Aderans and Intercytex: Hair Multiplication Failures

In a first for this blog, I am updating a post from ten years ago! Perhaps I should change the title and remove the word “failure”? I wonder how many of the original 15 commentators are still visiting this site?

Update: March 9, 2024

Stemson Therapeutics Aderans Licensing Agreement
Stemson Therapeutics (US) and Aderans (Japan) new licensing agreement. Screenshot from Nikkei Asia.

Stemson Therapeutics and Aderans Announce Licensing Deal

Earlier today, Stemson Therapeutics (US) and Aderans (Japan), the parent company of Bosley® and HAIRCLUB®, announced a partnership agreement (licensing deal).

This arrangement secures Stemson the exclusive global rights to research, develop and commercialize hair regeneration therapeutic products based on Aderans’ proprietary hair regeneration cell therapy technology. Note that Aderans and and Intercytex represented the only two major hopes for a hair loss cure throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. And then companies both folded and made me originally write this post a decade ago.

Stemson today likely represents the number one hope for a hair loss cure, although there are a number of other contenders in China, Japan, South Korea and the US. At least when it comes to much improved hair loss treatments

Getting back to Stemson, the company is developing a proprietary cell therapy for reversing hair loss that is based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Per the press release, it now:

“Gains a complementary technology through this agreement. Stemson will resume Aderans’ Phase 2 clinical stage cell therapy hair regeneration program, integrate the technology into its existing hair loss cell therapy development pipeline, and provide multiple products for patients experiencing hair loss.”

What a great development. Aderans is back from the dead. It also seems like a backup plan for Stemson in case its main iPSC technology does not pan out. Moreover, Stemson seems to want to resume Phase 2 trials for Aderan’s hair regeneration technology. And Japan has more favorable regenerative medicine sector regulations when it comes to trials and in-clinic use.

Quote from Stemson CEO Geoff Hamilton:

“The synergies between the Aderans technology and Stemson’s in-house technology will help us accelerate timelines across our programs.”

Quote from Aderans CEO Yoshihiro Tsumura:

“We look forward to working with the Stemson team to enable their development efforts and to support the commercialization through our global network of clinics serving hair loss patients.”

Quote from the evergreen Ken Washenik (Chief Medical Officer of Bosley Medical and former CEO of Aderans Research Institute):

“Our pioneering work at the Aderans Research Institute to develop the first ever cell therapy solution for hair loss showed tremendous promise in clinical trials to treat early stage Androgenetic Alopecia in men and women. We believe Stemson, with their advanced expertise in hair follicle cell and tissue engineering, is ideally positioned to successfully complete development and commercialization of this exciting hair regeneration solution.”

November 25, 2014

Aderans and Intercytex: Hair Multiplication Failure

All the great news this year related to hair loss research, trials and potential cures has made people very optimistic. However, a lot of hair loss sufferers are becoming excessively passionate about a select few companies (especially Histogen and Replicel) or about the results from a select few clinical trials.

I therefore decided to write this post as a warning from past experiences of putting too much faith into any one or two entities. Something as simple as lack of sufficient funding despite successful stage 2 clinical trials can cause a company to stop pursuing highly promising products.

In the early-to-late 2000s, two companies named Aderans (Japan) and Intercytex (UK) caused tremendous excitement in all the online hair loss forums. Both were involved in groundbreaking research related to hair cloning and hair multiplication.

Moreover, Aderans’ research was led by the renowned Dr. Ken Washenik through the Aderans Research Institute. He made numerous presentations about their technology at various conferences. Below are two of those:

However, in 2013, Aderans decided to liquidate its research institute. Spencer Kobren had a segment about this on his usually weekly Bald Truth show. Also starring legendary hair loss sufferer and caller “Joe from Staten Island”.

Intercytex abandoned its dermal papilla cell culturing work in 2010 due to financial difficulties, despite positive results from phase 1 trials. According to the company’s website, in 2010 the Intercytex name and ICX-RHY were purchased by private investors and relaunched as Intercytex Ltd. ICX-RHY is a skin repair product.

