Category Archives: Organ Technologies

Organ Technologies and RIKEN Update

A week ago, important news came out from Japan that the Organ Technologies and RIKEN team (led by Dr. Takashi Tsuji) partnership was making progress in its development of a cure for hair loss that they still aim for commercial release in 2020. The latest update mentions that the team has succeeded in creating equipment that “allows for more efficient mass production of such hair follicle cells”.

They will conduct safety trials on mice starting next month. If all goes well, human trials will commence next year. Since new Japanese laws related to clinical trials are aimed at speeding up the process, it is not out of the realm to aim for a 2020 product release. Especially since this autologous treatment entails using ones own cells (and multiplying them), implying less likelihood of major side effects. Key new quote from Dr. Tsuji:

“The latest results indicate that we have gone beyond the research stage. We will seek to industrialize a technology born in Japan.”

Not Impressed at Speed

A significant number of people posted links about this news; or e-mailed me about it; or criticized me about not covering it and instead focusing on hair systems and celebrity news (I deleted all insulting comments).

While I was very glad to read this positive update from the RIKEN team, I delayed this post primarily because I was not too impressed with the speed of progress in their research and trials. So I first chose to discuss the two new video updates in the previous two blog posts.

I thought that by now the Tsuji team must have already started work in humans. Clearly an incorrect assumption.

Edit: Thanks to “PinotQ” for pointing out the following paragraph from Organ Technology’s press release, which sounds like a big breakthrough:

“Previously, epithelial stem cells had not been identified, and it was known that the hair follicle regenerative capacity of cells disappears while cultured in vitro. However, we have overcome these problems with mouse and human cells after research activities over 7 years.”

Tsuji Still the Man

We have already known for several years that this RIKEN/Tsuji team aims to release their treatment in 2020. Both of my posts in 2016 that were related to this at-the-time groundbreaking news (see here and here) garnered around 300 comments each. At the time, there was justifiable reason for major excitement. This work represented the breakthrough that we had been awaiting for decades. Moreover, all four parties involved (Organ Technologies, Kyocera, RIKEN and Dr. Tsuji) have great reputations. Each brings unique strengths to the table. Most importantly, funding would never be an issue for this work due to involvement of large corporations as well as the Japanese government (via RIKEN).

Last year, I conducted a future hair loss treatment related poll on this blog. This work, led by Dr. Tsuji’s team, came in as the 2nd most looked forward to treatment that people were most optimistic about. I would definitely rank it as number 1 most important, as would numerous others on various hair loss forums out there.

Related Links

Brief Items of Interest, September 2017

Hair loss news first:

Seems like all of a sudden, this became the month where important companies in the hair loss world updated their websites after a long time.

— Who else but “nasa_rs” notifying me that Aclaris Therapeutics finally updated their pipeline page. The most interesting part is that they now term their topical JAK inhibitor for androgenetic alopecia (AGA) as a “soft” JAK inhibitor (no surprise), and they term AGA as an “inflammatory” skin disorder. I have theorized for a while that perhaps people who have major itching and dandruff associated with their male pattern hair loss might be suffering from significant inflammation (and therefore, if topical covalently bound JAK inhibitors do work for AGA, perhaps they will help those with itchy scalps much more than those without). Aclaris has also started a CEO blog on its site, which hopefully gets updated more frequently.

— Perhaps of even more importance, Dr. Tsuji/Kyocera/RIKEN partner Organ Technologies also updated or renewed their website (h/t Fuji Maru Kagurazaka) recently. On their hair follicle regeneration page (after translation), they state:

“We are currently pursuing research and development with a view to clinical application of hair follicle regeneration as the world’s first organ regeneration in humans in 2018”

As an aside, whatever has happened to our invaluable Japanese correspondent/informant “nosyu”? Hope he comes back some day.

— Of least significance, but nevertheless worth mentioning, Follica finally added text to the bios of some of their new team members including Dr. Dhurat.

— The same Ohio State University (OSU) doctor who amazed us recently with this unbelievable breakthrough from his lab is now making claims about hair regeneration from palm tocotrienol complex. I am highly skeptical, but still willing to keep a track of his work because of the OSU affiliation.

Dr. Koray Erdogan.

— Interesting article on the travails of hair loss in UK paper Mosaic.

— Androgens and androgen receptor action in skin and hair follicles.

— Topical tofacitinib possibly promoting hair growth via VEGF growth factor induction. This is the kind of research that keeps me interested in both JAK inhibitors and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

— Generation of iPS-derived model cells for analyses of hair shaft differentiation (h/t HLprevention).

And now on to medical items of interest:

China: pig to human organ transplants two years away.

Nanoparticle drug to turn bad white fat into good brown fat. I am thinking fatlosscure2023.com as my next project.

Bionic lens, superhuman threefold vision.

CRISPR changes flower color. Would be great to change untanned Donald Trump into a Sudanese African. That is my political input for the year.

Something better than CRISPR?

Coma communication.

Vaccine to prevent tooth decay.