AttisLab: 3D Organoids and Hair Growth

I cannot go more than three months without writing about yet another new South Korean company involved in curing hair loss. The latest one is AttisLab, which comes less than two months after I wrote about Kangstem Biotech.

Atti Lab
Attis Lab website screenshot with CEO and co-founder Dong Ha Bhang’s bio.

AttisLab: 3D Organoid Culturing and Hair Growth

AttisLab (also called Attis Lab) was founded in South Korea in 2019, but is only now becoming better known (h/t “Theo”). Their technology entails 3D organoid culturing, just like Kangstem’s hair follicle organoids.

The company’s co-founder and CEO Dr. Dong Ha Bhang gave an interesting interview in December 2023 that is worth reading after translation. I highlight the key points further below.

Note that Mr. Bhang completed his Postsdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. The other co-founder Dr. Kwan-Hyuck Baek is a research fellow at Harvard Medical school. Several of their advisors work at Columbia University. Their VP Thorsten Sperber is a highly experienced scientist and biopharma consultant.

I was 50/50 about covering this startup company so soon. However, when I saw their entire team listing, I got more curious. Of most interest to me, their CEO, head researcher, a scientist and an advisor all undertook research at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latter is home to George Cotsarelis, and is perhaps the premier hair and skin related research center in the US.

Interestingly, CEO Dong Ha Bhang also runs Biattic, which is geared towards improving animal health and life. One of the paragraphs on their site is applicable to most developed nations today:

While the number of family members is decreasing, the interest in pets has increased. The number of pets in South Korea has reached 10 million.

3D Organoids versus 3D Spheroids

Make sure to also check out my past posts on 3D culturing and 3D spheroids. Note that 3D organoids are not the same as 3D spheroids. Organoids are advanced mini-organs that are far more complex and very similar to real organs. You can read more about 3D organoids versus 3D spheroids on this page.

Early Commercialization of Hair Loss and Wrinkle Treatments

AttisLab’s main long-term goal is the treatment of cancer and the disease of various organs such as the kidney and liver. However, hair loss is more likely to be treated in the near term per the CEO interview. Some other highlights:

  • Among the technologies owned by AttisLab, hair loss and skin improvement (wrinkle treatment) are areas that can be commercialized early.
  • The company plans to enter the Japanese medical market first via commercializing autologous stem cell treatments. This is due to Japan’s cell therapy sector being at an advanced stage of development. AttisLab will provide treatments through a regenerative medicine hospital in Tokyo.
  • They are also in the process of entering the United States hair loss treatment market due to its large size.
  • In its home nation of South Korea, the regenerative medicine legal framework was only enacted relatively recently, AttisLab expects this system to improve rapidly.
  • In November 2023, Attis Lab attracted a $2.4 million investment from a US based investment corporation.
  • The hair loss treatment will use autologous adult hair follicle stem cells, so it will be safe and pain free. Adult hair follicle stem cells will be cultured as 3D organoids and preserved through a cell storage system. These cells can be continuously replenished if additional treatments are needed.

Key quote from CEO Bhang:

“Compared to other companies researching stem cells, AttisLab’s autologous adult stem cell culture technology allows for mass culture that is approximately 1,000 to 100,000 times more efficient using 3D cell culture technology.”

On AttisLab’s website, I also noticed the following statement:

We succeeded in the mass production of stem cells using 3D organoid culture technology. Utilizing this feat, we are currently in the process of developing personalized cell therapy using various types of stem cells.

As always, we can’t take any of this very seriously until clinical trials begin. Or unless the company can proceed without any trials in Japan in the future due to the autologous nature of this procedure. In either case, it is always great to see companies that are started and led by highly experienced scientists.

9 thoughts on “AttisLab: 3D Organoids and Hair Growth”

  1. Nice find Admin. Another interesting possibility to add to the mix. If they have in fact already succeeded in effectively mass culturing cells without loss of cell characteristics, you would think they could initiate some sort of trial within the next year or so to provide proof, especially since this is an autologous process. That of course never seems to turn out to be the case but it is bound to happen one of these days.

    1. I’m getting to the point where I’d seriously consider a high quality FUE procedure with a topline doc. While it’s nice to read about new technologies, seems like we aren’t much closer, certainly not in the next few years. Only thing holding me back from a FUE procedure at this point is having to be in public for my work, the post-op, ugly ducking phase is prohibitive. If nothing gels in the next few years I’m all in on FUE when I retire in 4-5 years.

      1. It’s not so bad. Shave your head a month before and people get used to that. Then have the procedure and take 2 weeks off – 3 if you can. You’ll be fine when you go back.

  2. Thanks for covering these new companies, greatly appreciated!

    I remain very skeptical though: YJ Lab, Moogene, HanBio – South Korea has a great track record of unfulfilled promises. They produce a lot of smoke, but there’s no fire.

    Everybody who knows a little about haircloning is certain about one thing: it’s a highly complicated process, from extracting to culturing to maturing to implanting with high-tech involved in every one of these steps.

  3. After so many failures like Kintor, is there anything in development that we’re really excited about? I’m under 25 years old and have a diffuse pattern. I come here to the site every day hoping for good news, but I’m starting to lose faith.

    1. I have been following every new tidbit of information for longer than you have been alive. While the research is exponentially beyond where it was when I began this journey….and is coming at a faster and faster pace, and there are new possibilities and pipeline candidates yearly, we have had no new FDA approved treatments on the market in all this time. Nor have we ever been presented with clinical trial pics of anything close to a consistent cosmetically acceptable treatment. I do feel we are getting closer but it is becoming a tougher mental battle to keep the optimism. We each have our own perspective but if I were you, I would do everything I can to maintain. I think that may buy you the time you need before something really good comes along.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *