Report from Japanese side of Replicel - stem cell law in force at last -
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    Sep 2014

    Default Report from Japanese side of Replicel - stem cell law in force at last


    A law on regenerative medicine and applications of stem cells, passed in November 2013 [1], has entered into force on 25 November 2014. This new legislation allows companies to grow cells with the capacity to regenerate body tissues. So far, only medical institutions were allowed to use the technology.

    In this context, the Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido reaffirmed its ambition to develop a hair restoration technique by culture and growth of cells. Having acquired the technology exploitation rights developed for this purpose by the Canadian RepliCel company in 2013, Shiseido has established a research laboratory in Kobe and works with a medical clinic, with the goal of commercializing this technology by 2018.

    The idea is to take a sample of 5 mm from the scalp at the back of the patient's head (area where typically the follicles remain active throughout life), grow and multiply cells with technology developed by RepliCel, and finally inject the cells into the bald areas of the scalp.

    This implantation of autologous cells (ie from the same person) should allow the resumption of hair growth in these areas, with the major advantage of requiring only a slight response given the size of sample to be taken. In addition, the risk of rejection would be very low and the method could be used regardless of gender and configuration of the patient's alopecia.

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