Category Archives: Gail Naughton

Positive News from Shiseido, Histogen and Dr. Brotzu

As if the great news from Aclaris earlier this month wasn’t enough, out of the blue we get three new positive developments from totally separate entities during the past week.


Yesterday, this blog’s unpaid but respected Japanese correspondent “nosyu” provided us with a link to a big news story that Shiseido was commencing clinical trials in Japan in partnership with Tokyo Medical University and Toho University. Seems like the trial will entail 60 men and women and go on for up to 3 years. Another new article estimates the cost of treatment to be around $900.

Shiseido’s technology is probably identical to what the original inventor Replicel is/was doing in terms of autologous cell culturing and transplantation using the permanent hair at the back of a balding person’s scalp. Perhaps Shiseido might have its own improvements to the Replicel process, but that is hard to tell at the moment. It seems like one set of injections will give lifelong results!

Note that Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi of Tokyo Medical University (who will lead the clinical research work there), is also co-president of next year’s 10th World Congress for Hair Research. So Shiseido is hiring very reputable people. This development is especially good news since Replicel’s stock price and previously strong social media responsiveness have both tanked in recent months (perhaps this newly published video with Replicel CEO Lee Buckler was not filmed too long ago and Replicel is still continuing work in the hair department). Thankfully, Shiseido (the world’s fifth largest cosmetics company) is not letting us down.  Also see my post from 2014 on Japan’s new laws fast-tracking stem cell treatments.


To my utmost surprise, Histogen’s CEO Dr. Gail Naughton responded to some questions from HLT forum member “Tomtom21”. Over the years, I have become disenchanted with this company (despite my regular coverage of it on this blog) since it seems to have been in the news for at least ten years. Numerous presentations, successful funding rounds and much media attention have still not led anywhere insofar as treatment being made available anytime soon to the general public. Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see the CEO responding to people in person. I always found Ms. Naughton to be fairly genuine and sincere and hope that her company does end up like this.

Getting back to the subject matter of this news item, Dr. Naughton states that Histogen’s HSC treatment will be made available in Mexico first in 2018 (!) and they will soon be conducting a large-scale 330-person clinical trial in Mexico with a local partner. They are also close to getting a partner in China for what I assume will be human trials in that country. The company is also planning for Phase I trials in women and Phase II trials in men in the US soon. Dr. Naughton said that higher doses are more effective per Dr. Craig Ziering’s findings. Finally, the company will most likely get more funding from an Asian partner, and will also prepare for an initial public offering (IPO) thereafter.

Brotzu Lotion

While all these new-age companies with their sizable funding rounds look into cellular biology, 81-year old Dr. Giovanni Brotzu is old school and prefers a topical product. I never wanted to cover this man’s work in the first place, but here I am mentioning him for a second time this year. Last week Dr. Brotzu gave a detailed interview to an Italian hair loss forum team. The big news is that there is an ongoing trial using his Brotzu lotion on 60 androgenetic alopecia patients. Virtually everything he says sounds reasonable to me, although I have done very little research on the accuracy of some of the more esoteric things that he mentions that I do not understand. He does make some excuses about the lack of photos.

Someone more motivated than myself can check out the Italian forum threads on this man and see if people over there are also optimistic. I like the fact that Dr. Brotzu openly and honestly states that his product will not help regain long-lost hair. Most likely, the best case scenario is that you will only regain what you lost in the past five years. Still a great potential solution for many younger people. Dr. Brotzu has a few patents to his name (the details for some of which include information on hair growth related applications).

Follica and Histogen Updates

I was not planning to write a new post for several more days, but there have been two important developments that I thought were worth discussing separately from my upcoming “brief items of interest” once a month post.  I will update this post in more detail later if necessary (1:30 am here right now!), but for now, here are the main developments so as to let people comment about them here rather in my prior blog post on Dr. Tsuji.

  • Second, if you recall, a month ago I wrote a post on Follica’s surprising return from being taken as almost dead by many people.  That post happened due to HLT forum member Xaser94’s great research, which he outlined in his now very popular thread.  Several days ago, forum member “Noisette” made an interesting post in that same thread (see page 8) with a link to a 271 page prospectus document from PureTech Health (majority owner of Follica) from June 2015.  There is a goldmine of information in there with some superb images.  The main Follica section starts on page 101.   Encouraging quote:  “Through the administration of Follica’s procedure by a trained clinician and use of its at home  ‘‘connected’’ device (meaning it is coupled with a digital service such as a companion smart- phone application) the company seeks, in the near-term, to significantly improve the treatment expectations and satisfaction of hair loss patients by providing a more effective alternative to current FDA-approved drugs.

I also want to give kudos to Mike, who e-mailed me some useful information on this development (this is the same Mike that I discussed in my Follica post from a month ago).  This time, I will only paste part of his e-mail:

This section stands out – and there are many standouts – 

Follica’s patented platform employs a technique called targeted cutaneous perturbation (or TCP) to stimulate the growth of new follicles, followed by treatment with: (i) select, approved drugs indicated to be synergistic in maximising the quantity, quality and persistence of new hair, or in other cases (ii) new chemical entities that modulate pathways involved in the development of the hair follicle.

It’s the new chemical entities that interests me – could there be a treatment and then an upgrade treatment further down the line. A partnership with another company perhaps – maybe one that’s related to a certain Neal Walker?

In seems like in the past month, most of my posts have been heavily influenced by commentators on this blog, e-mailers, hair loss forum posters and even one hair loss chat participant on this site!  The last mentioned is surprising, since most of the chat page on this site often gets filled with garbage that I have to delete, or gets filled with childish but somewhat relevant messages pertaining to hair loss.  I am considering upgrading the chat via paying for a plugin that might require logins, but am not sure yet.