I first covered UK based HairClone in 2016 in this very post (original version at the bottom). Then I interviewed the company’s CEO Dr. Paul Kemp several times, and wrote an update on HairClone’s hair follicle banking service in May 2021.
Update: October 15, 2021
HairClone to Start Cell Expansion in Early 2022
I always assumed that HairClone’s actual hair cloning or hair multiplication procedure was still years away. They have yet to even start human clinical trials. However, when it comes to autologous hair cell multiplication and transplantation, the UK has less stringent guidelines when it comes to testing in humans. Clinicians can offer unlicensed procedures prior to clinical trials. Japan also has some similar favorable regulations.
What an incredible surprise (h/t “Tony”) to then find this encouraging new below interview of Dr. Paul Kemp! He is one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming ISHRS 2021 conference. His presentation will be titled: “The Evolution of the Promise of Hair Cloning: How Hair Cell Cloning will Fit Into Your Practice.”
HairClone will offer its cell expansion hair multiplication services on a select basis in certain clinics in the UK starting in early 2022. Dr. Kemp has consulted with regulators and they are very supportive of this step. It is a way to ensure that future expensive and lengthy clinical trials have a much greater chance of success.
“What we are planning to do early next year is offer a cell expansion service.”
— Paul Kemp (at 15.:50 into the below video).
Note that Mr. Kemp was previously CEO of Intercytex and has decades of experience in the regenerative medicine and hair space.
September 8, 2016
During the past few months, there have been a few new companies entering the hair regeneration sector. Today, I learnt about yet another new entrant into the field named HairClone that warranted its own post. As yet, I do not consider HairClone anywhere near as important as the established entities such as the RIKEN/Kyocera/Tsuji partnership (Japan); or the Shiseido/Replicel partnership (Japan).
I will briefly analyze HairClone via its positives and negatives:
- The renowned and widely respected researcher Dr. Claire Higgins joined HairClone’s advisory board on August 30th (but alse read my comment on her in the “Negatives” section below).
Very excited to welcome Claire Higgins onto our SAB! Claire’s work on dermal papilla cells will be of great help pic.twitter.com/B7ZKhbbHkv
— HairClone (@HairClone) August 30, 2016
- HairClone will be hiring more scientific advisers besides Dr. Claire Higgins in the near future. Would be great if they tried to get Dr. Roland Lauster into the team.
- A recent Tweet suggests monthly update meetings with PhD students.
- HairClone has devised a very unique and creative way to get funding, and that includes: crowdfunding; giving people who fund the company’s research preference when the actual treatment comes out; allowing investment in equity; offering leading hair transplant clinics around the world membership opportunities; and most interesting of all, hair follicle banking and storage.
- By far the biggest negative is that this is still way too early in the game and who knows when trials will commence, and whether the company will succeed with its dermal papilla focused cloning technology in the first place. Or even if they manage to get sufficient funding.
- Related to the above, when Solomon interviewed Dr. Claire Higgins earlier this year, she generally sounded pessimistic about new treatments and said the following about cloning. Update: Solomon corrected me in the comments and said she was only talking about cell injections. But I think she sounded pessimistic about the hair cloning time-frame in the whole interview:
“I think the future (but it’s not in 4 years or 5 years away, it’s like in 20 years) is to promote direct conversion of fibroblasts into papillae. But something like this will take decades. We don’t know how to do that yet.”
I am hoping that Dr. Higgins will change her prediction to 10 years if her lab and research work gets significantly more resources as a result of HairClone. Thankfully, she said that she was not exactly sure about Dr. Tsuji’s work and neither did she list Shiseido’s trials in Japan in her list of ongoing trial examples. So maybe she is just entirely focused on her own work and not following others too much.
Twenty years would be too big a gamble to invest in a company such as HairClone. I hope Dr. Bessam Farjo has other ideas and is hoping for much faster completion of clinical trials. And hopefully he is not only relying on Dr. Higgins’ dermal papilla related work.
Note: The company website has some typos, flow issues and seems somewhat haphazardly put together at the moment. It even includes “hello-world” and placeholder type pages.