I have covered hair regeneration related research by Yokohama National University’s Dr. Junji Fukuda a few times in the past. His most important work is related to hair multiplication.
Yokahama University: Interview with Dr. Tatsuto Kageyama
Yesterday, in our Discord chat, “DrPhil” posted a link to a new April interview with Dr. Tatsuto Kageyama of Yokohama National University.
After some quick research, I realized that Dr. Kageyama is a co-author in Dr. Fukuda’s important 2019 paper titled: “Preparation of hair beads and hair follicle germs for regenerative medicine.”
This latest interview with Dr. Kageyama is extremely insightful and encouraging.
Human Trials to Start in 2023
The most important news is that human trials will start in 2023. Moreover, the treatment will not be too costly, and it will be safe.
Some key quotes after translation:
“We started basic research using human cells in 2018, aiming to start clinical trials in 2023. And we are working hard together with the members of the laboratory so that we can deliver it to everyone as soon as possible.”
“We also believe that we will be able to resolve cost issues.”
Apparently, they are convinced that the cost of this treatment will be much lower in comparison to other regenerative medicine treatments. A nice change from Dr. Tsuji’s expensive hair loss cure.
The team’s mass culture technology does not necessitate expensive equipment. Moreover, the required amount of hair follicle primordia can be produced with a single culture container.
Hair Follicle Primordium Creation
The Yokohama National University team’s hair multiplication process involves creating hair follicle primordia. Epithelial cells and mesenchymal cells mix to form a tissue called “hair follicle primordium“. This is essentially the seed for hair growth.
The process this team uses entails:
- Extract a few healthy scalp hairs.
- Increase the “epithelial cells” and “mesenchymal cells” that exist in those follicles.
- Thereafter, cultivate a large amount of hair follicle primordia.
- Transplant these new cells to balding regions of the donor’s scalp to regenerate the hair.
It will be possible to produce thousands of hairs from several hairs. The whole process is considered to be safe due to the autologous nature of the treatment.
Best of all, in Japan, clinical trials in regenerative medicine are expected to move along faster than in the US or EU. The country has a rapidly aging society with low birth rates. Therefore, it is a world leader in anti-aging related research.
The important triumvirate of Riken (Tsuji), Shiseido, and Yokohama (Fukuda) are all based in Japan. I am very hopeful that at least one of these three will finally succeed in bringing a next generation hair loss treatment or cure to the market.