Shiseido Co., Ltd. announced plans 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, Japan, will centralize research and development on hair regenerative medicine, with an aim toward commercialization.
With the goal of clinical application of using 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. 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 U.S., 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.
SPEC will be located in the Business Support Center for Biomedical Research Activities, a core facility in the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster consisting of research and CPC sections. It has been built to provide support and space for research and commercialization of regenerative medicine.