Category Archives: Takashi Tsuji

Dr. Takashi Tsuji’s Hair Loss Cure will be Costly

For those of us who have followed hair loss cure research over the past decade, the number one person of interest is Japan’s Dr. Takashi Tsuji. He previously announced the aim of releasing a hair loss cure by the end of 2020. This was prior to the onset of the current global pandemic. Dr. Tsuji’s work is occurring at RIKEN’s major research center in Kobe, Japan.

Coincidentally, Japan is also the home of the person credited with first inventing hair transplants: Mr. Shoji Okuda.

Update: A new April 2021 interview with Dr. Tsuji.

Update: They need $4.8 million in donations or funding in order to start clinical trials.

Now also starting to appear in western news sources.

Dr. Tsuji and RIKEN Hair Multiplication 2021 Update

Update: February 10, 2021

Riken has finally posted a major update on their site. You can translate from Japanese to English. Also in Reuters. Key sentence:

“We succeeded in developing a culture method that can amplify hair follicle epithelial stem cells while maintaining the ability to regenerate hair follicles.”

The official paper is published in Scientific Reports and titled “Expansion and characterization of epithelial stem cells with potential for cyclical hair regeneration”.

By using the culture method established in this study, the Tsuji team can create a large amount hair follicles from a small number of hair follicles. Moreover, these hairs will have normal regenerative capabilities and cyclical phases. The researchers were led by Dr. Takashi Tsuji and Dr. Makoto Takeo.

This update apparently represents a substantial improvement on their past work. The Riken team managed to multiply hair bulge-derived cells 4,000 times from one hair follicle. Dermal papilla cells were amplified in vitro about 100 times, so that from one hair follicle they could create 100 hair follicles. Key quote: “We have made great strides toward the realization of clinical application of hair follicle regeneration medicine.”

Note that this successful hair multiplication process entails extracting, multiplying and implanting hair follicles in mice. However, they also mention culturing human hair using specific proteins. Bulge-derived cells and follicles were amplified and about 80% regenerated 3 times or more in 80 days. In addition, the cultured cells had a periodic regeneration ability, just like normal hair.

I am disappointed that there is no news on when they will start their delayed human clinical trials. However, it has been a long time since we got such a lengthy update from the Riken team. Probably never this detailed.

Moreover, per this encouraging update, it looks like Dr. Tsuji is still keen on bringing this to market as soon as possible. Once he finds a new partner to replace Organ Technologies:

Clinical Trials and Practical use as Soon as Possible
Dr. Tsuji Human Clinical Trials
Dr. Tsuji human clinical trials for hair growth.

On the official Twitter feed, they state that this represents successful cyclical regeneration of bioengineered hair. And the next stop is clinical hair regeneration. I prefer using the term hair multiplication, but probably not hair cloning.

Update: February 7, 2021

Thankfully, I was correct in my last prediction. Dr. Takashi Tsuji is still in action and rumors of his retirement were premature. A couple of weeks ago, an official RIKEN Twitter account started following me on Twitter. To be honest, the account started to look fraudulent and a bit unprofessional after each Tweet. I assumed it was a definite fake.

However, earlier today, I noticed this wonderful update on the RIKEN site (!!):

Takashi Tsuji and Riken Hair Research
Takashi Tsuji and Riken Hair and Tooth Regeneration.

So we are back in action, I am pretty sure :-) The Twitter account is official. Note that they will make a major announcement on February 10th, 2021 per the last Tweet:

RIKEN Hair News Tweet
RIKEN hair regeneration news.

Lets hope that Dr. Tsuji has found a new partner to replace Organ Technologies. Even better would be if he announces the beginning of human clinical trials or the results of completed Phase 1 trials.

Update: November 8, 2020

Rumors of Dr. Tsuji’s Failure Exaggerated

Recently, we learnt that Tsuji/RIKEN partner Organ Technologies had failed and was shutting down. A lot of people including myself were extremely disappointed. However, it seems like work at RIKEN continues. This month they published an interesting new study related to human skin.

More relevantly, in November 2020, Dr. Tsuji and his hair growth research was featured in a local NHK BS television broadcast. It was titled “Humanience-4 Billion Years of Plans.” Thanks to the various people who posted or e-mailed the above links. I sent the video link to “Fuji Maru” and hope he lets us know if it contains anything useful.

And today, to my utmost surprise, the most troll-like and negative commentator “jan” posted the most relevant link. Apparently, Dr. Tsuji and the RIKEN + Kyocera team’s patent was just updated. It is based on an April 2020 filing date, so probably just international approval formalities. Organ Technologies is still listed in there as a co-inventor.

