Yokohama to Begin Hair Multiplication Trials in 2023

I have covered hair regeneration research by Yokohama National University (Japan) based scientist Dr. Junji Fukuda a few times in the past. His most important work is related to hair multiplication via the production of hair follicle germs.

However, Dr. Fukuda achieved global notoriety in 2018 due to the French Fries chemical related hair loss “cure”. Make sure to also check out the Fukuda Lab site.

Yokohama University and Dr. Junji Fukuda

Update: April 15, 2022

I consider Dr. Fukuda and his team to be among the five most important players in the world that are working on a hair loss cure. Per last year’s news (see further below), the Yokohama team plans to start human clinical trials in 2023.

In this latest research, the team managed to make new hair that was  at first only growing underneath the skin of mice to sprout through the skin. They did this via the use of guide-inserted hair microgels (HMGs). They conclude:

“This approach is a promising strategy to advance hair regenerative medicine.”

Yokohama (Fukuda) Hair Multiplication Process
Yokohama National University Hair Multiplication Process. Dr. Junji Fukuda and Dr. Tatsuto Kageyama.

Update: April 7, 2021

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. It is worth a full read.

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:

  1. Extract a few healthy scalp hairs.
  2. Increase the “epithelial cells” and “mesenchymal cells” that exist  in those follicles.
  3. Thereafter, cultivate a large amount of hair follicle primordia.
  4. 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.

Japan and Regenerative Medicine

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.

69 thoughts on “Yokohama to Begin Hair Multiplication Trials in 2023”

  1. I’ll believe when I see it. As of now he is a tsuji until I see phase1 done with robust regrowth. Good to see other players in the game though.

  2. Thank you as ever Admin for striking the tone of honest, patient optimism that is of great comfort to your readers. Cheers, with much gratitude.

      1. I guess the problem is if you have been maintaining on anti androgens or 5alpha reductase inhibitors.. you will have to get off and lose hair 1st ro replace? Am I off base?

  3. Still the question is how expensive it will be.

    “We also believe that we will be able to resolve cost issues.”

    Such good News!

    1. Fortuna, The first questions are will it work and when will it be available. Skipping to the price part is a bit presumptuous :-)

  4. I’m a little confused (probably just being thick). But this is hair cloning, right? If so, there is the cost of the cloning…then the cost of the surgery (multiple, if one has severe hair loss). Or am I missing something? The surgery (esp if it’s multiple) alone is expensive…but coupled with the cloning would be super costly I’d imagine.

  5. I hope that age related baldness can be cure just like young age baldness … I’m 49 and with Fina and Minox I’m losing ground big time:( it started about 4 years ago, before then everything it was still ok

  6. I’m still not happy with the timeline. Trials in 2023? So two years before they begin. Then a few more years to finish and analyze results. Then a few more years to…

    We’re still looking at a decade here for a product. I guess it’s still good news, if it’s not another letdown.

    1. That’s assuming they even start in time. I think more than a decade. Too late for me fellas, cue ball here I come

  7. Lorence add a topical minox/finasteride that help me with a boost of growth and stabilization when the big 3 lost ground….I’m still losing ground but it seems to fluctuate. Some months look thicker while other months looks worse.

  8. I’ve summarized the information I could find about the Verteporfin research:

    – The research paper [1] describes the mechanisms of scar formation in skin and a simple procedure to achieve full skin regeneration using a very safe FDA approved drug, Verteporfin. Full skin regeneration here refers to skin indistinguishable from normal skin with all the dermal appendages, including hair follicles. According to the paper, Verteporfin works by preventing a type of skin cell (ENF) from giving rise to another type of skin cell (EPF) that causes scarring during wound healing. The way it does this is by blocking mechanotransduction signaling, i.e. the ability of cells to sense mechanical forces.
    – The studies were conducted on mice, but according to this article from The New York Times [2], it also works on pigs. Quoting from the article:
    “The study involved mice, but the researchers, Dr. Michael Longaker, Stanford’s vice chair of surgery, and Geoffrey Gurtner, Stanford’s vice president of surgery for innovation, have now moved on to pigs, whose skin is closest to that of humans. With these new subjects, the surgeons made an incision as wide as a thumb and five inches long. When they sutured the cut and injected Verteporfin around the edge, there was dramatically less scarring.”
    – The procedure on mice was, first, create a wound using a skin biopsy punch around 4mm in diameter. After wounding, inject 30 μL of Verteporfin (1 mg/mL) [3] around the edges of the wound. Relevant here is that repeated injections on day 4, 8 and 12 didn’t improve outcomes and had detrimental effects. A single injection after wounding worked best. The results were, control wounds: hairless scars; treated wounds: substantial hair growth by 30 days and indistinguishable from normal skin by 90 days.
    – The drug used on patients is Visudyne. It is a 20 year old drug approved for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and pathologic myopia. Each box contains a glass vial with 15 mg of Verteporfin powder and costs around 1000 USD. It is reconstituted by injecting 7mL of sterile water into the glass vial to provide 7.5mL of 2 mg/mL Verteporfin. The volume of reconstituted Verteporfin required to achieve 6 mg/m2 body surface area, around 5mL for an adult by Mosteller formula, is withdrawn from the vial and diluted with 5% Dextrose for Injection to a total infusion volume of 30 mL. It is administered intravenously over 10 minutes at a rate of 3 mL/minute. The second step is the light activation of Visudyne using a laser at 15 minutes after the start of the infusion, but this part is irrelevant for wound healing. Note that the dosage used on mice was minuscule in comparison at 30μL of 1 mg/mL Verteporfin, or 0.03mg of Verteporfin, and that it was injected in the skin instead.
    – Patents on Verteporfin have all expired so anyone can manufacture it. There are manufacturers selling >99% purity Verteporfin at better prices for research purposes, but they don’t sell to patients.
    – There is previous work [4] on the role that tension plays during wound healing on humans:
    “embrace® Active Scar Defense is the only FDA-Cleared scar therapy system designed to relieve tension around incisions, general cuts and lacerations to prevent the formation of new, visible, raised scars before they start.”
    Presumably, completely blocking mechanotransduction at the cellular level using a drug like Verteporfin would work much better.

