Category Archives: Takashi Tsuji

Takashi Tsuji and his Complete Hair Regeneration

Takshi Tsuji BookMy favorite hair loss researcher Dr. Takashi Tsuji of RIKEN (and OrganTech) is back again. His 2017 book on organ regeneration is now even available on Amazon and includes hair regeneration.

This time, Dr. Tsuji has written an article for the May 2024 edition of the Japanese science journal Newton Press. The below image summarizing his latest work is after Google translation. Also see Tsuji Lab for Organ Regeneration.

Takashi Tsuji Hair Regeneration
Dr. Takashi Tsuji’s new article on complete hair regeneration. Source: Newton Press: May 2024.

The co-author is Dr. Masayuki Yanagisawa. Interestingly, his team has been reliably following up on very long-term results of Finasteride use for hair loss in Japanese men. They have published 2.5-year, 5-year and 10-year results so far. And they will likely release 15-year results in 2025. A painstaking, large-scale, long-term hair loss patient tracking effort that is unmatched.

Dr. Takashi Tsuji: Complete Hair Regeneration

The full Japanese language Newton magazine article by Dr. Takashi Tsuji can be found on OrganTech’s website. According to “Theo”, below are the main sentences of interest after translation (and corrections by me where I thought necessary):

  • Dr. Tsuji is currently developing a regenerative follicle organ with further improvements. This is because it became clear to his RIKEN team that besides hair follicles, the surrounding scalp tissue is also damaged in severe cases of androgenetic alopecia )(AGA).
  • In some severe cases, the subcutaneous tissue becomes thinner and harder (Admin: See my articles on thinner and tighter scalps in bald regions and the damaged arrector pili muscles in balding scalps). In this case, even if the follicle organ is transplanted, it will not be reborn.
  • Per Dr. Tsuji, they found that stem cells that support the development of hair follicles are missing in some subcutaneous tissues (Admin: Perhaps this is the “missing progenitor cells” in bald areas that we have heard about in the past? Or the phenomenon of escaping hair follicle stem cells?).
  • Taking this as an opportunity, Dr. Tsuji’s team has developed the second generation of his hair multiplication process. In this version, they combine the conventional regenerated hair follicle organ primordium (first generation), plus also regenerate hair follicle development related supporting cells.
  • In addition, they succeeded in developing the third generation of the seated hair follicle organ, which was cultured in vivo and differentiated to complete hair follicle (Admin: This is above my understanding and I am not sure why they need a third generation).
  • Dr. Takashi Tsuji quote:

“If our third generation of regenerative hair follicles can be transplanted, it will be equivalent to self-hair transplantation, and hair-regenerative medicine will be completed.”

However, he warns that it is also important to confirm whether there is no inflammation, infection and cancer. This is not proven in humans as yet. Dr. Tsuji confirmed that inflammation and infection can be controlled, and that malignancy does not occur in mice using the first-generation regenerative hair follicle organ.

Takashi Tsuji Hair Multiplication Process
Takashi Tsuji Hair Multiplication Process. Source: Newton Press: May 2024.

Tsuji and OrganTech Partnership

Dr. Tsuji also mentions that his venture (via OrganTech) has restarted and they are on track to begin clinical research (trials?) in 2024. The company plans to start clinical trials on humans for the second generation after 2026; and for the third generation after 2027.

Just as with Stemson Therapeutics, the time-frame is very disappointing. I am also confused as to whether they are conducting clinical trials in 2024 or clinical research.

Updates from Theo:

Everything is going according to plans. It will be human clinical trials in 2024 for first generation hair follicles with improved growth. They will test two technologies (the old one and the new one).

For third generation hair follicles, I think Dr. Tsuji means technology for totally bald guys without donor hairs. Same thing that Stemson is doing. Stemson will start pre-clinical or clinical trials somewhere in 2026. It will take at least 10-12 years to get to the market and another couple of years to get cheaper.

OrganTech third generation hair follicles will get into human trials by 2027 and it will be on the market by 2030. So, at least 6-7 years earlier than any competition.

Also, OrganTech and OrganEcoTech will start their business partnership for artificial skin on the 1st of April 2024. And that means very good chances at becoming a profitable company with no begging for funding.

Another translation of Dr. Tsuji’s new article:

Theo asked a Japanese guy that he knew from the net to translate the text for me.

Human clinical trials are starting in 2024 for hair follicle organ/primordium first generation.

I asked the Japanese guys if human clinical studies = human clinical trials in Japanese. He told me YES, so do not be confused by the phrase “clinical studies”. It means clinical trials by Western meaning.

OrganTech CEO, Takashi Kondo, in his interview from one month ago also clarified that human trials are starting in 2024.

Also, he sent me the below text with 100% correct translation. Admin: Seems close enough to the previous translation.

