Wanna beat the bald? Shiseido starts research on hair regenerative medicine
According to a recent study, a third of men suffering hair loss claimed it affected their confidence, whilst one in 10 men said they would give up a year of their life for hair; outlining the demand in the market.
This newly set up framework agreement on a collaboration and technology transfer contract between Shiseido and RepliCel Life Sciences, is not gender specific in its research and will initially target the entire Asian region regarding the introduction of their "hair regenerative medicine technology (RCH-01)".
Having paid a 400 million yen contract fee, Shiseido will combine RepliCel's hair regenerative medicine technology and its own technology and aim to commercialize safe and effective hair regenerative medicine that integrates beauty and medicine to help those concerned about pattern baldness and thinning hair.
The Tokyo-based company has worked on hair research since it was formed in 1872, producing a number of tonics and oils, using its origin in pharmacology as an advantage. It has also been promoting scalp and hair biology research from genetic and cellular levels.
Regenerative medicine is a method that treats illness through self-regeneration functions by implanting human origin tissues/cells.
The technology being introduced from RepliCel is an autologous cell implantation technology, which has become the mainstream technology from the perspectives of safety and avoiding side effects of immune rejection.
The domestic market scale of regenerative medicine is currently said to be approximately 9 billion yen. Shiseido will also promote a full-scale entry in this field, which expects extremely high growth.
Pattern baldness and thinning hair-related market scale, including hair implantation, wigs, hair growth support, and hair growth agents (medicated products and quasi-drugs), holds huge potential and is estimated to be as large as approximately 200 billion yen in Japan alone.
In addition, new measures, such as oral intake of drugs with an androgen suppression effect, have been promoted in medical institutions in recent years.
They have also been promoting the development of new technologies, such as injection of growth factors for hair cells into scalps, etc. On the other hand, there is also the issue that these oral treatment drugs cannot be applied to women.
RepliCel's hair regenerative medicine technology being adopted by Shiseido works by having specific cells isolated from the scalp of a patient, then replicated and injected into the balding scalp skin in order to rejuvenate damaged hair follicles to promote the healthy hair growth.