David DiMuzio and Tiger King

A few months ago, I wrote a very popular post on exosomes and hair growth. One of the pioneers in this new technology is hair transplant surgeon Dr. Daniel McGrath of Texas-based McGrath Medical.

This doctor has become increasingly famous online due to his very informative video talks and interviews with a certain David DiMuzio. I posted one of those videos in my exosomes post.

David DiMuzio Gets his Hair Back

David DiMuzio Before Hair Transplant
David DiMuzio, before his hair transplants. Age = 24.

During this surreal period of social isolation and curfews in large parts of the world, I would highly recommend checking out Mr. DiMuzio’s youtube channel. And subscribing to the channel for regular updates.

While Mr. DiMuzio’s main interest seems to lie in Filipino music, he has also uploaded many videos related to hair loss. This is in large part due to his own experiences in losing and then regaining his hair.

David DiMuzio After Hair Transplant
David DiMuzio in 2020, after his three hair transplants. Age = 33.

Mr. DiMuzio has had three strip FUT hair transplants to date per my conversation with him. Most people prefer FUE vs FUT hair transplants, although FUT can still be a better option in some instances. Mr. DiMuzio’s third and last hair transplant was done by Dr. McGrath.

I would say that David DiMuzio’s hair transplant results have turned out superbly. On the right is his current hairline in 2020 at age 33. The earlier photo was him balding at age 24. Note that he also takes topical Finasteride to treat his hair loss and has had a SMP procedure.

Mr. DiMuzio has covered exosomes in a few recent videos. He will likely continue to do so on an infrequent basis throughout 2020. In some of his videos, he talks with the very helpful McGrath Medical patient adviser Steve Cook. A hair loss world veteran, Mr. Cook has also had hair transplants.

Dr. McGrath has excellent Google and Yelp reviews. Note that he is not paying me in any way for promotion or advertising activities.

Dr. Dan McGrath Hair Transplant Reviews

Boredom and Isolation

Living near Seattle, we have been under extreme social isolation guidelines for over two weeks. The US Coronavirus pandemic initially started just four miles from where I reside. New York has since taken over the title of worst hit city from Seattle. I have had to find lots of things to watch on TV during this home-bound time period.

When it comes to screen time, only one thing clearly beat watching David DiMuzio’s videos this past boring week.

Tiger King

Tiger King Reinke
Tiger King’s John Reinke and his favorite lion Bonedigger.

A new Netflix documentary series called “Tiger King” is the greatest thing that I have seen on TV in years. And it is hard for me to admit to this, since I am very pro animal rights. I am uncomfortable with tigers and other animals ever being caged. In any event, my morality took a backseat a few days ago. I watched all 7 episodes in one sitting.

Joe Exotic (aka “Tiger King” aka “Joseph Maldonado-Passage”) is the craziest real life nonfiction character that I have ever witnessed. He even beats John McAffee in wackiness. Numerous celebrities and podcast hosts have reached similar conclusions this week. Joe is mostly fun to watch, but does have an evil side.

This show will end up being the most watched Netflix documentary of all time in my opinion.

Spoiler Alert

Interestingly, all the men that Joe Exotic is attracted to and marries have full heads of hair. Joe also makes fun of Jeff Lowe for being insecure about his Norwood 6 hair loss and always wearing a cap. No-one including myself liked Jeff Lowe’s character, so perhaps this insult is appropriate for once.

If you do not have Netflix, you can still see many older zoo clips via Joe Exotic Zoo’s youtube channel. I have a feeling that Joe will be released from prison well before his term is supposed to be completed. However, I doubt that he will ever run for US president again.

The only relatively normal lead characters in this crazy true life show seem to be: both-legs-missing John Reinke; and one-arm-missing transsexual Saff. Says it all.

If Shiseido Decides to Do So

Update: March 27, 2020

Shiseido’s latest trial results are finally getting global publicity. Yesterday, lead researcher Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi was interviewed by the Asahi Shimbun. The title of the article clearly states that this technology entails transplantation of ones own cells. Not surprisingly, The Daily Mail has even more details.

Shiseido’s method involves autologous transplantation of dermal sheath cup cells. I am very optimistic that Japan’s favorable regulations will lead to this technology reaching the market in the next several years.

Shiseido Hair Research from Dr. Tsuboi
Shiseido lead researcher Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi. Source: Asahi Shimbun.

Dr. Tsuboi:

“The result of our study was very encouraging, We were able to show that the study could help develop a new treatment for hair loss.”


Update: March 6, 2020

Update: Fuji Maru sent me the following Japanese press release from Shiseido. The company plans to conduct further clinical trials that will administer DSC cells in multiple areas of the scalp.

Autologous Cell-Based Therapy Success

Reader “John Doe” just discovered this new study from Shiseido. As always, I am assuming that Shiseido uses both Replicel’s technology as well as its own-in house technology. Lead author is Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi from Tokyo Medical University. Toho University Ohashi Medical Center was also involved in the trial.

The treatment entails autologous cell–based therapy using dermal sheath cup (DSC) cells, which surround the dermal papilla (DP). Cell manufacturing was conducted at the Shiseido Cell-Processing and Expansion Center (SPEC) and Incubation Center. Both male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss patients were treated. 50 males and 15 females, all between the ages of 33-64.

