Shiseido to trial baldness ‘cure’ for planned commercial launch in 2018

Find full article here online, at The Asahi Shimbun.

By: TOMOYUKI IZAWA/ Staff Writer

Major cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. plans to grow into the baldness treatment market with a regenerative hair loss treatment to be launched in Japan and other Asian countries in 2018.

The company will start a clinical study this year to trial its hair growth revival method.

The method involves cutting off a section of the back of the scalp where hairs still grow. Researchers in medical institutions will remove a circle of the skin with a diameter of about 5 millimeters.

Then, at a laboratory exclusively used for the study, the researchers will extract from the skin the cells that are important for hair growth and artificially increase their numbers through cultivation.

The cultivated cells will be transplanted onto the bald areas of the scalp. This is expected to reactivate the tissues that support hair, leading to the revival of its growth.

The method involves cutting off a much smaller section of skin than is necessary in hair transplants. Furthermore, as the patient’s own cells are used, the risk of rejection that may occur after the cell transplantation will be small, Shiseido said.

The method can be used for both men and women, the company added.

Shiseido will confirm the safety and effects of its method in cooperation with medical doctors engaged in studies on hair, said company Vice President Tsunehiko Iwai.

In 2013, Shiseido entered an agreement on technological cooperation with RepliCel Life Sciences Inc., a Canadian company engaged in developing hair growth revival technologies.

In May 2014, Shiseido set up a facility in Kobe to cultivate and process cells. The following year the company obtained permission from the health ministry to process and manufacture cells.

Shiseido’s hair revival business will not be covered by the national health insurance program.

“The fee to receive the treatment will be at least 100,000 yen ($887),” Iwai said.

By: TOMOYUKI IZAWA/ Staff Writer