Category Archives: Kyocera

Brief Items of Interest, August 2016

Hair loss news first:

Update: Histogen gets funding from China and also targets the Chinese market.

Kyocera updated its article on the biggest news of this year in the hair loss world.  They plan to conduct clinical research in Japanese fiscal year 2019 (i.e., between April 1st 2018 – March 31st 2019) and put the technology into “practical use” in 2020.  Interesting quote:

“While various methods are under evaluation, Kyocera’s piezoelectric technology is of particular interest as a means of discharging small amounts of viscid cells in a precise manner during the cell processing process.”

PGD2 inhibitor Fevipiprant could be a miracle treatment for asthma.  I am still hopeful that Setipiprant will be better than expected when it comes to treating hair loss.  Worth listening to Kythera CEO’s interview here if you haven’t already.

— More evidence that enhancing the β-catenin signalling pathway in dermal papilla cells allows faster and denser hair growth.

— New findings from a Stanford University (US) and A*STAR (Singapore)’s Institute of Medical Biology collaboration:  Wnt signalling plays a critical role in hair follicle stem cell maintenance. Interesting quote:

“Compounds, particularly those which have already been established to be Wnt activators, can now be tested against cultured HFSCs to see if they do stimulate hair regrowth. The scientific community may also be able to culture HFSCs more efficiently by tweaking Wnt signalling to the optimal levels.”

New interview with Replicel CEO Lee Buckler.  Important part is around three minutes in.

— New article that covers Dr. Christiano’s company Rapunzel as well as other relevant subjects including Samumed, Vixen/Aclaris and Dr. Joseph Greco.

— Hairlosstalk is interviewing Dr. Gail Naughton of Histogen this week.  Unfortunately the questions are already finalized, but its still worth a gander through this thread.

— New study from China: “Hair follicle and sebaceous gland “de novo” regeneration with cultured epidermal stem cells and skin-derived precursors.”

Cellmid to enter US hair loss treatment market.

— Dr. Cole’s office sent me an update on PRP and ACell recently.  I think they sent out a mass e-mail on the subject since its contents were also pasted in here.

— Joe Tillman discusses his Dr. Cooley PRP treatment results.

Healeon Medical is starting a new clinical trial in Honduras that will “evaluate the safety and efficacy of the use of a biocellular mixture of emulsified adipose-derived tissue stromal vascular fraction (AD-tSVF) and high density platelet-rich plasma concentrate (HD- PRP) as compared with adipose-derived cell-enriched SVF (AD-cSVF) + AD-tSVF and HD- PRP concentrates in treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL).”

— Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is conducting the “first ever FDA-approved study in the US on the use of fat-derived stems cell for the treatment of hair loss in men and women.”  If you are near Miami, perhaps worth a visit.

On a less serious train of thought:

Eat curry to prevent hair loss.

— He says that black guys do not always pull off the bald look.  I still think he pulls it off.

UK celebrity funnyman divorcee gets a hair transplant to prepare for online dating so as to not look like a thug.

When Homer Simpson got hair due to a miracle drug call dimoxinil.

Our lack of body and scalp hair may have allowed our species to thrive.

And now on to medical items of interest:

— Last year I discussed the inspirational Zion Harvey after he got a double hand transplant.  He had lost both his legs, both his hands and his kidney to a childhood infection.  One year after his double hand transplant surgery, here is the result:

Chinese scientists to pioneer first human CRISPR trial.

— “Bio is the new digital.”  Great article from Taiwan that is a must read after translation.  Boston is to biotech what Silicon Valley is to information technology.  In the hair loss world, it seems like New York and San Diego (see here) are far more important than Boston, but perhaps we will see some surprises from Boston soon?!

— Two stories on aging in the Economist in the past week.  Here and here.

Excellent article on human enhancement.

Dr. David Sinclair’s presentation on ageing and lifespan extension.