As of 2014, Aderans’ research is focused on wigs and hair replacement. They purchased US-based hair restoration market leading companies Hair Club in 2013 and Bosley in 2001. Intercytex as a company is no longer in existence.

37 thoughts on “Aderans and Intercytex: Hair Multiplication Failures”

  1. *Sigh* this really depresses me to no end. As someone who is in his early 20s who is just experiencing hairloss i honestly thought that they could come up with a potential cure. I had no idea that they did this over 12 years ago and to find out that they scrapped it. I am actually scarred that replicel and histogen might do the same here’s hoping they don’t.

  2. IMO Hair Loss Industry is really pathetic…especially with MPB. That is really sad. Now actually we have in 2014 Aderans and Histogen in Asia and we have nothing…And the American Hair Loss Asociation no have anything to help people with this disease.
    They do not know people want a cure or even easier a better treatment for androgenetic alopecia?

    1. it’s not true. No phase 2 for Aderans. They’ve failed in phase 1 with stemcell and derma papillae. Replicel will begin phase at the beginning of 2015 now… not the end of 2014… and Shiseido is also in the game!

      Don’t forget, Histogen is in phasse 3 ! and they trying to find a partner in Japan also!

  3. Hey Guys, don’t dispair. I think it’s a powerful reminder to keep our mental energies open to a solution from varied directions. The thought is not to attach too strongly to a single line of research. I believe we are going to see the “miracle” before too long. For one thing, there is greater awareness than ever before that 70% of women past 40 experience significant hair loss. We hide very well…great prosthetics, huge variety. The money people know that women spend more than billions annually on cosmetics and cosmetic procedures….and most women are not good candidates for transplants. Women have a high expectation, so they have to pursue lines of research like cloning, Replicel, etc. to capture this market. We could very well be the plum that keeps investors throwing in to get it done.

  4. Additional thought…the finance people have to know that even women without hair loss will pay thousands each year for legit procedures to thicken their hair. And for women without funds, there is often a husband who will write the check, even if he would not have a procedure done himself. The money will be huge, and science is close enough to making it happen that it is no longer a “snake oil” investment. So…no depression. Just hold positive energy toward our shared goal.

  5. Interminable van a ser los 3 años de espera. Y si realmente sale algo. La verdad que a mi cada dia que pasa menos esperanzas tengo. Hace decadas que prometen una cura.

  6. La perdida del cabello es como el cancer, son negocios que mueven millones. No les conviene que salga una cura, ni a las farmaceuticas ni a las clinicas.

  7. Just curious if anyone can answer me this would this really be a cure or just a patch up. Because currently all these products that are available for hairloss don’t work but ppl still buy them making the developers millions. So my question is would they really come up with a cure even though it doesn’t benefit pharmaceutical companies or clinics in the very least they would lose money.

    1. For replicel, David Hall say this is a cure. We will see the results in 2016, after two years, after the phase 2.

      Yes, histogen is in phase 3, beginning of phase 3. See the presentation of this company on the MESA this october.

    2. Hair micrografting DOES work. I’ve had it done 8 times in 17 years. However, after taking Propecia for 23 years, every day, I can see that the Propecia is starting to become less-effective at preventing male pattern baldness on the top of my head.

  8. De donde sacan que histogen está en fase 3????? alguien puede pasar el sitio donde lo leen??? porque de ser así prontamente tendriamos que tener un producto en el mercado.

  9. It is sad to read the old comments here, people hoping something would come after some years, yet 10 years after, we are still many years from a cure/better treatments.

    It is difficult to interpret this news however, if it is good or bad. Why do they start up with something else, why not focus on what they are doing. Does it mean that they need this out in order to get fundings and that the original idea is delayd?

    1. Could mean but not sure that it will save money get their product faster to the market. Notice phase 2. If what they are working on is similar, then they will not need to start phase 1. We shall see!

