Category Archives: Hair Multiplication

Han Bio Hair Multiplication via Dermal Papilla Cells

At the end of March, I read about a new South Korean company named Han Bio. Apparently, this company has managed to successfully develop a dermal papilla cell culturing technology. If true, this would represent a hair loss cure.

Update: Another article from March 2021, where they refer to the CEO using a different name (Kang David).

“By collecting 50 to 100 healthy hair follicle tissues from the back of a patient suffering from hair loss, extracting the dermal papilla cells, cultivating them, and transplanting them back to the head, we can fundamentally cure hair loss.”

Of course at first I was incredulous. However, after further research, I decided that I should at least take the company semi-seriously. Han Bio’s blog is especially extensive. Some hair related articles on there go into many pages, so be sure to navigate thoroughly (after translation).

Note that when I contacted the company, they directed me to the above blog.

South Korea: Groundbreaking Hair Loss Treatments

South Korea is a world leader when it comes to plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. When it comes to treating hair loss, South Korea is especially impressive in developing and/or using new technologies. For example:

  • South Korea is one of only two countries in the world where Dutasteride has been approved for treating hair loss.
  • The work of Dr. Kang-Yell Choi and CK Biotech in developing PTD-DBM to target CXXC5.
  • PGD2 inhibition technology via Stemore.
  • DKK-1 research and patent for locally-based Bioneer.
  • My favorite: Allogeneic Person-to-Person Hair Transplants.
  • South Korean companies are also at the forefront of developing stem cell related products, including AAPE and ADSC. Most such currently available products likely have limited to no benefits towards hair growth.
  • Finasteride injections.
  • Moogene.
  • Update: May 2021 — Epibiotech.
  • A disproportionate amount of research when it comes to hair growth from natural products. Especially from sea vegetables and algae.

Han Bio’s Dermal Papilla Cell Storage and Culturing

Note that Han Bio is also called Hanmo Bio and Hanbio Group in news articles and on the company’s site. The externally located blog has some lengthy posts regarding this new technology. Some include images and video (screenshots further below).

In December 2020, Han Bio introduced its dermal papilla cell storage service called HDPC-480. The list price is 4.8 million South Korean Won ($4280 at current exchange rates). They offer a steep discount for the first 500 patients.

Note that in the western world, we have a similar option available via HairClone (UK). Moreover, HairClone has already been active for several years.

Han Bio Dermal Papilla Cell Storage
Dermal Papilla Cell Storage. HDPC-480 procedure from Han Bio.

According to the balding CEO Kang Da-Witt:

“Han Bio has secured technologies to separate and regroup the dermal papilla cells in hair follicles. It would take just a single strand of a patient’s hair to cultivate enough cells to reproduce around 30,000 hair strands.”

The company’s method is described as “chopping separation technology” after translation from Korean into English.

Han Bio has finished construction of its first plant, where the company stores and cultivates patient dermal papilla cells. These can then be cultured, multiplied and then implanted into the same patient via a hair transplant. This new plant will open by the end of May 2021.

Han Bio Clinical Trials and Patents

Han Bio Presentation
Han Bio video presentation screenshot.

Han Bio will start clinical trials in the second half of 2021. According to CEO Kang Da-witt, he expects that the time required for clinical trials will be shortened. This is due to a favorable new South Korean law which became effective on August 28, 2020. It is designed to help fast-track the market entry of regenerative medicine and biologics related products. Similar to Japan’s fast-track laws.

Han Bio is now preparing to apply for patents in the US, Japan and China. The are also open to out-licensing the technology.

Transplanting Someone Else’s Dermal Papilla Cells

From Han Bio’s extensive blog, one FAQ section caught my eye. It seems like the parent company of “Hanmo Bio” has successfully transplanted hair stem cells from one person to another. Without any immune reactions.

Dermal Papilla Transplant
Dermal Papilla Cell Transplant from Another Person.

Obviously, this all sounds way too good to be true. But I have to prognosticate.

Asian countries dominate the world in the manufacturing of nano-scale semiconductors, microchips and integrated circuits. Perhaps our invisible-to-the-eye dermal papilla cells are next?

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.