There’s a problem in serious cases of AGA where the hypodermis becomes thin, leading to it stiffening. In cases where this has happened, transplanting hair follicles will not result in hair regrowth.

They looked into the problem, and found that the stem cells responsible for supporting the development of hair follicles is located in part of the hypodermis, and that function had become lost.

Because of this, they decided to work on a second generation of regenerative hair follicles. This combines their initial first generation (hair follicle restoration organ copies) with hair follicle development organ copies (copies of the stem cells the hypodermis is missing).

They managed to cultivate this second generation of regenerative hair follicles outside of a living organism, and separate out a complete hair follicle. They say they also succeeded in creating a third generation restorative hair follicle organ.

They are planning on human clinical studies for the 2nd generation hair follicle in 2026, and 3rd generation in 2027.

Dr. Tsuji claims that if they succeed in transplanting their 3rd generation restorative hair follicle organ, it will be just like transplanting real hair. A perfect hair restoration procedure. However, even if it works on mice, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to get it to work on humans. They need to be sure that it won’t have problems with inflammation, infection or cancer.

Inflammation and infection are manageable problems (if they even happen in the first place). Moreover, they have confirmed that the mice that the first generation hair follicle regeneration technology was used upon did not develop cancer.

OrganTech Aims to Regenerate Hair and Teeth

Update: February 23, 2024

More great news. OrganTech (Japan) is entering the South Korean market. Their local partner OrganEcoTech will get exclusive rights to OrganTech’s artificial organ regeneratice medicine technology, including hair growth. They also plan to enter the US regenerative medicine sector.

OrganTech and OrganEcoTech
OrganTech (Japan) and OrganEcoTech (South Korrea). New partnership.

Update: February 20, 2024

OrganTech CEO Takashi Kondo Interview

A new interview with OrganTech CEO Dr. Takashi Kondo (h/t “Theo”). Key quote:

In terms of hair regeneration, the future is just around the corner where people who suffer from thinning hair or alopecia will no longer have to worry about it.

He also says that they can increase the number of hairs from 200 to 20,000 via Dr. Tsuji’s autologous hair multiplication process. Hair and teeth regeneration remain their primary areas of focus. He also mentions the progress in artificial skin regeneration technology and and his desire to see a world without the need for animal testing.

The company currently only has six employees. Five researchers at RIKEN in Kobe; and one (himself, the CEO and person in charge of business and finance) in Tokyo. Per the news below from earlier this month, OrganTech will hire and additional six new scientists by summer.

They are being approached by many pharmaceutical and beauty industry companies for partnership opportunities. Ultimately, this will translate into faster fundraising, ecomomies of scale and a lower final cost of treatment.

Update: February 16, 2024

Reader “Theo” regularly e-mails me very unique info from Asia that I would never have found by myself. I could not get the second link below to translate properly, but I trust what “Theo” said. So I am pasting his words in the below three bullet points with minor grammar changes by me.

As always, Dr. Takashi Tsuji sounds very sincere. In the first link below, read his recollection of the two big tragedies at RIKEN. OrganTech seems very focused and is unlikely to repeat the past fundraising related mistakes from the Tsuji team.

OrganTech and Dr. Tsuji from Riken.
Dr. Takashi Tsuji of RIKEN presenting to university students recently. His hair and teeth regeneration work is now undertaken via OrganTech.
  • Dr. Takashi Tsuji gave an interview and presentation to a Tokyo University student group two months ago. They visited his very expensive lab and he explained to them his vision about OrganTech’s future. They got far more funding that they need, from several different companies. Their vision is to make OrganTech an off-shore company for groundbreaking research from different scientists who are looking for funding.
  • Dr. Tsuji plans to create a consortium that could be called a “second RIKEN” by establishing companies for each business to socially implement regenerative medicine technology, with OrganTech at its core.

Two Part Interview and Presentation

  • OrganTech is hiring 6 new scientists by the end of April 2024. After June, they will move to new offices and a research center in the Harumi neighborhood of Tokyo. It seems like they may start clinical trials around that time for both hair and teeth per “Theo” (I could not find anything on trials in the translation I got). Their artificial skin business is also advancing.

Update: June 29, 2023

OrganTech Miho Ogawa
OrganTech and its CEO Dr. Miho Ogawa win a prestigious award in Japan.

OrganTech Wins Future Award 2023 for its Organ Regenerative Medicine Technology

Congratulations to Dr. Miho Ogawa of OrganTech for winning Japan’s prestigious “The Economist Future Award 2023“. Per my new Japanese correspondent (old ones were “nosyu” and “Fuji Maru“), this award is sponsored by the “Economist Future Awards 2023 Executive Committee” and supported by the renowned Mainichi Shimbun newspaper agency. There were 225 nominated companies, of whom 15 got awards spread across 5 categories. Dr. Ogawa only became CEO/Director of OrganTech in early 2023.

