Category Archives: HairClone

HairClone to Offer Cell Expansion Service in 2022

I first covered UK based HairClone in 2016 in this very post (original version at the bottom). Then I interviewed the company’s CEO Dr. Paul Kemp several times, and wrote an update on HairClone’s hair follicle banking service in May 2021.

Update: October 15, 2021

HairClone to Start Cell Expansion in Early 2022

I always assumed that HairClone’s actual hair cloning or hair multiplication procedure was still years away. They have yet to even start human clinical trials. However, when it comes to autologous hair cell multiplication and transplantation, the UK has less stringent guidelines when it comes to testing in humans. Clinicians can offer unlicensed procedures prior to clinical trials. Japan also has some similar favorable regulations.

What an incredible surprise (h/t “Tony”) to then find this encouraging new below interview of Dr. Paul Kemp! He is one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming ISHRS 2021 conference. His presentation will be titled: “The Evolution of the Promise of Hair Cloning: How Hair Cell Cloning will Fit Into Your Practice.”

HairClone will offer its cell expansion hair multiplication services on a select basis in certain clinics in the UK starting in early 2022. Dr. Kemp has consulted with regulators and they are very supportive of this step. It is a way to ensure that future expensive and lengthy clinical trials have a much greater chance of success.

“What we are planning to do early next year is offer a cell expansion service.”

— Paul Kemp (at 15.:50 into the below video).

Note that Mr. Kemp was previously CEO of Intercytex and has decades of experience in  the regenerative medicine and hair space.

September 8, 2016

During the past few months, there have been a few new companies entering the hair regeneration sector. Today, I learnt about yet another new entrant into the field named HairClone that warranted its own post. As yet, I do not consider HairClone anywhere near as important as the established entities such as the RIKEN/Kyocera/Tsuji partnership (Japan); or the Shiseido/Replicel partnership (Japan).

HairClone

I will briefly analyze HairClone via its positives and negatives:

Positives

  • The renowned and widely respected researcher Dr. Claire Higgins joined HairClone’s advisory board on August 30th (but alse read my comment on her in the “Negatives” section below).

  • HairClone will be hiring more scientific advisers besides Dr. Claire Higgins in the near future. Would be great if they tried to get Dr. Roland Lauster into the team.
  • HairClone has devised a very unique and creative way to get funding, and that includes: crowdfunding; giving people who fund the company’s research preference when the actual treatment comes out; allowing investment in equity; offering leading hair transplant clinics around the world membership opportunities; and most interesting of all, hair follicle banking and storage.

Negatives

  • By far the biggest negative is that this is still way too early in the game and who knows when trials will commence, and whether the company will succeed with its dermal papilla focused cloning technology in the first place. Or even if they manage to get sufficient funding.
  • Related to the above, when Solomon interviewed Dr. Claire Higgins earlier this year, she generally sounded pessimistic about new treatments and said the following about cloning. Update: Solomon corrected me in the comments and said she was only talking about cell injections. But I think she sounded pessimistic about the hair cloning time-frame in the whole interview:

“I think the future (but it’s not in 4 years or 5 years away, it’s like in 20 years) is to promote direct conversion of fibroblasts into papillae. But something like this will take decades. We don’t know how to do that yet.”

I am hoping that Dr. Higgins will change her prediction to 10 years if her lab and research work gets significantly more resources as a result of HairClone. Thankfully, she said that she was not exactly sure about Dr. Tsuji’s work and neither did she list Shiseido’s trials in Japan in her list of ongoing trial examples. So maybe she is just entirely focused on her own work and not following others too much.

Twenty years would be too big a gamble to invest in a company such as HairClone. I hope Dr. Bessam Farjo has other ideas and is hoping for much faster completion of clinical trials. And hopefully he is not only relying on Dr. Higgins’ dermal papilla related work.

Note: The company website has some typos, flow issues and seems somewhat haphazardly put together at the moment. It even includes “hello-world” and placeholder type pages.

HairClone Follicle Banking and Hair Regrowth

I first covered UK-based HairClone in 2016. Later in the same year, HairClone’s very friendly CEO Dr. Paul Kemp kindly answered a number of reader questions.

