OrganTech Aims to Regenerate Hair and Teeth

Update: February 23, 2024

More great news. OrganTech (Japan) is entering the South Korean market. Their local partner OrganEcoTech will get exclusive rights to OrganTech’s artificial organ regeneratice medicine technology, including hair growth. They also plan to enter the US regenerative medicine sector.

OrganTech and OrganEcoTech
OrganTech (Japan) and OrganEcoTech (South Korrea). New partnership.

Update: February 20, 2024

OrganTech CEO Takashi Kondo Interview

A new interview with OrganTech CEO Dr. Takashi Kondo (h/t “Theo”). Key quote:

In terms of hair regeneration, the future is just around the corner where people who suffer from thinning hair or alopecia will no longer have to worry about it.

He also says that they can increase the number of hairs from 200 to 20,000 via Dr. Tsuji’s autologous hair multiplication process. Hair and teeth regeneration remain their primary areas of focus. He also mentions the progress in artificial skin regeneration technology and and his desire to see a world without the need for animal testing.

The company currently only has six employees. Five researchers at RIKEN in Kobe; and one (himself, the CEO and person in charge of business and finance) in Tokyo. Per the news below from earlier this month, OrganTech will hire and additional six new scientists by summer.

They are being approached by many pharmaceutical and beauty industry companies for partnership opportunities. Ultimately, this will translate into faster fundraising, ecomomies of scale and a lower final cost of treatment.

Update: February 16, 2024

Reader “Theo” regularly e-mails me very unique info from Asia that I would never have found by myself. I could not get the second link below to translate properly, but I trust what “Theo” said. So I am pasting his words in the below three bullet points with minor grammar changes by me.

As always, Dr. Takashi Tsuji sounds very sincere. In the first link below, read his recollection of the two big tragedies at RIKEN. OrganTech seems very focused and is unlikely to repeat the past fundraising related mistakes from the Tsuji team.

OrganTech and Dr. Tsuji from Riken.
Dr. Takashi Tsuji of RIKEN presenting to university students recently. His hair and teeth regeneration work is now undertaken via OrganTech.
  • Dr. Takashi Tsuji gave an interview and presentation to a Tokyo University student group two months ago. They visited his very expensive lab and he explained to them his vision about OrganTech’s future. They got far more funding that they need, from several different companies. Their vision is to make OrganTech an off-shore company for groundbreaking research from different scientists who are looking for funding.
  • Dr. Tsuji plans to create a consortium that could be called a “second RIKEN” by establishing companies for each business to socially implement regenerative medicine technology, with OrganTech at its core.

Two Part Interview and Presentation

https://note.com/utdiligent/n/n78bd096e3ab5

https://note.com/utdiligent/n/n7fce80d6710f

  • OrganTech is hiring 6 new scientists by the end of April 2024. After June, they will move to new offices and a research center in the Harumi neighborhood of Tokyo. It seems like they may start clinical trials around that time for both hair and teeth per “Theo” (I could not find anything on trials in the translation I got). Their artificial skin business is also advancing.

https://jp.indeed.com/viewjob?jk=6ce284d70b0a789f&tk=1hmpusbgu2b1p002&from=serp&vjs=3

Update: June 29, 2023

OrganTech Miho Ogawa
OrganTech and its CEO Dr. Miho Ogawa win a prestigious award in Japan.

OrganTech Wins Future Award 2023 for its Organ Regenerative Medicine Technology

Congratulations to Dr. Miho Ogawa of OrganTech for winning Japan’s prestigious “The Economist Future Award 2023“. Per my new Japanese correspondent (old ones were “nosyu” and “Fuji Maru“), this award is sponsored by the “Economist Future Awards 2023 Executive Committee” and supported by the renowned Mainichi Shimbun newspaper agency. There were 225 nominated companies, of whom 15 got awards spread across 5 categories. Dr. Ogawa only became CEO/Director of OrganTech in early 2023.