— At least androgens have some benefits such as telomere length extension.

Dr. George Church on the future of genetic engineering.

Gene therapy cure with a money-back guarantee.

— Using a patient’s own stem cells and a 3D printer, scientists have genetically engineered a “living hip” that will cease pain.

— Cornea cells successfully grown and implanted to cure blindness in animals.

Peter Thiel is a fan of parabiosis.

Update on Dr. Frankenstein.  Full body transplant scheduled for December 2017.

— Scientists just created nanorobots to travel the bloodstream and fight cancerous tumors.

So its Shiseido/Replicel versus RIKEN/Tsuji in Kobe

Update: And in other important news from Japan from this week:

— Dr. Tsuji published a new paper several days ago.

— Pokemon Go was finally launched in Japan, its spiritual homeland.


Without any doubt, there has never been a better year than this one in the hair loss research world. The last four months have been especially fruitful, and I am not even considering a number of newer entrants in the field (just because most seem suspicious or are likely to produce best case results that will be akin to those from Rogaine). Key noteworthy recent developments:

  • First, in April, Follica (which had been left for dead by many due to its numerous conflicting signals since inception in 2006) surprised us and is clearly alive and aims to release its product in 2018 in a best case scenario. The company’s majority owner PureTech stated in a summary document that “skin disruption alone was safe and generates new follicles as well as new hair“.
  • Thereafter, in June, Aclaris Therapeutics’ CEO Mr. Neal Walker clearly stated at three difference investor presentation that “topical covalently bound highly selective JAK3 inhibitors” work in treating androgenetic alopecia and not just in treating alopecia areata. Alcaris will be conducting trials on this use of JAK inhibitors in 2017.
  • Also in June, Histogen made a surprising announcement that it would start treating patients in Mexico in 2018. Like Follica, many people had left Histogen for dead due to the fact that the company has been involved in hair loss research for a similarly lengthy period of time with mixed signals in terms of efficacy, clinical trial and product release dates.
  • Then, in July came perhaps the most exciting news ever in the hair loss cure research world. RIKEN/Dr. Takashi Tsuji, Kyocera and Organ Technologies have formed a partnership that aims to commercially release a product in 2020 that will essentially represent a cure for hair loss. 2020 is clearly a best case scenario assuming no major hiccups along the way. Mr. Tsuji is a world renowned and extremely well respected and modest scientist; RIKEN has access to Japanese government funds and to numerous leading scientists in the world of regenerative medicine; Kyocera is a private sector multinational behemoth with pre-existing hardware side technology and expertise that will likely be of much use to Dr. Tsuji.
  • And finally, today the Shiseido/Replicel team finally announced the commencement of delayed clinical trials in Japan (see bottom part of this post).

RIKEN and Dr. Tsuji are conducting their research at the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (KBIC) in Japan in RIKEN’s Integrated Innovation Building.

File:RIKEN Integrated Innovation Building.JPG

Shiseido/Replicel Joins Kyocera/RIKEN/ Tsuji at the KBIC

Today, in yet one more major positive development this year, it was announced that the Shiseido/Replicel team has finally started its delayed 60-person (men and women included) Japanese clinical trials for its autologous cell therapy based RCH-01 product.

Riken Kobe Business CenterWhile the study will be conducted at two hospitals in Tokyo, the injected product(s) will be manufactured by Shiseido at their SPEC (Cell-Processing and Expansion Center) in KBIC. I discussed this facility in a post in 2014. It is located in the Business Support Center for Biomedical Research Activities (BMA) building in KBIC.

So Shiseido and RIKEN’s respective research and development work will be conducted at buildings within a mile of each other!! 

I arrived at this conclusion after analyzing this map (both buildings are on the right side of the railroad).

While doing research on KBIC, I found that it is located on Port Island in the city of Kobe, and Port Island is an artificially constructed island. Would be quite something if humans end up creating new replacement hair follicles on a man-made island.