    Given that it works on mice and pigs. That there is a product that works on humans by reducing wound tension. And that wound healing mechanisms are well conserved among mammals. I would bet that it will work on humans. Very exiting. We need to raise awareness in the hair loss community to get trials started to answer whether it will regenerate terminal scalp hair. Hair loss won’t be the focus of most researchers and we could sit on a working cure for years otherwise.


    1. Are you on the United States. The stuff does cause crazy hair growth. I’ve been taking it 23 days and I am usually a very non hairy man.

    2. Hey! We’re working with a HT doctor to source and administer Verteporfin. Wondering if you’re interested in joining the discord to help.

  9. I still remember too good how Tsuji will start trials in 2020. Which never happened.

    Anyhow, Fukuda is the real deal.

    StemsonTx trial announcement should be the next big news…hopefully!

  10. Appreciate hearing positive news. We can’t ever expect things to happen quickly, but I certainly think a baldness cure will be available this decade. Knowing that can give us all a little extra confidence and something to look forward to :-) Until then, my subtle SMP added to my buzzed short hair transplants has me feeling a bit younger and less insecure. Still, nothing beats some lengthy hair growth, so I’ll look forward to that.

    1. Hey … I’m actually looking to do this treatment – diffuse NW 5/6 and I have SMP – just curious, did the transplant add “realness” to the look for you? The examples I’ve seen look good, at least passable. I’m just worried when I go full slick that the SMP alone won’t be ideal (for me, for others, I support whatever works!!)

  11. Lorence…I know you heard of topical finasteride minox combo topical. You are a frequent commenter here:) Anyway…look at MorrF or Minoxidil Max they have several compound minox solutions. There are a ton out there. I think the admin posted links to some in a previous post.

    1. I’ve never heard of this but I’m going to look into it. Only thing I’m using now is topical minox from the store (5%).

        1. Thanks admin. I’ll take a look. I’m not big on topicals but I’ll give anything a try – if I see change then I’ll keep using (otherwise I scrap it). The combo stuff looks promising.

  12. James it helped with a boost and stability. Far from a cure or anything like that but it helped me stabilize or slow the progression.

    1. Good to know. Appreciate it. Can’t hurt to try.

      I’ve been contemplating getting a HT – but with such little (thinning) donor hair it would be interesting to see what they’d say at a consult. There are a few docs out there that can work wonders though. We’ll see.

      1. Hi James,

        I’m in a similar position re donor hair. I had three consultations the year before last. Two said they could do something, but the third said I didn’t have enough hair to make it viable. I’ve decided to hang on in the hope there is some sort of hair multiplication in a few years time. So definitely worth getting at least three opinions.

        1. Thanks. And yeah, the one that may say they can do something may just be out for the money and by something they mean very little. I don’t get why the donor hair is so thin. This is where it’s supposed to be fine! Ugh. If only I had thick sides I’d be in for multiple sessions.

  13. The info on Yokohama is interesting. I think it’s something the young population can be hopeful for. Hopefully they wont pull a histogen or follica etc..I dont have much hair left and by the time the trials get finished the hair I have left will be long gone.

    1. Tom you can be excited as well because as long as you have the cells required to make a HFG you are still in the game. Just because you don’t sprout hairs out of your hair, doesn’t mean you don’t have the tools required to Induce hair follicle neogenesis.

  14. Let’s see what’s on the shelf within the decade? (If they survive?) Got a strong feeling it will still be HT’s, Fin, Min and Niz tho, seeing how slow things move. Hope to be surprised, but I wouldn’t bet your Bitcoins on it!

