The centre will carry out research and development of regenerative medicine for hair, the company says – an area which holds huge potential, and is estimated to be as large as approximately 200 billion yen in Japan alone.
The centre comes on the back of the company’s acquisition of the exclusive geographic licence to use RepliCel’s RCH-01 regeneration technology across Asia last year.
“Shiseido has a long history of conducting comprehensive research and working towards commercialization of the regenerative medicine for hair,” the company has noted in a statement.
RCH-01, the technology Shiseido currently holds under licence from RepliCel in Asia, is an “autologous cell transplantation technology” in which cells from hair follicles taken from a patient are cultured and injected into the balding scalp area.
This process has the aim of potentially stimulating residing hair follicles, and promoting new growth in the balding scalp area.
The move to open the research facility suggests Shiseido will now be focusing its efforts onto creating methods and products of its own.
“Due to highly anticipated growth in this industry and newly adopted changes in the legal framework, Shiseido has decided to enter into regenerative medicine,” it confirmed.
The Tokyo-based company has worked on hair research since it was formed in 1872, producing a number of tonics and oils, using its origin in pharmacology as an advantage. It has also been promoting scalp and hair biology research from genetic and cellular levels for several years.
The domestic market scale of regenerative medicine is said to be approximately 9 billion yen, with new measures, such as oral intake of drugs with an androgen suppression effect, having been promoted in medical institutions in recent years.
The development of new technologies, such as injection of growth factors for hair cells into scalps, etc, has also been promoted lately.
It comes up against a hurdle, though, in the fact that these oral treatment drugs cannot be applied to women. This may provide a potential space for growth in the sector.