Category Archives: Hair Loss Cure

Dr. Takashi Tsuji’s Hair Loss Cure will be Costly

For those of us who have followed hair loss cure research over the past decade, the number one person of interest is Japan’s Dr. Takashi Tsuji. He previously announced the aim of releasing a hair loss cure by the end of 2020. This was prior to the onset of the current global pandemic. Dr. Tsuji’s work is occurring at RIKEN’s major research center in Kobe, Japan.

Coincidentally, Japan is also the home of the person credited with first inventing hair transplants: Mr. Shoji Okuda.

Update: They need $4.8 million in donations or funding in order to start clinical trials.

Update: Now also starting to appear in western news sources.

Dr. Tsuji and RIKEN Hair Multiplication 2021 Update

Update: February 10, 2021

Riken has finally posted a major update on their site. You can translate from Japanese to English. Also in Reuters. Key sentence:

“We succeeded in developing a culture method that can amplify hair follicle epithelial stem cells while maintaining the ability to regenerate hair follicles.”

The official paper is published in Scientific Reports and titled “Expansion and characterization of epithelial stem cells with potential for cyclical hair regeneration”.

By using the culture method established in this study, the Tsuji team can create a large amount hair follicles from a small number of hair follicles. Moreover, these hairs will have normal regenerative capabilities and cyclical phases. The researchers were led by Dr. Takashi Tsuji and Dr. Makoto Takeo.

This update apparently represents a substantial improvement on their past work. The Riken team managed to multiply hair bulge-derived cells 4,000 times from one hair follicle. Dermal papilla cells were amplified in vitro about 100 times, so that from one hair follicle they could create 100 hair follicles. Key quote: “We have made great strides toward the realization of clinical application of hair follicle regeneration medicine.”

Note that this successful hair multiplication process entails extracting, multiplying and implanting hair follicles in mice. However, they also mention culturing human hair using specific proteins. Bulge-derived cells and follicles were amplified and about 80% regenerated 3 times or more in 80 days. In addition, the cultured cells had a periodic regeneration ability, just like normal hair.

I am disappointed that there is no news on when they will start their delayed human clinical trials. However, it has been a long time since we got such a lengthy update from the Riken team. Probably never this detailed.

Moreover, per this encouraging update, it looks like Dr. Tsuji is still keen on bringing this to market as soon as possible. Once he finds a new partner to replace Organ Technologies:

Clinical Trials and Practical use as Soon as Possible
Dr. Tsuji Human Clinical Trials
Dr. Tsuji human clinical trials for hair growth.

On the official Twitter feed, they state that this represents successful cyclical regeneration of bioengineered hair. And the next stop is clinical hair regeneration. I prefer using the term hair multiplication, but probably not hair cloning.

Update: February 7, 2021

Thankfully, I was correct in my last prediction. Dr. Takashi Tsuji is still in action and rumors of his retirement were premature. A couple of weeks ago, an official RIKEN Twitter account started following me on Twitter. To be honest, the account started to look fraudulent and a bit unprofessional after each Tweet. I assumed it was a definite fake.

However, earlier today, I noticed this wonderful update on the RIKEN site (!!):

Takashi Tsuji and Riken Hair Research
Takashi Tsuji and Riken Hair and Tooth Regeneration.

So we are back in action, I am pretty sure :-) The Twitter account is official. Note that they will make a major announcement on February 10th, 2021 per the last Tweet:

RIKEN Hair News Tweet
RIKEN hair regeneration news.

Lets hope that Dr. Tsuji has found a new partner to replace Organ Technologies. Even better would be if he announces the beginning of human clinical trials or the results of completed Phase 1 trials.

Update: November 8, 2020

Rumors of Dr. Tsuji’s Failure Exaggerated

Recently, we learnt that Tsuji/RIKEN partner Organ Technologies had failed and was shutting down. A lot of people including myself were extremely disappointed. However, it seems like work at RIKEN continues. This month they published an interesting new study related to human skin.

More relevantly, in November 2020, Dr. Tsuji and his hair growth research was featured in a local NHK BS television broadcast. It was titled “Humanience-4 Billion Years of Plans.” Thanks to the various people who posted or e-mailed the above links. I sent the video link to “Fuji Maru” and hope he lets us know if it contains anything useful.

And today, to my utmost surprise, the most troll-like and negative commentator “jan” posted the most relevant link. Apparently, Dr. Tsuji and the RIKEN + Kyocera team’s patent was just updated. It is based on an April 2020 filing date, so probably just international approval formalities. Organ Technologies is still listed in there as a co-inventor.