Although Dr. Kemp has since been in touch with me, I am reluctant to write more frequent posts on HairClone. I do not want to repeat follicle banking related news unless there is a groundbreaking development in actual hair multiplication. Dr. Kemp was formerly the CEO of Intercytex. I hope he uses his past experiences to prevent another disappointment for us hair loss sufferers.

Update: May 21, 2021

HairClone, Higgins and Hair Research: PhD at Imperial College

HairClone and Dr. Claire Higgins are partnering to sponsor one PhD student for a hair research related opportunity at Imperial College London. A stipend of 18,000 British Pounds will be provided and the program begins in the 2021/2022 year. Thanks to “James” who e-mailed me about this interesting development. Besides Dr. Higgins, the student will also be mentored by Dr. Sylvain Ladame.

According to the announcement, this “advanced therapeutics” related research will consist of two parts:

  1. Develop a microneedle device for the delivery of reprogrammed dermal papilla cells to miniaturized alopecic hair follicles.
  2. Use in-depth computational analysis and in vitro hair follicle modeling. The purpose of this will be to understand the mode of action by which papilla cells rejuvenate hair follicles. And in the process, reverse androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness).

While it is great to see this initiative, it also means that the actual hair multiplication (or cloning) is still a few years away. In any event, I am glad that HairClone is still focusing on an ultimate goal beyond hair follicle banking.

August 4, 2019

HairClone Begins Follicle Banking

In any event, it seems like HairClone has not disbanded or gone silent, but is moving forward full steam. The company is starting its follicle banking service after earlier this week getting UK  government approval. In fact the company will be the world’s first ever hair follicle banking system. Press release: follicle banking.

Edit: In May 2021, a South Korean company named Han Bio also supposedly started hair follicle banking services.

HairClone Follicle Banking.
HairClone’s Hair Follicle Banking Process.

The logic behind banking your currently healthy hair follicles is similar to the logic behind banking young sperm, of your young eggs, or even newborn umbilical cord blood banking.

Both males and females over age 18 will be able to have around 50 follicle units extracted, cryopreserved and stored for future use (when hair multiplication or cloning type treatments are available). Cryopreservation and storage of hair follicles at -150C at essentially “stops the clock” when it comes to further hair loss, thinning or miniaturization.

Dr. Paul Kemp’s Recent E-mail

Dear HLC2020 Admin,

It has been some months since we last chatted, but I just wanted to let you know that we have been working hard. We have now been authorized by the UK’s Human Tissue Authority (HTA) to begin to bank cryopreserved follicles. In order to gain this approval, we had to carry out extensive validation studies to show that we could:

  • Reproducibly extract human follicles.
  • Cryopreserve them.
  • Ship, test and thaw the follicles.
  • Extract viable cells that could be culture expanded.

We first submitted the license application in January and then there were a series of questions. Some of these needed additional work, but the end result is an incredibly well understood robust process.

The HTA stress that this does not authorize or approve treatment and gaining that approval is the next stage in our strategy. We are all set to develop the GMP validation data for culture expanded follicle cells and just need to raise the funds to do so. As you know, we tried to do this through crowdfunding, but unfortunately weren’t successful. So we are looking at alternative funding sources. This has given a significant delay to our original timelines.

Banking will be available through our clinical partners and banking associates who will be licensed procurement centers and we plan to increase the number of these partners and associates over the coming months.

Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation and banking is just the first step in the process but important elements to note are:

  • It will be available to both men and women.
  • Banking will allow multiple treatments from one initial surgery.
  • Banking at the earliest possible stage “stops the clock” on further ageing of the cells.
  • As patients with banked follicles have already undergone the surgery step they will be first in line for cell expansion when treatments are authorized.
  • The follicles remain the property of the patient so could be used in other treatments if the patient prefers.

The next stage is to work with our clinical partners to develop a system to rebuild miniaturizing follicles. Follicular neogenesis is also an interest of ours. We are carrying out some work on this, but our first goal will be to rescue a patient’s natural hairs. As all patients are unique, we envision that this could also be used in the future in combination with hair transplants.

I have attached a press release that provides more information and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

Paul Kemp PhD
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Director

www.HairClone.me
@HairClone
#HairClone