    2. I’ve read many science papers now, and the sad truth is, without a major breakthrough, it could be at least another decade before a cure is available for most people’s budget. Probably longer. I imagine a clone/cell therapy/transplant route in the next few years for the rich, but none of the chemical/topical companies can address the mechanical issues with hair loss. It’s almost ignored. I think there could be a good preventative solution in the next few years, but a cure? Doubt it. I hope there’s a big advancement though. Clinical trials slow things down too.

  10. Still not sure what to make of this news. Is it good that they are reviving a tech that was previously abandoned? Do Stemson have new knowledge about how to make this more viable than it was 10 years ago?

    Asking around Stemson for another interview admin??

  11. Amazing to read “Phase 2” and “multiple products” …. but then I see “for early stage Androgenetic Alopecia”. So how effective could it be? And what are these multiple products?

  12. Interesting recent article discussing Aderans’ “Ji Gami” hair multiplication (or hair regeneration) process and its untimely demise.

    “During these clinical experiments, the results revealed that the Ji Gami process may not cause actual hair multiplication, but instead revitalize hair follicles and permanently prevent these follicles from future loss. Though the treatment was now slightly different, ARI was pleased with the results and continued with late phase II trials in 2011 and 2012.”

    1. The article is from 2014.

      If it was successful, I wonder why they didn’t continue. So there’s probably only one trial away from commercialization?

      Maybe you were right and this is more interesting than I initially thought.

      1. You are correct. For some reason I initially read that as Feb 2024. And assumed it was a site that did not exist in 2014.

  13. Interesting article admin! I have discussed this in recent previous posts but I have never seen it written in an article. In the past, when HairClone began to work on the multiplication of DP cells, I contacted them and told them my question: if the multiplied cells come from the donor area that is immune to DHT when injected into hair affected by DHT, These cells could make those affected hairs become immune to alopecia by replacing their cells and their response was that this possibility existed but that it was not known because it had not yet been tested in patients.

  14. And it’s more! This technique is also what HairClone expected, that the injection of these cells could achieve the neogenesis of new follicles but it is clear that this does not happen like that… this is much more complicated and the only solution for this is Stemson, it makes me very sad For the people who read this forum and do not have a donor area, I say this from the bottom of my heart… but for those who do, a transplant and an injection treatment of cells from the dermal papilla of the donor area can be the cure, friends.

    1. The latest Stemson news are actually kinda sad for us higher Norwoods and those whose donor area is very weak like mine (I have DUPA and it is uncurable with meds). It shows that they are not confident that their ipsc technology will ever be released. There is no doubt that because of this the main Stemson technology will at least be delayed. And I was placing all of my hopes on Stemson.

      1. How can one come up with that conclusion?

        I think the ipSc-route is absolutely solid and has been confirmed by Stemson only weeks ago with exact timelines. Yes it’s further away than we hoped.

        I am more critical about how they want to revive a 12-year-old technology and if and how they can pick up from there? If they use different (because improved) extraction/culturing/amplification they probably have to start from scratch due to very strict laws regarding trials. You cannot just switch technologies, the GMP-process is part of trial protocols.

        I think they are primarily looking for a revenue-stream that can be realized much earlier – also to get funding. It makes total sense, but there’s questions open to me.

  15. True. They realized that IPSC is not going to work that’s why they team up with Aderans which will eventually fail.

  16. It does not give me a good feeling that Stemson has entered into cooperation with a failed company. I hope one day I don’t have to write RIP Stemson…

  17. @admin

    Do you know if this trial from Aderans (from the Washenik-presentation) is the Intercytex one? Or was Intercytex a different one?

    Couldn’t find the information online.

    1. You mean the second video with Ken? In there at around 5:40 onwards it says “Research Institute” at the bottoms of the screen, so probably Aderans. Which is different from Intercytex.

      1. I‘m a little lost, I always thought the Intercytex-trial was made through ARI – hence the same thing.

        Apparently it’s two different methods and different trials…

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