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A 14 strong team of respected medical experts have come together to issue a stark warning. They want to highlight bad practice in a growing stem cell industry and urge the public towards doing their homework.
Stem Cell Therapy
Make no mistake, stem cell therapies are making their way into serious medical applications. They are already making a difference to lives and providing doctors with new therapies and alternative, improved options for treating their patients.
For well over a decade, stem cells have been used in recuperative medicine for their ability to enhance rates of recovery. That last decade has seen a jaw-dropping range of stem cell-based therapies come to market. While some, like platelet-rich plasma, have been well researched and have the authority of clinical trials to support their use, many others do not.
One treatment, widely available, came in for specific criticism. The practice of selling non-viable birth tissues as live “stem cell” products to cure chronic disease. It is a market populated by naturopaths and acupuncturists as well as chiropractors and doctors… not to mention what are described as “mid-level” providers.
A team of 14 highly regarded doctors, scientists, and regulatory experts came together to amplify their voices. They delivered a damning indictment on sections of the stem cell business. In regard to the selling of amniotic and cord blood products to desperate patients looking for an effective treatment, they were damning. Marketers were scathed for taking full-page newspaper ads and delivering seminars to promote their use, and distributed sales material that cites clinical data to claim efficacy and safety. In fact, no such clinical evidence exists. Worse still, examinations of the contents of commercially available amniotic and blood cord products showed no live or functional stem cells. There were growth factors present, but in much smaller quantities than are found in platelet-rich plasma and other orthobiological products.
HIS Hair Clinic
Sufferers from hair loss are invariably targetted by these edge of the envelope treatments. Little wonder, given the huge demand and lack of serious and positive treatment options, and absolutely nothing that holds even the glimmer of a hope that it will return you to a full head of hair. In the words of one doctor on the subject, “If ever there was a case of buyer beware, this is it. There are so many unscrupulous clinics out there…”
So there you have it. From a group of industry heavyweight experts. More than a warning, actually pointing out the degree to which bad practice has already become endemic in their young industry. So do your due diligence carefully, there are some very well presented, qualified even, people out there hoping to separate you from your cash.
If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, simply complete our contact form on this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.
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I used to cover Replicel (Canada) and its Japanese cosmetics behemoth partner Shiseido at least a few times per year until last year. At some point, I got skeptical about the RCH-01 hair loss product being released any time soon.
Besides typical delays, Replicel and Shiseido had some unclear conflicts regarding their partnership.
However, Replicel announced two important updates this month, the second of which is of most interest to us:
Per the first link, the disagreement regarding the status of the agreement between Shiseido and Replicel remains unresolved. However, it is not the subject to any litigation or arbitration.
The key money quote is from the second link:
“While the Company’s RCH-01 product for hair loss due to androgenic alopecia may be launched in Japan much earlier if Shiseido decides to do so, current planning anticipates the potential for all four products to be on the market in Japan by 2022.”
The implication seems to be that:
- Shiseido could release the product well before 2022. See my past post on Shiseido’s research in Kobe.
- Even if Shiseido does not release the product earlier, it will quite possibly get released in 2022 in Japan by Replicel. See my past post on Japan’s new laws fast-tracking stem cell therapies and clinical trials.
Another key quote:
“Unlike anywhere else in the world, one well-designed cell therapy trial in Japan, approved by their regulatory authorities, has the potential to lead to product market launch.”
Replicel is clearly focusing on a “First-in-Japan” strategy due the country’s favorable regulatory environment. Shiseido has rights to the Asian market when it comes to RCH-01, but it seems like Replicel can still release the product in Japan in 2022 if Shiseido does not do so?
Hard to make this conclusion for certain without knowing much more about the two companies’ legal contract. In any case, this is a great development.
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