ACell/Matristem in Canada: What's the status?
I've received many inquiries directed to our Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Program about the use of a product called "Matristem" sometimes also called "ACell". In this week's blog, I'll discuss Matristem, a unique product from the company ACell - and it's current status in Canada
ACell is a US based company that creates products for regenerative medicine. One of these products is Matristem. Matristem is a “porcine urinary bladder matrix,” (essentially a purified product from from pig bladder cells). The Matristem product is helpful in wound healing and is used by wound care specialists. Given the close relationship between wound healing and hair growth, many physicians have been exploring whether Matristem can be combined with platelet rich plasma to enhance results.
Matristem/ACell: Still not allowed to be used in Canada!
Despite it's FDA approval in the United States, ACell/Matristem is not available in Canada and I'm unable to offer it to Canadian patients. I've had numerous discussions with Health Canada and physicians in Canada are not allowed to use the product. Unfortunately there are no exceptions to extend to my patients! There are no exceptions to anyone for regular use. Physician often ask me if it's possible to use - the answer is no! It's against the law to use a product that has not received clearance!
I'll continue my discussions with ACell and Health Canada in the months ahead.
Overall, I'm not too concerned about these restrictions as there has yet to be good comparative studies of Matristem/PRP vs PRP alone. So it remains anyone's guess whether ACell really adds benefit to PRP for hair loss. These studies need to be done, need to be published and need to be verified.
ACell's Matristem is a unique product and I look forward to it someday being available in Canada for me to use. Right now, we're constantly modifying our own PRP technique to optimize results for men and women with hair loss.
Check on the status:
Interested individuals can check on the status of Matristem anytime, by entering Matristem into the search criteria of the Health Canada guide:
It doesn't come up now - but when it does, I'll look forward to reviewing the evidence as to whether it helps or not before offering it to my patients.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299