Make sure to read the detailed interview with Dr. Miho Ogawa that I also posted earlier this month. She started working at Dr. Takashi Tsuji’s lab in 2005 at the Tokyo University of Science when she was a student. Thereafter she joined Organ Technologies, which folded in October 2020 due to fundraising issues that were exacerbated by the Corona crisis.

Now she is back with OrganTech, and I am getting positive vibes yet again for Dr. Tsuji’s hair multiplication work finally reaching fruition. The prior issues with fundraising inexperience and surprise pandemic will surely not be repeated. Japan is home to one of the oldest populations in the world, and also home to one of the fastest clinical trial processes in the world. Especially when it comes to regenerative medicine and anti-aging treatments.

Make sure to keep checking OrganTech’s website for new developments. Per my prior updates, they are aiming to start hair regeneration related human clinical trials in 2024. And they want to offer their hair multiplication treatment in clinics in 2026. I assume they can move this fast due to their past decade of work combined with Japan’s favorable regulations. However, as most readers know, their original goal had been 2020, prior to the earlier mentioned disruptions.

Update: June 1, 2023

Japan: Global Hub for Hair and Tooth Regeneration

An interesting new interview with OrganTech’s confident representative director Dr. Miho Ogawa. It looks like the team is very serious about making Japan the global hub for hair and tooth generation. And they are keen to avoid repeating past fundraising and commercialization related mistakes.

The other representative director is Takashi Kondo (see his recent interview), who is in charge of business planning and fundraising. Ms. Ogawa is in charge of research and development and technology.

Lead scientist and OrganTech owner Dr. Takashi Tsuji remains fully involved of course. The company is scheduled to conduct clinical research within one to two years for practical application. With Japan’s fast track regulations, this treatment could still get to clinics in 2026 as was announced by Dr. Takashi Tsuji last year. Key quote:

“In the near future, this world-first, Japan-originated organ regenerative medicine management will shock the world and contribute to improving the QOL of many people.”

Tsuji Mouse Hair OrganTech
Human hair growing on mice via the work of Dr. Takashi Tsuji and his team at RIKEN.

Update: February 11, 2023

OrganTech: New name for Organ Technologies

Organtech
Organtech: hair follicle and other organ regeneration technologies.

After ending its partnership with Riken and Dr. Takashi Tsuji in 2021, Organ Technologies is back. It is renaming itself to OrganTech, and this time the founder himself is Dr. Tsuji. A little confusing, but read the next paragraph. OrganTech plans to start hair regeneration related clinical trials in 2024. And yet again they have a new website. They are also getting funding from Kobayashi Pharmaceutical.

According to the latest press release, it seems like founder Dr. Tsuji will remain the team leader and OrganTech is still affiliated with RIKEN. However, Dr. Tsuji cannot be officially titled CEO, since RIKEN does not allow its top scientists to be CEOs of venture firms. This last point was e-mailed to me by a reader.

I previously mentioned how Dr. Tsuji took over Organ Technologies’ debt in 2021 in order to prevent patent loss. He also announced that they plan to offer their hair multiplication treatment in 2026. So this new development means they are on schedule. Note that Japan has favorable regulations in relation to clinical trial speed when it comes to regenerative medicine.

They are also very serious about fundraising this time. On March 6th 2023, they plan to present their technology on Tokyo Innovative Business Day. On OrganTech’s website, it says that the company’s purpose is to “create functional organs.” They they emphasize the two main areas of Dr. Tsuji’s past work:

“Technologies that can contribute to hair regenerative medicine and dental regenerative medicine.”

Also of interest, the following patents are assigned to Organ Technologies. These now belong to OrganTech.

Jan 5, 2020

I have mentioned many times that Dr. Takashi Tsuji and his hair loss treatment protocol holds the best short-term prospects for a hair loss cure. Mr. Tsuji is working in partnership with RIKEN, Organ Technologies and Kyocera. The treatment can come to market faster because 1) It is autologous in nature; and 2) Clinical trials in Japan get finished faster due to favorable government regulations.