Inventor(s):

TSUJI, Takashi; c/o RIKEN
TAKEO, Makoto; c/o RIKEN
OKAMOTO, Naokazu; c/o Organ Technologies
OGAWA, Miho; c/o Organ Technologies
MORI, Yutaka; c/o Kyocera
KISHIMOTO, Kyosuke; c/o Kyocera

Update: August 8, 2020

Clinical Trials in 2020 Delayed
Human clinical trials delayed after the end of partnership with Organ Technologies.

Youngjet added a summary video of his attendance of Dr. Tsuji’s Zoom lecture. On Twitter and Youtube, he told me that human clinical trials will start in 2020 after approval from the relevant Commission for Regenerative Medicine. To be honest, this is disappointing news as I was hoping human trials already started earlier this year.

Youngjet’s prior video at the bottom of this post and past statements from Dr. Tsuji both indicated faster progress. In any case, trials in Japan will not take as long as in the west, especially in the autologous regenerative medicine sector.

Update: August 6, 2020

Dr. Tsuji replied to my email, and it seems like no new announcements in the August 5 presentation:

Dear Admin,

Thank you for your interest in our research. There was no updates because the lecture was for graduate school students aiming to get fundamental knowledge. For further information, please refer to our laboratory website for the latest news on the progress of our research projects. Our laboratory is striving to advance research with the aim of fulfilling the expectations to improve quality of life for many individuals. We thank you for your patience and continued support of our research activities.

Sincerely,
Takashi Tsuji
Laboratory for Organ Regeneration
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology Research (BDR)

Update: August 4, 2020

Dr. Takashi Tsuji Zoom Events in August

By now, most readers know that Dr. Takashi Tsuji is participating in several Zoom and web based online presentations in August 2020. I have sent a few messages to Fuji Maru and to ハゲリーマンちゃんねるin case they can attend any of these events. I will update this thread if they or others send me any new information.

Dr. Tsuji will be presenting via a Zoom conference on August 5, 2020 (h/t reader “Karl” and “RolfLeeBuckler” on HLT):

Then, on August 24 and August 25, Dr. Tsuji and RIKEN will be making a  two-part web presentation.

  • Part 1 = “Of hair science front line: from the basics of innovation to beauty and health.”
  • Part 2 = “Overview of new products for FY2020.”

Also keep an eye on RIKEN’s Facebook page, and on Organ Technologies’ website.

Takashi Tsuji Web Presentation.
Takashi Tsuji Web Presentation in August 2020.

Update: June 26, 2020

New Interview

Recently, a number of readers have asked about Dr. Takashi Tsuji’s January 2020 article and interview in a Japanese magazine. Earlier today, reader “Lurker10” managed to purchase it from here and also posted it on Imgur! Keep in mind that all the information in this article is from prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. So there could be some delays in the work’s progression. Update: It seems like the interview mostly covered Dr. Tsuji’s historical hair loss research related work per reader comments and translations.

Dr. Takashi Tsuji in 2020.
Dr. Takashi Tsuji in his lab in 2020.

Baldness will be Extinct

Update: August 14, 2019 — English version of below video is now published. Title: “Baldness will be Extinct! The Time has Come!!”

July 22, 2019

In June 2019, Dr. Tsuji gave some interesting quotes to the Financial Times about the future importance of Kobe when it comes to medical tourism. Also in June, Dr. Tsuji gave an important 4 page interview to Beyond Health.

Dr. Tsuji: Hair Loss Cure in 2020 or 2021

Recently, a Japanese hair enthusiast named “Youngjet” posted a video regarding his attendance of a recent lecture in Japan by Dr. Tsuji. Five people emailed me or commented on here about the below video!

After you translate the video, it seems like Dr. Tsuji will release his cure in 2020 and/or 2021. It will initially cost 20 million to 40 million Japanese Yen ($190,000 – $380,000 per today’s exchange rates). Prices will then slowly come down over the next decade.

Perhaps Dr. Tsuji gave us two numbers (20 million and 40 million) because some people will have one session and some will have two sessions?

Note that as of 2019, they are already testing this treatment in humans. Favorable Japanese regulations probably allow for this possibility, even though clinical trials are yet to be completed.

Make sure to see the results of my 2016 poll on how much you would pay for a hair loss cure. Only 12.5 percent of you voted for over $100,000!

