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RepliCel Collaborates with University of British Columbia to Build World-Class Hair Follicle Cell Data Map

By July 7, 2017No Comments

RepliCel Life Sciences Inc. is pleased to announce it has signed a collaborative research project agreement with the University of British Columbia (“UBC”).  The project will be co-lead by the UBC’s Dr. Kevin McElwee and Professor Youwen Zhou.

The project is designed to deliver a gene and protein expression “map” of healthy hair follicle cells expected to be critically important to improving key components of the manufacturing, regulatory, and clinical profile of RepliCel’s cell therapy products.

“We are very excited to be working with UBC on a project we’ve spent considerable time designing to mature our understanding of the cell populations we work with to improve our product manufacturing, clinical outcomes, and assays critical to regulatory approval and commercialization,” stated RepliCel President and CEO, R. Lee Buckler.

This study will examine different cell groups from human hair follicles and look for differences, and similarities, in gene and protein expression. Additionally, the project will analyze array data from select subjects who participated in RepliCel’s phase I/IIa clinical trial of its RCH-01 product in development for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia which completed earlier this year. This includes data from patients who had the best clinical hair growth response at six months and a sustained positive response at 24 months.

In the study with UBC, the gene expression profiles of the cultured cells from these clinical trial subjects who had a strong hair growth response will be compared to the gene expression profile of subjects who had a reduced hair growth response. The analysis is anticipated to allow RepliCel to better identify specific genes with high or low expression in the cultured cells that correspond to strong hair growth promotion.

About Professor Youwen Zhou, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Youwen Zhou is a physician scientist who is a Professor at UBC’s Department of Dermatology and Skin Science.  He received his BS degree from Nankai University, China, a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the State University of New York, and an MD degree from the University of Toronto. After completing dermatology specialty training at UBC, he joined UBC Faculty of Medicine as a physician scientist in dermatology in 2000, and was promoted to full professor in 2013. He founded the UBC Molecular Medicine Lab and Chieng Genomics Center at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) with infrastructure funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation in 2001. Dr Zhou’s research is centered on biomarkers of skin diseases such as skin lymphoma, melanoma, and vitiligo, using a wide variety of methods and approaches, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS), linkage analysis, next generational sequencing, transcriptional profiling, cellular and animal models, as well as genome editing.

Dr Zhou has published more than 100 articles in journals such as Nature, Cell, Nature Genetics, and Blood, and holds multiple patents in skin lymphoma diagnostic biomarkers. In 2013, Dr Zhou was awarded a Barney Usher Award for Outstanding Achievements in Dermatology Research from the Canadian Dermatology Association. Dr Zhou specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers and skin pigmentation disorders, and is a consultant dermatologist at Vancouver General Hospital and British Columbia Cancer Agency. He teaches graduate students, medical students, dermatology residents and postdoctoral fellows. Dr Zhou is the past president of the Canadian Society of Investigative Dermatology, and served as a board member for Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA). He is also a grant reviewer for CIHR, the Canadian Dermatology Foundation, and the Natural Sciences Foundation of China.

About Dr. Kevin McElwee, Ph.D.

Dr. Kevin McElwee is an Associate Professor at the UBC’s Department of Dermatology and Skin Sciences and Director of the Hair Research Laboratory at VCHRI. His research is funded by competitive grants awarded by multiple organizations including the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Dr. McElwee is one of only a small group of research scientists worldwide who studies hair biology and associated diseases. He has worked as a hair research scientist for 19 years and has published over 100 medical journal articles, as well as research abstracts and academic book chapters on hair loss research. Dr. McElwee received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and his PhD from the University of Dundee, Scotland. Postdoctoral training included three years at the Jackson Laboratory in Maine and four years at the University of Marburg, Germany, studying hair loss diseases and hair biology. Dr. McElwee is a co-discoverer and patent holder of RepliCel’s technology and continues to serve as the Company’s Chief Scientific Officer.

About RepliCel Life Sciences

RepliCel is a regenerative medicine company focused on developing autologous cell therapies that address conditions caused by a deficit of healthy cells required for normal tissue healing and function. The Company’s product pipeline is comprised of three clinical-stage products:  RCT-01 for tendon repair, RCS-01 for skin rejuvenation and RCH-01 for hair restoration. RCH-01 is under exclusive license by Shiseido Company for certain Asian countries. All product candidates are based on RepliCel’s innovative technology, utilizing cell populations isolated from a patient’s healthy hair follicles.

RepliCel is also developing a proprietary injection device (RCI-02) optimized for the administration of its products and licensable for use with other dermatology applications. Please visit for additional information.

For more information, please contact:
Lee Buckler, CEO and President