So its Shiseido/Replicel versus Kyocera/RIKEN/ Tsuji at the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (KBIC)

Update: And in other important news from Japan from this week:

— Dr. Tsuji published a new paper several days ago.

— Pokemon Go was finally launched in Japan, its spiritual homeland.

Without any doubt, there has never been a better year than this one in the hair loss research world.  The last four months have been especially fruitful, and I am not even considering a number of newer entrants in the field (just because most seem suspicious or are likely to produce best case results that will be akin to those from Rogaine). Key noteworthy recent developments:

  • First, in April, Follica (which had been left for dead by many due to its numerous conflicting signals since inception in 2006) surprised us and is clearly alive and aims to release its product in 2018 in a best case scenario.  The company’s majority owner PureTech stated in a summary document that “skin disruption alone was safe and generates new follicles as well as new hair“.
  • Thereafter, in June, Aclaris Therapeutics’ CEO Mr. Neal Walker clearly stated at three difference investor presentation that “topical covalently bound highly selective JAK3 inhibitors” work in treating androgenetic alopecia and not just in treating alopecia areata. Alcaris will be conducting trials on this use of JAK inhibitors in 2017.
  • Also in June, Histogen made a surprising announcement that it would start treating patients in Mexico in 2018.  Like Follica, many people had left Histogen for dead due to the fact that the company has been involved in hair loss research for a similarly lengthy period of time with mixed signals in terms of efficacy, clinical trial and product release dates.
  • Then, in July came perhaps the most exciting news ever in the hair loss cure research world.  RIKEN/Dr. Takashi Tsuji, Kyocera and Organ Technologies have formed a partnership that aims to commercially release a product in 2020 that will essentially represent a cure for hair loss.  2020 is clearly a best case scenario assuming no major hiccups along the way.  Mr. Tsuji is a world renowned and extremely well respected and modest scientist; RIKEN has access to Japanese government funds and to numerous leading scientists in the world of regenerative medicine; Kyocera is a private sector multinational behemoth with pre-existing hardware side technology and expertise that will likely be of much use to Dr. Tsuji.
  • And finally, today the Shiseido/Replicel team finally announced the commencement of delayed clinical trials in Japan (see bottom part of this post).

RIKEN and Dr. Tsuji are conducting their research at the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (KBIC) in Japan in RIKEN’s Integrated Innovation Building.

File:RIKEN Integrated Innovation Building.JPG

Shiseido/Replicel Joins Kyocera/RIKEN/ Tsuji at the KBIC

Today, in yet one more major positive development this year, it was announced that the Shiseido/Replicel team has finally started its delayed 60-person (men and women included) Japanese clinical trials for its autologous cell therapy based RCH-01 product.  While the study will be conducted at two hospitals in Tokyo, the injected product(s) will be manufactured by Shiseido at their SPEC (Cell-Processing and Expansion Center) in KBIC.  I discussed this facility in a post in 2014. It is located in the below Business Support Center for Biomedical Research Activities (BMA) building in KBIC.

Business Support Center for Biomedical Research Activities (BMA) Main Picture

So Shiseido and RIKEN’s respective research and development work will be conducted at buildings within a mile of each other according to this map (both buildings are on the right side of the railroad).

While doing research on KBIC, I found that it is located on Port Island in the city of Kobe, and Port Island is an artificially constructed island. Would be quite something if humans end up creating new replacement hair follicles on a man-made island.

303 thoughts on “So its Shiseido/Replicel versus Kyocera/RIKEN/ Tsuji at the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (KBIC)”

  1. @ spanky, I surely hope he isnt referring to minox however you need to keep in mind that yes people wound and apply minox with slightly better results then minox alone however do they have access to cots specific wounding procedure? Not the same wounding procedure….but please no minox! Lol

  2. @Habe, I just hope Cots / Follica will release some information already so we can get a clue as to whether they will really release something in 2018. Then again, they have clearly stated that 2018 is a best case scenario…sigh.. we really need a new treatment…

  3. Its so frustrating, isnt it spanky!?..on another note, according to a girl on another site, kelopesia is awaiting magisterial approval. Dont know how accurate that is or if we should be excited or not. Its tough to get excited anymore. Its like “the boy that cried wolf”.

    1. It sounds plausible, if I remember correctly it was tested for several years and all they had to do was tweak the formula to make it stable at room temp.

  4. Off topic: can someone explain why going to Turkey for a HT is poplular? One, its TURKEY (in the middle east). 2. It looks like scattered pubes on most peoples heads for like 7 months! (While there head is also red…do they hide out for 7 months?) The hair angles are all off and pattern is unnatural. Is it b/c its cheap? One guy got it for 2 grand for like 5000 + grafts…id spend more on a jacket that looks nice, not cheap out on my damn scalp. Just curious if its just the money?…

    1. I never wanted to go to Turkey before, and considering all circumstances in that country now, I’ll never go there in my lifetime.

