Category Archives: Ryoji Tsuboi

If Shiseido Decides to Do So

Update: March 27, 2020

Shiseido’s latest trial results are finally getting global publicity. Yesterday, lead researcher Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi was interviewed by the Asahi Shimbun. The title of the article clearly states that this technology entails transplantation of ones own cells. Not surprisingly, The Daily Mail has even more details.

Shiseido’s method involves autologous transplantation of dermal sheath cup cells. I am very optimistic that Japan’s favorable regulations will lead to this technology reaching the market in the next several years.

Shiseido Hair Research from Dr. Tsuboi
Shiseido lead researcher Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi. Source: Asahi Shimbun.

Dr. Tsuboi:

“The result of our study was very encouraging, We were able to show that the study could help develop a new treatment for hair loss.”


Update: March 6, 2020

Update: Fuji Maru sent me the following Japanese press release from Shiseido. The company plans to conduct further clinical trials that will administer DSC cells in multiple areas of the scalp.

Autologous Cell-Based Therapy Success

Reader “John Doe” just discovered this new study from Shiseido. As always, I am assuming that Shiseido uses both Replicel’s technology as well as its own-in house technology. Lead author is Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi from Tokyo Medical University. Toho University Ohashi Medical Center was also involved in the trial.

The treatment entails autologous cell–based therapy using dermal sheath cup (DSC) cells, which surround the dermal papilla (DP). Cell manufacturing was conducted at the Shiseido Cell-Processing and Expansion Center (SPEC) and Incubation Center. Both male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss patients were treated. 50 males and 15 females, all between the ages of 33-64.

The positive: Total hair density and cumulative hair diameter at injection site significantly increased at 6-months and at 9-months. They seem to imply that this was true for all patients, but maybe someone can access the full study and let us know. Side effects were limited to none in all participating volunteers.

The negative (possibly): The “positive effect was temporary until 9 months”. This statement does not make linguistical sense, and is likely a translation issue. Are they actually trying to say that hair growth was temporary for all of the first 9 months after injection?

Update: Thanks to reader “Left4Bald” for sending me the whole study. They state that the best results were at 6- and 9-months post injection. 12 months had “reduced hair growth”, which is still unclear wording. Further data in the full study indicates that there was a very slight average decline in hair count from 9 to 12 months. Interestingly, older men and women saw best results per phototrichogram before and after images.

Also of significance, 3.0×105 DSC cells was the lowest dose tested. It still elicited a significant increase in total hair density and cumulative hair diameter compared with the placebo. Higher doses did not translate to superior hair growth. The authors suggest that this could be due to an overload of cell debris and immune reactions. In effect causing a poorer environment for the remaining viable DSC cells.

In any case, we should prepare for an eventuality where we need once-a-year DSC injections. Hopefully, Shiseido succeeds in rapidly commercializing this autologous hair growth treatment in regulation friendly Japan.

Shiseido Replicel Hair Growth Treatment
Shiseido’s hair growth treatment with dermal sheath cup cells. Source: https://www.tokyo-med.ac.jp/news/media/docs/20200306pressrelease.pdf

Update: November 26, 2019

Shiseido Japanese Patent Published

Someone named “Paul” (thanks!) just posted a link to Shiseido’s official Japanese patent, which was released in Japan in May 2019. Paul found this link on an investing forum, and he also posted a bunch of information about stock prices. I deleted the latter, as I do not want to encourage blog readers to buy or sell Shiseido or Replicel stock.

Ultimately, whether “Shiseido decides to do so OR not to do so” will decide everything. The patent indicates optimism about the technology. However, nothing is set in stone for sure. The English translation of the patent is extremely informative if you expand each section and wait for it to load. Or you can open the whole Japanese pdf too and use translation software.

The big question I have is what portion of the technology comes from Replicel (licensing), versus from Shiseido in-house?

The inventors are listed as:

  • Tsutomu Soma
  • Jiro Kishimoto
  • Sayaka Koide
  • Hitoshi Okochi
  • Masahiro Kiso

Update: November 26, 2019

Replicel Year-End 2019 Update

RepliCel released its 2019 year-end update today. It includes discussion about its partnership with Shiseido. Regarding Replicel’s cellular therapy (RCH-01) for androgenetic alopecia, the key points are that:

  • Shiseido’s clinical study in Japan is now complete.
  • Shiseido will soon announce on whether it will commercially launch the product in Japan or conduct further clinical testing.
  • Replicel is holding off on Shiseido’s final decision before pursuing any further Phase 2 trials. The former’s Phase 1 trials in Europe were successful.
  • The Replicel and Shiseido dispute is still unresolved.

It seems like Shiseido could still launch the product in Japan soon. No doubt aided by the country’s new faster regulations for marketing when it comes to cellular therapy.

Replicel’s proprietary injection device, RCI-02, is on schedule to get approval and be used in much of the developed world in 2020.

Replicel-Shiseido Partnership

March 23, 2019

I used to cover Replicel (Canada) and its Japanese cosmetics behemoth partner Shiseido at least a few times per year until last year. At some point, I got skeptical about the RCH-01 autologous cell therapy hair loss product being released any time in the near future.

