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Japan : KYOCERA, RIKEN and Organ Technologies Launch Joint Research in Regenerative Medicine to Treat Hair Loss.

Kyocera Corporation, RIKEN national science institute and Organ Technologies Inc. announced today a partnership to develop technologies and products for treating alopecia (hair loss) through the regeneration of hair follicles. The companies aim to put the technologies into practical use in 2020.

Common types of hair loss include androgenic alopecia, congenital alopecia, cicatricial or scarring alopecia, and telogen effluvium alopecia among women. Currently, it is said that there are more than 18 million patients with alopecia in Japan alone. Because alopecia can influence the quality of life, many diverse treatments, including hair growth formulas, hair loss inhibitors and autografting of individual hair follicles, have been utilized with mixed results. Because no existing treatment not even surgical autografting can increase the number of hair follicles, any viable method of regenerating hair follicles has great potential to succeed where other methods fail.

The Laboratory for Organ Regeneration of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) has demonstrated that the regeneration of many organs, including teeth, hair follicles and secretory glands, is functionally possible. The hair follicle is the only organ known to regenerate repeatedly after birth (hair cycles). In 2012, the research team isolated epithelial stem cells and follicle dermal papilla cells (mesenchymal stem cells) from the follicles of mature mouse whiskers and body hair and used them to develop a technology for the regeneration of follicular primordium by utilizing an organ primordium technology previously developed by the same team. Transplanting the regenerated follicular primordium into hairless mice results in the growth of regenerative follicles, thus demonstrating the feasibility of hair shaft regeneration. The transplanted primordium also forms connections with surrounding tissues (arrector pili muscle and nerves) and repeats normal hair cycles. Furthermore, this method allows control of the hair color by adding pigment stem cells, and the number of hair follicles regenerated, elevating its potential for the aesthetic treatment of alopecia. In addition, the RIKEN research team has succeeded in using iPS cells to regenerate functional skin organ systems in mice, including all follicles, sebaceous glands, and skin tissues, thus leading the world in organ regeneration technology.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jul 13, 2016
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