She is co-editor of several medical

Clinical Advisory Board

Mathew Avram

Position

Mathew M. Avram, M.D., J.D., is the Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Dermatology Laser & Cosmetic Center and serves as Faculty Director for Dermatology Cosmetic Training at Harvard Medical School. He is the Past-President of both the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. Dr. Avram has co-authored 7 textbooks and 90 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Avram has delivered over 800 invited lectures, co-chaired teaching sessions for the FDA for three years, and has two U.S. patents. Dr. Avram has been recognized by Newsweek as one of the Top 10 cosmetic dermatologists in America.

Clinical Advisory Board

Amelia Hausauer

Position

Dr. Amelia K. Hausauer is the Director of Dermatology and Head of Aesthetic Medicine at Aesthetx, a hybrid dermatology and plastic surgery practice in Northern California. She is a key opinion leader for early pipeline innovation and development of multiple injectable and regenerative therapies as well as an active research investigator. Dr. Hausauer spearheaded one of the largest clinical trials using PRP for hair growth and served as the chief editor for Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Microneedling in Aesthetic Medicine. Earning a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and medical doctorate from University of California San Francisco, Dr. Hausauer completed residency at New York University then an American Society for Dermatologic Surgery cosmetic surgery fellowship.