      Happy with your HT in Istanbul, blown up head and scattered grafts a few hours later in Ankara.

  5. Guys, if DHT is still one of the major contributing factors to this AGA monster, why can’t they invent a patch like in local anesthetics?

    Like, if you have severe pain (for instance your back) and they can’t fix the cause of it, they give you a patch which releases a local anesthetic, like morphine. This blocks the pain signal effectively without going totally systematic, because of its mechanism and dosage. You won’t go numb entirely, it works locally.

    I mean, a small patch in your neck to block a5r/DHT locally on your scalp, without going systemetic which oral FIN obviously does.

    How hard can that be, I don’t get this.
    Please someone with knowledge, explain this to us. The stuff has to stay exactly in the place it is needed the most. Not through the full system.

  6. @Mjones that would be great!! As anecdotal as these wounding victories are there are so many of them at this point and there is sound science to back it up.. So much so that a company is on the cusp of releasing their technology.. It’s obviously related to plucking and quorum sensing however they got more success from trauma when it was done within a smaller area of the scalp.. Thanks for reaching out let’s see if we can get in touch because this seems like the most within reach option.

  7. @Leafar, thats quite a lovely story but also ultra rare that ppl see this kind of regrowth and without a single sign of side effects, wow! Lucky dude. Imagine if we had a drug like this without the risc of sexual sides.

    1. Very interesting to see what CRISPR could possibly do. I think that for us will be the reason we find out what causes to go bald and perhaps also offer us a way to treat it.

  8. Wow crisper is definitely revolutionary! What this technology may be able to do for a disease like cancer is amazing!

  9. Just saw on Replicel’s website that participants in the phase 2 clinical trials of RCH-01 will remain in the study for 39 months (
    Does this mean that the treatment won’t be released for another 3-5 years, given efficacy and safety? For comparison, how long did the Propecia trials take from start to commercialisation?

    Thanks for clarifying and this blog is truly an amazing resource!

    1. It means they have extended the study because the results they have observed is less than what they expected.
      The optimists will say the reverse but we have seen the same thing with SM.

    2. If they prove safety and efficacy replicel can offer treatment during the second phase so 2018 is still possible. They where saying 3 year trial before so this isn’t much of a change really, I imagine it’s this long because results are supposed to be permanent so you’ll need to watch participants over several years.

  10. Big news. Bad but but big. 3 years to sea if hair grows? If is true this can work but only cosmetic impruvement. To the same level of minoxidil….

    1. Ha – so the procedure will come with a disclaimer – results seen as early as up to three years, side effects may include tumours, various cancer, sexual anhedonia, ass falls off and swollen feet

      And for the low price of 10,000£, it is a no brainier to get this treatment

      JK, JK – I am actually happy to see persistence – at least some guys are trying to nip this S*** in the bud!

      1. Hahaha – yeah man – but the risks will be just 2% my friend, 2% only – sure you’re aware that statistics mean nothing to an individual.

        But still – we are talking about 7% regrow on the vertex, 4% on he midscalp and 0.8% on the frontal scalp.

        Imagine bro – out by the beach house early at dawn, everyone else is sleeping, you’re listening to the surf and the wind just blowing your new hairs around – and you slide your hand through your thick wavy hair and realise that this nightmare it is all over, nice thick wavy hair – no scalp visible – no turtle head

        Strangers do not see the bald and screen you out through cognitive bias

        Dreams can come true brother – look forward to that new hairstyle you will try one day

        1. You got the wrong idea friend, the answer is not to put effort into figuring a way to get hair but rather into figuring a way to make everyone else lose theirs – then it is confirmed that we will not be sticking out anymore

          Everyone will be missing something 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!

  11. I think you’re missing the point. They may be extending to ensure it’s permanent. Also japans laws are loose with regards to when they can commercialise a treatment. So I’m speculating that this won’t change the time line. I think we are all too use to bad news in the hair loss community. Anyway ive lurked this forum for a few months. Good work admin.

  12. All seemed have missed a crucial problem.
    Bald men, have diseased scalps where it undergoes changes which make the growth of healthy hair difficult. The most well documented of these abnormalities is how the adipose tissue layer shrinks significantly when you start balding.
    How will Tsuji’s method address this?
    You can’t just inject dp cells into the skin and hope for it grow when the environment in the scalp is too hostile for its growth in the 1st place

  13. It seems that no one knows what they are talking about, just a bunch of useless nonsense. Would be nice to hear some real science talk based on actual knowledge and not this crap

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