I didn’t think SkinTE would be a solution to hair loss from the beginning. Their approach to this technology has a long way to go to produce cosmetically useful hair on the scalp. They are touting “polarization” as their approach to regenerating “full-thickness skin” – meaning the cells are aligned along a “pole” with certain cells at the top and certain cells at the bottom – like in real skin… but they admit in their own patent that their product is “minimally polarized”. The problem is that to get working hair follicles you need fully polarized tissue, at least for the hair follicles. The degree of “polarization” in SkinTE is almost negligible. I think they’re touting this to get a market position as a solution for skin grafting which is marginally better than the alternatives that are on the market right now… But it will be a long time until they turn this approach into viable hair follicles, if they ever do it.
My understanding of Dr. Tsuji and Dr. Fukuda’s work is that they actually ARE creating fully polarized “hair follicle germs”… that is, they are placing epithelial cells on the bottom and cultured HF stem cells on the top. In order to reliably induce a brand new working follicle, apparently you have to have both types of cells, and they need to be positioned exactly like that (a layer of HF cells on top of the layer of epithelial/DP cells), oriented in that way with respect to the skin and the dermal-epidermal junction.
So, SkinTE is basically a medical startup that produces marginally better skin grafts (with a lot of similar competition on the market in that field), and they’re trying to turn it into a money-making proposition to license to hospitals and practitioners, and hair regeneration is a lower priority for them… while Drs. Tsuji and Fukuda are concentrating 100% on building new hair follicles.
Which do you think is more promising?