The positive: Total hair density and cumulative hair diameter at injection site significantly increased at 6-months and at 9-months. They seem to imply that this was true for all patients, but maybe someone can access the full study and let us know. Side effects were limited to none in all participating volunteers.

The negative (possibly): The “positive effect was temporary until 9 months”. This statement does not make linguistical sense, and is likely a translation issue. Are they actually trying to say that hair growth was temporary for all of the first 9 months after injection?

Update: Thanks to reader “Left4Bald” for sending me the whole study. They state that the best results were at 6- and 9-months post injection. 12 months had “reduced hair growth”, which is still unclear wording. Further data in the full study indicates that there was a very slight average decline in hair count from 9 to 12 months. Interestingly, older men and women saw best results per phototrichogram before and after images.

Also of significance, 3.0×105 DSC cells was the lowest dose tested. It still elicited a significant increase in total hair density and cumulative hair diameter compared with the placebo. Higher doses did not translate to superior hair growth. The authors suggest that this could be due to an overload of cell debris and immune reactions. In effect causing a poorer environment for the remaining viable DSC cells.

In any case, we should prepare for an eventuality where we need once-a-year DSC injections. Hopefully, Shiseido succeeds in rapidly commercializing this autologous hair growth treatment in regulation friendly Japan.

Shiseido Replicel Hair Growth Treatment
Shiseido’s hair growth treatment with dermal sheath cup cells. Source: https://www.tokyo-med.ac.jp/news/media/docs/20200306pressrelease.pdf

Update: November 26, 2019

Shiseido Japanese Patent Published

Someone named “Paul” (thanks!) just posted a link to Shiseido’s official Japanese patent, which was released in Japan in May 2019. Paul found this link on an investing forum, and he also posted a bunch of information about stock prices. I deleted the latter, as I do not want to encourage blog readers to buy or sell Shiseido or Replicel stock.

Ultimately, whether “Shiseido decides to do so OR not to do so” will decide everything. The patent indicates optimism about the technology. However, nothing is set in stone for sure. The English translation of the patent is extremely informative if you expand each section and wait for it to load. Or you can open the whole Japanese pdf too and use translation software.

The big question I have is what portion of the technology comes from Replicel (licensing), versus from Shiseido in-house?

The inventors are listed as:

  • Tsutomu Soma
  • Jiro Kishimoto
  • Sayaka Koide
  • Hitoshi Okochi
  • Masahiro Kiso

Update: November 26, 2019

Replicel Year-End 2019 Update

RepliCel released its 2019 year-end update today. It includes discussion about its partnership with Shiseido. Regarding Replicel’s cellular therapy (RCH-01) for androgenetic alopecia, the key points are that:

  • Shiseido’s clinical study in Japan is now complete.
  • Shiseido will soon announce on whether it will commercially launch the product in Japan or conduct further clinical testing.
  • Replicel is holding off on Shiseido’s final decision before pursuing any further Phase 2 trials. The former’s Phase 1 trials in Europe were successful.
  • The Replicel and Shiseido dispute is still unresolved.

It seems like Shiseido could still launch the product in Japan soon. No doubt aided by the country’s new faster regulations for marketing when it comes to cellular therapy.

Replicel’s proprietary injection device, RCI-02, is on schedule to get approval and be used in much of the developed world in 2020.

Replicel-Shiseido Partnership

March 23, 2019

I used to cover Replicel (Canada) and its Japanese cosmetics behemoth partner Shiseido at least a few times per year until last year. At some point, I got skeptical about the RCH-01 autologous cell therapy hair loss product being released any time in the near future.

Shiseido LogoBesides typical delays, Replicel and Shiseido had some unclear conflicts regarding their partnership.

However, Replicel published two important updates this month, the second of which is of most interest to us:

Per the first link above, the disagreement regarding the agreement between Shiseido and Replicel remains unresolved. However, it is not subject to any litigation or arbitration at this time.

The key money quote is from the second link:

“While the Company’s RCH-01 product for hair loss due to androgenic alopecia may be launched in Japan much earlier if Shiseido decides to do so, current planning anticipates the potential for all four products to be on the market in Japan by 2022.”

The implication seems to be that:

  1. Shiseido could release the product well before 2022. See my past post on the company’s new research facility in Kobe, Japan.
  2. Even if Shiseido does not release the product earlier, it will quite possibly get released in 2022 in Japan by Replicel.

See my past post on Japan’s new laws fast-tracking stem cell therapies and clinical trials.

Another key quote:

“Unlike anywhere else in the world, one well-designed cell therapy trial in Japan, approved by their regulatory authorities, has the potential to lead to product market launch.”

Replicel is clearly focusing on a “First-in-Japan” strategy due the country’s favorable regulatory environment. Shiseido has rights to the Asian market when it comes to RCH-01. However, it seems like Replicel can still release the product in Japan in 2022 if Shiseido does not do so?

Hard to make this conclusion for certain without knowing much more about the two companies’ legal contract. In any case, this is a great development.

Further references:

— A discussion of Replicel’s technology in two videos.

— Shseido and Adenosine for hair loss.

Hair Loss Cure News Blog. Hair Cloning, Regrowth and Multiplication for Baldness.