Inventor(s):

TSUJI, Takashi; c/o RIKEN
TAKEO, Makoto; c/o RIKEN
OKAMOTO, Naokazu; c/o Organ Technologies
OGAWA, Miho; c/o Organ Technologies
MORI, Yutaka; c/o Kyocera
KISHIMOTO, Kyosuke; c/o Kyocera

Update: August 8, 2020

Clinical Trials in 2020 Delayed
Human clinical trials delayed after the end of partnership with Organ Technologies.

Youngjet added a summary video of his attendance of Dr. Tsuji’s Zoom lecture. On Twitter and Youtube, he told me that human clinical trials will start in 2020 after approval from the relevant Commission for Regenerative Medicine. To be honest, this is disappointing news as I was hoping human trials already started earlier this year.

Youngjet’s prior video at the bottom of this post and past statements from Dr. Tsuji both indicated faster progress. In any case, trials in Japan will not take as long as in the west, especially in the autologous regenerative medicine sector.

Update: August 6, 2020

Dr. Tsuji replied to my email, and it seems like no new announcements in the August 5 presentation:

Dear Admin,

Thank you for your interest in our research. There was no updates because the lecture was for graduate school students aiming to get fundamental knowledge. For further information, please refer to our laboratory website for the latest news on the progress of our research projects. Our laboratory is striving to advance research with the aim of fulfilling the expectations to improve quality of life for many individuals. We thank you for your patience and continued support of our research activities.

Sincerely,
Takashi Tsuji
Laboratory for Organ Regeneration
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology Research (BDR)

Update: August 4, 2020

Dr. Takashi Tsuji Zoom Events in August

By now, most readers know that Dr. Takashi Tsuji is participating in several Zoom and web based online presentations in August 2020. I have sent a few messages to Fuji Maru and to ハゲリーマンちゃんねるin case they can attend any of these events. I will update this thread if they or others send me any new information.

Dr. Tsuji will be presenting via a Zoom conference on August 5, 2020 (h/t reader “Karl” and “RolfLeeBuckler” on HLT):

Then, on August 24 and August 25, Dr. Tsuji and RIKEN will be making a  two-part web presentation.

  • Part 1 = “Of hair science front line: from the basics of innovation to beauty and health.”
  • Part 2 = “Overview of new products for FY2020.”

Also keep an eye on RIKEN’s Facebook page, and on Organ Technologies’ website.

Takashi Tsuji Web Presentation.
Takashi Tsuji Web Presentation in August 2020.

Update: June 26, 2020

New Interview

Recently, a number of readers have asked about Dr. Takashi Tsuji’s January 2020 article and interview in a Japanese magazine. Earlier today, reader “Lurker10” managed to purchase it from here and also posted it on Imgur! Keep in mind that all the information in this article is from prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. So there could be some delays in the work’s progression. Update: It seems like the interview mostly covered Dr. Tsuji’s historical hair loss research related work per reader comments and translations.

Dr. Takashi Tsuji in 2020.
Dr. Takashi Tsuji in his lab in 2020.

Baldness will be Extinct

Update: August 14, 2019 — English version of below video is now published. Title: “Baldness will be Extinct! The Time has Come!!”

July 22, 2019

In June 2019, Dr. Tsuji gave some interesting quotes to the Financial Times about the future importance of Kobe when it comes to medical tourism. Also in June, Dr. Tsuji gave an important 4 page interview to Beyond Health.

Dr. Tsuji: Hair Loss Cure in 2020 or 2021

Recently, a Japanese hair enthusiast named “Youngjet” posted a video regarding his attendance of a recent lecture in Japan by Dr. Tsuji. Five people emailed me or commented on here about the below video!

After you translate the video, it seems like Dr. Tsuji will release his cure in 2020 and/or 2021. It will initially cost 20 million to 40 million Japanese Yen ($190,000 – $380,000 per today’s exchange rates). Prices will then slowly come down over the next decade.

Perhaps Dr. Tsuji gave us two numbers (20 million and 40 million) because some people will have one session and some will have two sessions?

Note that as of 2019, they are already testing this treatment in humans. Favorable Japanese regulations probably allow for this possibility, even though clinical trials are yet to be completed.

Make sure to see the results of my 2016 poll on how much you would pay for a hair loss cure. Only 12.5 percent of you voted for over $100,000!

— The guy (“Youngjet”) in the below video has the following Twitter account.

— Another Japanese person named “Tonegawa” has more information on these developments.

Perhaps the most important screenshot from the above video:

Hair Loss Cure in 2020 or 2021.

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.

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