  15. Hi Admin, just saw that Fukuda and Kageyama published a couple of new research papers regarding hair regeneration over the last months.

    They‘ve been rather active I would say – they‘re onto something.

  16. Lorence – I started topical dutasteride from strut with good success. Oral fin gave me sides but topical dut hasn’t. My skin can’t handle minox. I’m 1.5 months in so hopefully it stays that way. Haven’t regained much hair, if any, but my shedding basically stopped. Enough to keep me happy at least. M29

    1. Have you considered asking a dermatologist to prescribe you oral minoxidil if topical irritates your skin?

      I’m considering it, since I’m getting tired of the stickiness and residue from applying topicals.

    2. I had fantastic results with oral dutasteride but had to stop due to sides and I’ve seen a gradual thinning since. I’d love to read an update on oral dut. So many different sellers & options have appeared this year.

  17. Hi DH, congrats on the topical Dut success. I see you mentioned oral fin gave sides and topical Dut gives you zero sides. Can you tell me if you ever tried topical fin and if so, did it give you sides?
    And where did you purchase your topical Dut? What is Strut?

    1. I tried a topical fin + min but had to stop because I felt like the min was causing more shedding and dry scalp than helping anything. The topical dut I got is a gel that is much easier to apply and has really helped with my overly oily scalp. Strut is the website where I ordered it. Itskind of my last ditch effort to try to stabilize my shedding before I called it quits and just let it go.

  18. Woofy97! , Jan! what do you guys think of this ? Do you think they might be like tissuse or Replicel ?

  19. Well, at least Jesus had hair-going by the old frescos. I doubt they would’ve painted him with a u-hawk! God it seems, wasn’t so kind when dolling out the hair genes to us mere mortals.

  20. Mark I wouldn’t get too hyped about this guy he’s basically tsuji, just tsuji told us a specific year and this guy hasn’t and that upset people now people are hyped about this new player. I’ll believe it when it’s tested on human. These researchers need to walk the walk instead of talk the talk.

  21. Hi DH, thanks for your response. I pondered trying topical Dut but I’m hesitant because of it’s long half life. Oral fin gave me bad sides and topical fin lowered my bp and gave bad chest pain. Low bp is an uncommon side effect of fin. My cardiologist immediately pointed it out to me when I told her about my experience.

  22. Hey yall …. So, I am back in here after taking a year and a half off and I see nothing has changed. I have decided to go ahead with the Hair Transplant procedure. I am hoping to have it done by January. Also hoping that in 10-15 years when I may need another transplant that this whole hair loss thing is cured and I won’t need one.

    1. I’m thinking of doing the same. Been Hanging round waiting for the cure right round for the last 10 years.

  23. Question for Admin / Anyone Who Knows The Answer:

    The more I look at “success” stories and pictures of people who had regrown hair, the only ones I find truly impressive are the ones where someone has been transitioning.

    So, at the risk of stating the obvious or sounding like a Bro Scientist, that strongly suggests that the hormones are a key area that scientists should be focussing on.

    I’ve read about a couple of drugs (like Spironolactone), and they seem to have good results with hair growth. The problem, unless you are transitioning, is that they can “castrate” you (not my words).

    So, my question is this: Is there a middle ground? A drug that can help without affecting your sex hormones etc?

  24. Anyone have diffuse thinning everywhere even in the donor area? Is this incredibly unusual?
    I have been on rogaine and even avodart for years with no success. Ironically I added Nizoral consistently and this cut the shedding in half already so I’m not sure what that means.
    I have no doubt there must be an AGA male latter on loss occurring but I suspect something else is also compounding this.

  25. Thank you for the article, but may I please ask you admin do you really think they will start human trials next year especially after the major earthquake that happened yesterday? And if so what timeline of a commercial release date?

  26. I’ll drink another beer to that.. Thanks, Sir Admin. Let’s hope 2023 is the year. Until then, lots of FUE plus SMP plus very short buzz cut plus tan plus exercise will keep you looking young.

      1. Yep we are haha maybe we can get something from kintor the next years…..but the rest ll take 15 to 20 years….

  27. Meanwhile HanBio is moving forward:

    “With the approval of the cell treatment facility last year, the entry into preclinical trials, and the recent approval for the manufacturing of advanced biopharmaceuticals, we are standing at a very important start line for the fundamental and complete solution of the hair loss problem that Hanmo Bio is planning.”

    That’s one bold statement. Looking forward to their results this (!) year.

  28. More nonsense, I been hearing about potential cures for the past 45 years with only poor to no results from a couple products: minoxidil and finasteride. Until you see clear real result, not enhanced photos, don’t get excited. I cure will come some, day but 50 years from now is more realistic. The products you are talking about today are just more nonsense.

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