Aderans Research Institute (ARI) is currently in the middle of Phase II trials of its much-anticipated, much-delayed new cellular hair regeneration technology. The company hopes to “encourage” follicular cells to reproduce themselves via a method ARI calls the Ji Gami™ process, resulting in a virtually unlimited number of hair-generating cellular units produced. During this process, a small piece of tissue is removed from the neckline. Cells are cultivated in controlled conditions where they are encouraged to multiply by the addition of proprietary growth media. When enough new cells are formed, they are returned to the scalp, where they are injected and elicit new hair growth and thickness, ultimately producing more hair than the client had before. Candidates for hair regeneration may no longer be limited by the number of hairs on their head. ARI envisions a time when crowns (vertex) can be covered with full, natural hair regardless of the degree of hair loss.
The cell multiplication process, which involves a proprietary technology and “cooking” process, takes about 10 to 20 days. The cells are produced in ARI’s 8,000-square-foot laboratory facility in Atlanta, Georgia.
Conventional hair loss treatments, including hair transplants, run into a common problem: The limited amount of hair on a person’s head limits the degree of “redistribution” possible with transplants. For men with severe male pattern baldness especially, there is often an insufficient amount of hair remaining on the back of the head to provide a cosmetically satisfying result.
ARI’s new hair cloning technology could solve this problem… if it works. Several attempts have been made to create a viable hair cloning technology but the results, so far, have been limited. A common problem is that the hair that results tends to be very fine which also does not provide a cosmetically pleasing result.
ARI’s Phase II trial, which began in late 2008 and concludes in 2012, monitors patients for a full year after they have been injected with the regenerated cells. More than half the study participants so far have shown “significant” hair growth one year after administration, the company says.
“Interim data from the early stage of Phase II shows that about 50 to 70 percent of trial subjects are responding at a level that’s at least as good as anything that’s out there for growing hair, and we expect the later stage to get even better,” CEO Ken Washenik, Ph.D., said.
ARI treatments are entirely autologous. That means that ARI only attempts to generate hair growth using the participant’s own hair cells. No foreign growth media, such as plant- or animal-derived growth factors, are involved. When the cultivated follicles are restored to the participant’s scalp, he or she is receiving only his or her hair cells. This serum-free process delivers a degree of safety from complications unique to the field, the company says.
So far, Aderans has invested an estimated $100 million in its follicle cell multiplication technology and expects to spend an additional $50 million. The company is owned by the Japanese conglomerate Aderans Co., Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturers of wigs, which also owns the hair transplant giant Bosley.
To see more on ARI’s hair cloning technology, watch the update on the company’s hair multiplication technology presented by Dr. Ken Washenik during the 4th International Congress Research Against Hair Loss.
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