Category Archives: Hair Multiplication

Stem Cell Hair Transplants Here in 2022?

Stem Cell Hair Transplant
Stem Cell Hair Transplant.

Earlier today, the Robb Report covered hair restoration in detail. On a somewhat related note, I have read some well researched hair loss articles during the past several weeks. The most important of these were in the Wall Street Journal and in Labiotech.

Stem Cell Hair Transplants

However, the Robb Report article stood out the most (see further below for my reasoning). It rightly promotes FUE hair transplants as the best current solution for androgenetic alopecia. See my post on FUE versus FUT hair transplants.

What really caught my eye is the below quote from renowned Bosley Medical director Dr. Ken Washenik. I have covered him many times on this blog in the past. It is rare for these well known hair industry experts to make predictions of under 5 years.

“Stem-cell hair transplants are in clinical studies, and Washenik suspects that they’ll be available in the UK and Japan by 2022 or 2023, based on their research progress.”

Note that these stem cell hair transplants are not the same as Dr. Gho’s totally different Hair Stem Cell transplantation (HST).

Hair Multiplication in Japan

I am guessing that Dr. Washenik is talking about Dr. Takashi Tsuji and the RIKEN/Organ Technologies/Kyocera partnership when it comes to the Japanese hair multiplication trials.

He could of course also be talking about Shiseido. Nevertheless, I will assume that Mr. Washenik reads this blog daily and knows which of the two Japanese entities is closer to the end goal :-)

Hair Cloning in the UK

What really made an impression on me is that Mr. Washenik  mentions the UK. I am led to believe that he is talking about HairClone, a company that I covered in detail a number of times between 2016-2019. Of course he could also be covering some UK university research trials.

Update: On Twitter, Dr. Greg Williams made an important point about the Robb Report article. Specifically, in regards to the difference between stem cells and dermal papilla cells:

Hair Stem Cells vs Dermal Papilla

I have become less interested in HairClone during the past year. Myself and this blog’s impatient readers are not too interested in hair follicle banking related updates in 2020.

HairClone has always claimed that they are also working on hair cloning (or hair multiplication) as the long-term holy grail. However, I assumed that their research (in partnership with Dr. Claire Higgins’ team and others in the UK) was still in its early stages. I think they are yet to even start clinical trials, although I could be wrong per Dr. Washenik’s implication.

Hopefully, autologous stem cell hair transplant related clinical trials are allowed to proceed faster than normal in the UK. Or some stages can be skipped based on past research and trial work from the Higgins team.

Overoptimism

More likely, Dr. Washenik is a little overoptimistic when it comes to the UK forecast. Just like Dr. George Cotsarelis was when it comes to the US.

Interestingly, Dr. Washenik mentions that the US had hair multiplication related clinical trials underway in the past, but none are currently ongoing. I hope that Stemson Therapeutics changes that soon.

Lessons from Aderans’ and Intercytex’s Hair Multiplication Failures

All the great news this year related to hair loss research, trials and potential cures has made people (including myself) very optimistic. However, a lot of hair loss sufferers are becoming excessively passionate about a select few companies (especially Histogen and Replicel) or about the results from a select few clinical trials. I therefore decided to write this post as a warning from past experiences of putting too much faith into any one or two entities. Something as simple as lack of sufficient funding despite successful stage 2 clinical trials can cause a company to stop pursuing highly promising products.

In the mid-to-late 2000s, two companies named Aderans (Japan) and Intercytex (UK) caused tremendous excitement in all the online hair loss forums. Both were involved in groundbreaking research related to hair cloning and hair multiplication. Moreover, Aderans’ research was led by the renowned Dr. Ken Washenik through the Aderans Research Institute, and he made numerous presentations about their technology at various conferences.  Below are two of those:

However, in 2013, Aderans decided to liquidate its research institute.  Spencer Kobren had a segment about this on his usually weekly radio show:

Intercytex abandoned its work in 2010 due to financial difficulties, despite positive results from phase 1 trials. According to the company’s website, “the Intercytex name and ICX-RHY were purchased by private investors and relaunched as Intercytex Ltd in 2010”. ICX-RHY is a skin repair product.

As of 2014, Aderans’ research is focused on wigs and hair replacement (they purchased US-based hair restoration market leading companies Hair Club in 2013 and Bosley in 2001), while Intercytex’s research  is focused on products that tackle skin problems.