— The guy (“Youngjet”) in the below video has the following Twitter account.

— Another Japanese person named “Tonegawa” has more information on these developments.

Perhaps the most important screenshot from the above video:

Hair Loss Cure in 2020 or 2021.

In 2013, I Predicted a Hair Loss Cure in 2020

Happy New Year everyone!

2020 is finally here and we hope that a hair loss cure is close. It is worth scrolling through my hair loss research around the world post for background information to this post.

Will a Hair Loss Cure Come in 2020?

When I started this blog in 2013, I forecast that a hair loss cure would likely be realized by the end of 2020. At the very least, I predicted that we would have a treatment that prevented any further permanent hair loss. In effect, this would imply that no-one in future would go bald if that was their desire.

When making the prediction, I was focusing on androgenetic alopecia (AGA or male pattern hair loss) and female pattern hair loss. Later on, I also covered other much less common forms of hair loss such as alopecia areata (AA). The latter mentioned may in fact now be curable in many people via the use of JAK inhibitors. See my past posts on that subject.

Best Prospect

  • A few years after I made the prediction, renowned Japanese scientist Dr. Takashi Tsuji (in partnership with RIKEN, Organ Technologies and Kyocera) announced that his hair loss cure would be realized by year-end 2020! Even more amazing, around 2015, the Japanese government changed regulations to allow for faster clinical trial completion. Mostly for autologous and regenerative medicine type medical and cosmetic treatments. Often entailing stem cells.
  • The latest 2019 update from Dr. Tsuji remains encouraging, albeit a very expensive solution initially. Note that Dr. Tsuji is funded by both the private sector and by the Japanese government. His lab is also working on cures for teeth regeneration and salivary gland regeneration.

Others Working on a Hair Loss Treatment

  • A few other companies (Cassiopea via Breezula, Follica, Follicum and Samumed) are close to coming out with significantly better hair loss treatments during the 2020-2022 period. Or, at the very least, finishing Phase 3 clinical trials. In the past, I have written at least 10 posts covering each of those four companies. Check the “Categories” menu of this blog for more information. To date, only Finasteride and Minoxidil have been approved to treat male pattern hair loss by the US FDA. And nothing new in the past several decades. Therefore, any new effective treatments for androgenetic alopecia would be a miracle.
  • A Japanese cosmetics behemoth named Shiseido could also surprise us (after resolving partnership issues with Canada’s Replicel). In fact, I consider Shiseido to be the second best prospect (after Tsuji). The company has access to its own technology as well as to Replicel’s groundbreaking technology. And absolutely no problems with fundraising.
  • Newer entrants I covered last year such as Stemson Therapeutics, TissUse (plus J. Hewitt), Rapunzel (Dr. Angela Christiano), Pelage Pharmaceuticals and Exicure all hold significant potential. However, none of these are likely to come out with a working treatment prior to 2023 in my estimation.
  • The biggest unexpected bolt from the blue is exosome treatment for hair loss. There was tremendous excitement about this during the second half of 2019. Several prominent hair transplant surgeons have highly recommended this new treatment to me.
  • Also of interest in 2020 will be further improvements in: 3D-printed hair via bioprinting; skin printing with working hair follicles a la PolarityTE; allogeneic hair transplants; CXXC5 targeting PTD-DBM; and WNT signaling related treatments.
  • Even surprising new recent discoveries in areas ranging from: quorum sensing related plucking; to scalp electrocution caps; to senolytics; to cancer research related hair growth findings could all ultimately regrow our hair.
  • In the long term, CRISPR or other genetic modification related cures for hair loss will likely be a reality.

Disappointments

Aclaris Therapeutics and Histogen have been major disappointments after much hype for years. I largely avoided covering them in 2019 on purpose. Allergan’s Bimatoprost and Setipiprant have also not panned out as expected.

Shaving or Buzzing Your Head like Ricki Lake

I have mentioned many times in the past that the best solution to hair loss for men is shaving your head. That is, if you can accept that option and finally set yourself free. It is rare for women to go for this drastic measure, but there are always exceptions and trendsetters such as the below.

The biggest hair loss news story to start 2020 entails famous US talk show host Ricki Lake buzzing her head. Apparently, she has been suffering from hair loss and related depression for 30 years and finally decided to shave it off. CNN, BBC and numerous other major publications covered this story today. Below is Ms. Lake’s Instagram post detailing her interesting story:

Hair Loss Buzzed Shaved Head.
Ricki Lake buzzed her head after 30 years of hair loss.