Shiseido Co., Ltd. is set to open the Shiseido Cell-Processing and Expansion Center (SPEC) on May 1, 2014. The center, located in the in the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster in Kobe, will centralize research and development on hair regenerative medicine with an aim toward commercialization, the company said.
Regenerative medicine in Japan is an emerging industry which the government aims to foster through new legislation and revisions to existing law as part of economic reform strategies, in order to advance in this field, said Shiseido, which has a long history of conducting comprehensive research and working towards commercialization of the regenerative medicine for hair.
With the goal of clinical application of regenerative medicine to treat alopecia and thinning hair, Shiseido concluded a technical collaboration agreement in July 2013 with a Canadian bio-venture company RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. acquiring an exclusive geographic license to use RepliCel Hair-01 (RCH-01) hair regeneration technology in the entire Asian region.
According to Shiseido, RCH-01 has been developed over 10 years of scientific research, and safe application in humans has been validated by RepliCel’s phase 1 clinical trial. RepliCel has patents issued for hair follicle mesenchymal stem cells and their usage in Japan, the US, Australia and the EU. RCH-01 is an “autologous cell transplantation technology” in which specific cells isolated from the hair follicles taken from the scalp of a patient are cultured and implanted (injected) into the balding scalp area, potentially stimulating residing hair follicles and promoting new growth in the balding scalp area.