All four of these Japan-based partners have their own sites (in Japanese and English). So it is hard to keep a track of new developments.

Organ Technologies and Takashi Tsuji

Organ Technologies has updated its website (Update: They replaced it yet again with a new one in 2023. See upper sections of this post for latest updates). A goldmine of information is available on the new site.

The hair regeneration page has a list of publications at the bottom. Apparently, the company has developed three generations of its technology over the years. Mostly via the work of Dr. Takashi Tsuji and RIKEN (in Kobe, Japan).

I will add more to this post in the coming days, but wanted to start the discussion now. Please only post comments about Organ Technologies and the work of its partners in this post.

Organ Technologies Hair Regeneration Treatment.
Organ Technologies Hair Growth.

A Visit to Fukuda Lab at Yokohama National

I have covered the work of esteemed and prolific Japanese hair loss researcher Dr. Junji Fukuda for almost ten years. I have also written the below two detailed posts about his findings. The second of these is very lengthy because I have kept updating it for a few years.

Make sure to check out the Yokohama National University based Fukuda Lab’s hair research page.

A Visit to Fukuda Lab at Yokohama National

Reader “Theo” just sent me a link to a very interesting diary of a hair transplant surgeon from Japan who just visited the Fukuda Lab.

Note that while Dr. Fukuda is based at Yokohama National University, the research seems to be taking place at Kanagawa Life Innovation Center (per the above link). One of the images also mentions the Kanagawa Center for Clinical Research & Strategy (KCCR). Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan and is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture. Check out this PDF of the regenerative medicine sector at Kanagawa Prefecture.

From this visit and summary, I learn some very interesting things. There are three distinct methods in which Dr. Fukuda is pursuing hair regeneration. I mentioned them in my past lengthy post too, but now we have more clarity.

1) Dermal Papilla Cell Transplantation

“Dermal papilla cell transplantation is about to begin in Japan.

Transplantation of dermal papilla cells (via stratified culture). I assume that the “stratified cuture” in the translation means 3D culturing. Dr. Fukuda mentions that Shiseido already conducted a clinical trial using 2D culturing. In this method, cells are are lined up on a flat surface when culturing, but it only resulted in a 5% increase in hair volume. The 3D method will likely be superior and the clinical trials are about to finally begin! It is hoped to be “put into practical use within five years”.

2) Transplantation of Hair Follicle Primordium

“I think this will take some time.”

The creation of hair follicle primordia means generating hair from scratch. i.e., hair multiplication. I previously discussed the Yokohama team’s process of achieving this via increasing and mixing epithelial cells and mesenchymal cells. These then form “hair follicle primordia“ that are transplanted to the same donor’s scalp in order to regenerate hair in thinning regions of the scalp.

Per the latest feedback from Dr. Fukuda, while this process has already been proven by them in mice, human hair is a different animal. Once the primordium tissue is transplanted to human heads, the direction and length grow haphazardly. He thinks that this will take some time.

3) Transplantation of Regenerated Hair Follicles in Vitro (Organoids)

“It will likely take more than 10 years before it can be used in humans.”

The final method is in vitro regenerated hair follicle transplantation (also called organoid). In this process, hair follicles are regenerated outside the body, lengthened by almost 100%, and then transplanted into the scalp. Per Dr. Fukuda, it will likely take more than 10 years before it can be used in humans.

Other Notes

In March 2023, Dr. Fukuda and his Yokohama team published an important hair regeneration related study. They made an improvement in the expansion of hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) and dermal papilla cells via the use of a newly designed microwell array device.

The Fukuda Lab has even undertaken research on electric stimulation of human dermal papilla cells for hair regeneration.

So in one day we get two very unique insights and forecasts from Japan! Thanks again to “Theo” for all the stellar non-English language updates from Japan and South Korea.

Fukuda Lab Hair Research
Fukuda Lab’s hair research summary poster. Source:
Naohiro Uchida, Director of Almo Plastic Clinic Hair Transplantation.

Hair loss blog with the latest news updates.