Cell therapy: Scientific breakthrough treats signs of ageing

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Cell therapy for ageing
With almost two decades of cell therapy experience, Lee Buckler, President and CEO of RepliCel Life Sciences, has pioneered cell science approaches in the field of regenerative medicine. We continued our conversation on how RepliCel's scientific findings are making an impact on the anti-ageing sector.

Buckler emphasises how today, one in three Americans suffer from pattern baldness, ageing and sun-damaged skin, and chronic tendon degeneration. By using the patient’s own cells to regrow hair, regenerate tendons, and rejuvenate skin, RepliCel is targeting dermatologists and other aesthetic clinics through its cellular approach to ageing. 

Hair loss

RepliCel’s advanced cellular regeneration procedure is being developed to treat hair loss, which can affect up 70% of men and 40% of women.

Lee Buckler, President and CEO of RepliCel Life Sciences, describes the process that takes place when providing hair care solutions: “We take a single stitch biopsy from the back of a patient's head then isolate one of two different cell populations that we have in development.”

“We then manufacture millions of the targeted cells and cryopreserve the final product in vials ready to be shipped to the clinic on-demand,”​ Buckler added.

RepliCel cell therapy effectively reaches target areas, protecting consumers from hair loss, as “the cells injected for androgenetic alopecia are immune to the condition and kickstart the growth of new hair fibres in follicles which had previously stopped producing hair”.

Dermatology focus

Protecting consumers from the damaging effects of the environment is also a core area of R&D for RepliCel: “The cells injected for the treatment of sun damaged or ageing skin are highly prolific of tissue building proteins particularly type 1 collagen,”​ Buckler described.

“Once injected, these cells initiate the production of collagen and the protection of ongoing collagen degradation in a way which is expected to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance,”​ Buckler added. 

RepliCel is focusing on innovation around unique dermal injection technologies, proprietary cell isolation and manufacturing technologies, and unique cell delivery systems. The company is now focusing on developing its patented dermal injection device to deliver cells, dermal fillers, drug and biologics.

“It has been specifically designed for the shallow even dispersion of dermal fillers for the treatment of fine wrinkles,”​ said Buckler. The product, which aims to reduce the need for local aesthetics by numbing the skin prior to injection, is expected to be approved for commercial distribution in 2018.

Developments so far

After undergoing a randomised clinical trial, active licensing discussions are currently underway regarding RepliCel’s tendon repair product. Supporting its product safety and clinical potential for tendon regeneration and healing, the data revealed a 15.3% improvement in total score compared to baseline.

Following clinical trials relating to dermal rejuvenation, RepliCel has also announced efficacy at six and 12 months, stating that its product “is very safe and has the potential to reverse effects of ageing skin”​.

Actively seeking partners in APAC countries for its dermatology and tendon products, RepliCel hopes to develop further partnerships to the one it has formed with Japanese player, Shiseido.  

Shiseido is funding RepliCel's technological R&D for its pattern baldness product. Reporting how its five-year clinical trial has firmly established product safety and confirmed its ongoing clinical and product development strategy, the cellular-based technology provider is gearing up for a potential near-term market launch, with data anticipated for 2018.

RepliCel's injectable cell therapies comply with multiple industry standards including The Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) in Japan and the Food and Drug Administration in the US.

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