Thanks to reader “Ben” for the regular updates on Epibiotech (South Korea). Note that Stemore was renamed to Epibiotech in 2021. Since then, the new company has been in the news almost every month. Some recent highlights:
- Update: April 29, 2022 — Epibiotech announced on April 29, 2022 that it would expand the EPI-001 autologous DPC (dermal hair papilla cell) therapy to off-the-shelf allogeneic treatment.
- Update: April 21, 2022 — Scientists from Epi Biotech were involved in an interesting new paper. Its conclusion: “Silencing the CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling pathway can be developed for novel hair growth stimulation.”
- Update: October 5, 2021 — Epibiotech has started producing non-clinical samples of its dermal papilla cell therapy EPI-001 at its cell therapy production center.
Epibiotech New Hair Loss Facility
- On June 3rd 2021, Epibiotech and T&R Biotech announced a partnership to develop a hair loss treatment involving pluripotent stem cells. According to T&R Biotech’s CEO:
“Epibiotech’s dermal papilla cell differentiation technology and our pluripotent stem cell line will create a combination with high synergetic effect.”
- On May 31, 2021, Epibiotech and its CEO Jong-Hyuk Sung announced the construction of a new production facility at its Songdo headquarters. This GMP facility will be used to produce “2,000 self-made dermal papilla cell therapy products annually”.
- On April 30, 2021, Epibiotech signed an agreement with Professor Hyung-beom Kim of Yonsei University to develop a hair loss treatment using gene editing technology.
All of this seems a bit too fast and crazy.
However, as I outlined in my recent post on Han Bio, South Korea is becoming a world center for hair loss cure research. On par with the US and Japan if media articles are to be believed.
Renaming from Stemore
I e-mailed Epibiotech to inquire about their technology and their May 1, 2021 renaming from Stemore. Below is part of the reply (with minor corrections) from Dr. Nahyun Choi, the company’s director of research:
“The name STEMORE, used previously, was based on a focus on research on hair loss using stem cells when the company was founded. However, our company is now researching and developing not only stem cells, but also various hair cells. This includes dermal papilla cells, and an expanded pipeline to low molecular substances and whitening agents. Therefore, the scope of the research and development was extended to hair and skin. So the company name was changed to Epibiotech after the foreword of epidermal cells.”
According to the company’s pipeline page, they are working on three hair loss products.
- The main focus is on EPI-001, the autologous dermal papilla hair cell therapy treatment. It is scheduled to enter Phase 3 clinical trials in 2024.
- The EPI-002 Ripk1 inhibiter (gel or ointment) will also enter Phase 3 trials in 2024.
- Finally, the EPI-003 oral PGD2 inhibitor product will finish Phase 2 clinical trials in early 2025.