Shiseido LogoBesides typical delays, Replicel and Shiseido had some unclear conflicts regarding their partnership.

However, Replicel published two important updates this month, the second of which is of most interest to us:

Per the first link above, the disagreement regarding the agreement between Shiseido and Replicel remains unresolved. However, it is not subject to any litigation or arbitration at this time.

The key money quote is from the second link:

“While the Company’s RCH-01 product for hair loss due to androgenic alopecia may be launched in Japan much earlier if Shiseido decides to do so, current planning anticipates the potential for all four products to be on the market in Japan by 2022.”

The implication seems to be that:

  1. Shiseido could release the product well before 2022. See my past post on the company’s new research facility in Kobe, Japan.
  2. Even if Shiseido does not release the product earlier, it will quite possibly get released in 2022 in Japan by Replicel.

See my past post on Japan’s new laws fast-tracking stem cell therapies and clinical trials.

Another key quote:

“Unlike anywhere else in the world, one well-designed cell therapy trial in Japan, approved by their regulatory authorities, has the potential to lead to product market launch.”

Replicel is clearly focusing on a “First-in-Japan” strategy due the country’s favorable regulatory environment. Shiseido has rights to the Asian market when it comes to RCH-01. However, it seems like Replicel can still release the product in Japan in 2022 if Shiseido does not do so?

Hard to make this conclusion for certain without knowing much more about the two companies’ legal contract. In any case, this is a great development.

Further references:

— A discussion of Replicel’s technology in two videos.

— Shseido and Adenosine for hair loss.

Positive News from Shiseido, Histogen and Dr. Brotzu

As if the great news from Aclaris earlier this month wasn’t enough, out of the blue we get three new positive developments from totally separate entities during the past week.

Shiseido

Yesterday, this blog’s unpaid but respected Japanese correspondent “nosyu” provided us with a link to a big news story that Shiseido was commencing clinical trials in Japan in partnership with Tokyo Medical University and Toho University. Seems like the trial will entail 60 men and women and go on for up to 3 years. Another new article estimates the cost of treatment to be around $900.

Shiseido’s technology is probably identical to what the original inventor Replicel is/was doing in terms of autologous cell culturing and transplantation using the permanent hair at the back of a balding person’s scalp. Perhaps Shiseido might have its own improvements to the Replicel process, but that is hard to tell at the moment. It seems like one set of injections will give lifelong results!

Note that Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi of Tokyo Medical University (who will lead the clinical research work there), is also co-president of next year’s 10th World Congress for Hair Research. So Shiseido is hiring very reputable people. This development is especially good news since Replicel’s stock price and previously strong social media responsiveness have both tanked in recent months (perhaps this newly published video with Replicel CEO Lee Buckler was not filmed too long ago and Replicel is still continuing work in the hair department). Thankfully, Shiseido (the world’s fifth largest cosmetics company) is not letting us down.  Also see my post from 2014 on Japan’s new laws fast-tracking stem cell treatments.

Histogen

To my utmost surprise, Histogen’s CEO Dr. Gail Naughton responded to some questions from HLT forum member “Tomtom21”. Over the years, I have become disenchanted with this company (despite my regular coverage of it on this blog) since it seems to have been in the news for at least ten years. Numerous presentations, successful funding rounds and much media attention have still not led anywhere insofar as treatment being made available anytime soon to the general public. Nevertheless, it is refreshing to see the CEO responding to people in person. I always found Ms. Naughton to be fairly genuine and sincere and hope that her company does end up like this.

Getting back to the subject matter of this news item, Dr. Naughton states that Histogen’s HSC treatment will be made available in Mexico first in 2018 (!) and they will soon be conducting a large-scale 330-person clinical trial in Mexico with a local partner. They are also close to getting a partner in China for what I assume will be human trials in that country. The company is also planning for Phase I trials in women and Phase II trials in men in the US soon. Dr. Naughton said that higher doses are more effective per Dr. Craig Ziering’s findings. Finally, the company will most likely get more funding from an Asian partner, and will also prepare for an initial public offering (IPO) thereafter.

Brotzu Lotion

While all these new-age companies with their sizable funding rounds look into cellular biology, 81-year old Dr. Giovanni Brotzu is old school and prefers a topical product. I never wanted to cover this man’s work in the first place, but here I am mentioning him for a second time this year. Last week Dr. Brotzu gave a detailed interview to an Italian hair loss forum team. The big news is that there is an ongoing trial using his Brotzu lotion on 60 androgenetic alopecia patients. Virtually everything he says sounds reasonable to me, although I have done very little research on the accuracy of some of the more esoteric things that he mentions that I do not understand. He does make some excuses about the lack of photos.

Someone more motivated than myself can check out the Italian forum threads on this man and see if people over there are also optimistic. I like the fact that Dr. Brotzu openly and honestly states that his product will not help regain long-lost hair. Most likely, the best case scenario is that you will only regain what you lost in the past five years. Still a great potential solution for many younger people. Dr. Brotzu has a few patents to his name (the details for some of which include information on hair growth related applications).