I hope you all enjoy this edition of Weekly Thoughts.
Tsuji Labs Backed By Major Partner
Dr. Takashi Tsuji of the Riken Research Institute has found a sponsor for his potential game changing hair growth research. Meiji Seika Pharma has agreed to pay the way for Dr. Tsuji to do the work necessary to determine if his groundbreaking stem cell research is applicable to humans. Tsuji has previously shown the ability to regenerate hair and teeth in mice using unique and advanced stem cell R&D techniques. The partnership will be a three year agreement where Meiji Seika will pay the costs for Tsuji to continue his research at Riken Institute. In exchange for their charitable work with Tsuji, Meiji Seika will acquire the rights to commercialize the hair growth product if the research proves a success in humans.
This is really good. I think it’s something a lot of people have been wishing for. A major pharma company has put up a lot of money to bring one of the very best stem cell researcher’s work to fruition. What’s even better is that this research happens to be located in Japan, which has laws to expedite stem cell medicine to market. We’ll have to be a bit patient on this one, though, this might just be the most promising science we’ve heard of.
One of my favorite little gems from Sweden, Follicum, continues to post noteworthy updates on their website. This latest press release mentions that 10 volunteers have received the maximum dose of FOL-005 with no adverse effects noted. Now, Follicum looks to compose a safety report and present it to the ethics committee of the country they are trialing in to begin their Phase IIa trial. The next trial will include about 30 people receiving multiple doses of FOL-005 per week. Follicum hopes to report on the results from that trial by the end of the year.
Nano-Coated Hair Stem Cells
This news was released a few months ago, but I was in the midst of moving at the time and did not get around to posting it.
Researchers from China and Canada have developed a new tissue engineering technique that can be applied to hair regeneration. The technique involves coating hair follicle stem cells with a polymer based clothing that contains biological nutrients. In the case of this research they chose to load the coated dermal papillae cells with FGF2, or fibroblast growth factror 2. First the hair cells are coated with gelatin, then a composition of FGF2, and an outer layer of gelatin. This nano-coating technology provides protection for the cells, and a source of nutrition which creates a more natural environment for the cells to thrive and produce hair. Mice that were injected with the coated hair cells did grow an abundant amount of terminal hair. The researchers involved in this study, Zhi-Qu Hu and Malcolm Zing are working to move this research into human clinical studies.