Make sure to read the detailed interview with Dr. Miho Ogawa that I also posted earlier this month. She started working at Dr. Takashi Tsuji’s lab in 2005 at the Tokyo University of Science when she was a student. Thereafter she joined Organ Technologies, which folded in October 2020 due to fundraising issues that were exacerbated by the Corona crisis.

Now she is back with OrganTech, and I am getting positive vibes yet again for Dr. Tsuji’s hair multiplication work finally reaching fruition. The prior issues with fundraising inexperience and surprise pandemic will surely not be repeated. Japan is home to one of the oldest populations in the world, and also home to one of the fastest clinical trial processes in the world. Especially when it comes to regenerative medicine and anti-aging treatments.

Make sure to keep checking OrganTech’s website for new developments. Per my prior updates, they are aiming to start hair regeneration related human clinical trials in 2024. And they want to offer their hair multiplication treatment in clinics in 2026. I assume they can move this fast due to their past decade of work combined with Japan’s favorable regulations. However, as most readers know, their original goal had been 2020, prior to the earlier mentioned disruptions.

Update: June 1, 2023

Japan: Global Hub for Hair and Tooth Regeneration

An interesting new interview with OrganTech’s confident representative director Dr. Miho Ogawa. It looks like the team is very serious about making Japan the global hub for hair and tooth generation. And they are keen to avoid repeating past fundraising and commercialization related mistakes.

The other representative director is Takashi Kondo (see his recent interview), who is in charge of business planning and fundraising. Ms. Ogawa is in charge of research and development and technology.

Lead scientist and OrganTech owner Dr. Takashi Tsuji remains fully involved of course. The company is scheduled to conduct clinical research within one to two years for practical application. With Japan’s fast track regulations, this treatment could still get to clinics in 2026 as was announced by Dr. Takashi Tsuji last year. Key quote:

“In the near future, this world-first, Japan-originated organ regenerative medicine management will shock the world and contribute to improving the QOL of many people.”

Tsuji Mouse Hair OrganTech
Human hair growing on mice via the work of Dr. Takashi Tsuji and his team at RIKEN.

Update: February 11, 2023

OrganTech: New name for Organ Technologies

Organtech: hair follicle and other organ regeneration technologies.

After ending its partnership with Riken and Dr. Takashi Tsuji in 2021, Organ Technologies is back. It is renaming itself to OrganTech, and this time the founder himself is Dr. Tsuji. A little confusing, but read the next paragraph. OrganTech plans to start hair regeneration related clinical trials in 2024. And yet again they have a new website. They are also getting funding from Kobayashi Pharmaceutical.

According to the latest press release, it seems like founder Dr. Tsuji will remain the team leader and OrganTech is still affiliated with RIKEN. However, Dr. Tsuji cannot be officially titled CEO, since RIKEN does not allow its top scientists to be CEOs of venture firms. This last point was e-mailed to me by a reader.

I previously mentioned how Dr. Tsuji took over Organ Technologies’ debt in 2021 in order to prevent patent loss. He also announced that they plan to offer their hair multiplication treatment in 2026. So this new development means they are on schedule. Note that Japan has favorable regulations in relation to clinical trial speed when it comes to regenerative medicine.

They are also very serious about fundraising this time. On March 6th 2023, they plan to present their technology on Tokyo Innovative Business Day. On OrganTech’s website, it says that the company’s purpose is to “create functional organs.” They they emphasize the two main areas of Dr. Tsuji’s past work:

“Technologies that can contribute to hair regenerative medicine and dental regenerative medicine.”

Also of interest, the following patents are assigned to Organ Technologies. These now belong to OrganTech.

Jan 5, 2020

I have mentioned many times that Dr. Takashi Tsuji and his hair loss treatment protocol holds the best short-term prospects for a hair loss cure. Mr. Tsuji is working in partnership with RIKEN, Organ Technologies and Kyocera. The treatment can come to market faster because 1) It is autologous in nature; and 2) Clinical trials in Japan get finished faster due to favorable government regulations.

All four of these Japan-based partners have their own sites (in Japanese and English). So it is hard to keep a track of new developments.

Organ Technologies and Takashi Tsuji

Organ Technologies has updated its website (Update: They replaced it yet again with a new one in 2023. See upper sections of this post for latest updates). A goldmine of information is available on the new site.

The hair regeneration page has a list of publications at the bottom. Apparently, the company has developed three generations of its technology over the years. Mostly via the work of Dr. Takashi Tsuji and RIKEN (in Kobe, Japan).

I will add more to this post in the coming days, but wanted to start the discussion now. Please only post comments about Organ Technologies and the work of its partners in this post.

Organ Technologies Hair Regeneration Treatment.
Organ Technologies Hair Growth.