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#1
By Cheng-Ming Chuong

Cheng-Ming Chuong is Professor of Tissue Development and Regeneration at University of Southern California.

Shaved heads have come in and out of fashion over the past few decades, but some people don’t have the option of allowing their locks to grow. Thankfully, for those who do suffer from hair loss, or alopecia, help may be at hand. Somewhat counter-intuitively an effective treatment for baldness may come from plucking a certain number of hairs – in a specific formation – from the scalp.

Hair follicles – the skin organ responsible for hair growth – contain stem cells that constantly divide, they are the driving force behind new hair growth. A healthy hair follicle produces about six inches of hair every year, but if the follicle stem cells malfunction and stop dividing, hair growth ceases and conditions such alopecia are observed.

Androgenic alopecia – or male pattern baldness – is the most common form of hair loss and will effect around two-thirds of men and one-third of women during their lifetime.

Regeneration response

Our recent study, published in Cell, and completed on a mouse model, is unique because it not only studies the regeneration of a single hair follicle, but focuses on the regrowth of several follicles that had previously been effected by alopecia.

We demonstrated that plucking a few properly arranged hairs can trigger regeneration of hair follicles stem cells in up to five times more neighbouring, un-plucked surrounding hairs.

It is not surprising that follicle stem cell injury – caused by plucking – can cause a regeneration response. But, generally the stimulation of one stem cell through injury is only thought to cause regeneration in that stem cell alone. Triggering the regeneration of a whole head of hair in this way would be highly inefficient. But can the regeneration response of several stem cells be triggered by stimulating only a few key cells or signals?

Decision making in stem cell populations

Recently, we accidentally discovered that regeneration could occur through a collective decision-making process. By plucking the correct number of hairs with a proper arrangement, up to five times more neighbouring, unplucked resting hairs were activated to regrow. But if the number of plucked hairs was below a threshold, no hairs regenerated.

This type of regeneration is an all-or-nothing process which is dependent on the signals produced by a fraction of hairs being plucked, and is an example of the process known as “quorum sensing”.

Quorum sensing can be thought of as a decision-making process which is dependant on certain criteria being met within a population. Signalling molecules are released by each stimulated component of the population, the more components that are stimulated the more signal molecules are released. As the elements in the system are able sense the number of signal molecules released by the population as a whole, they can also sense the degree of stimulation. When a certain threshold of stimulation is reached, a collective response from the components in the system will follow.

The process of quorum sensing has been used to describe bacteria cell-to-cell communication, where the expression of certain genes is coordinated between many bacteria in response to environmental factors such as an increase in the presence of bacterial toxins. Quorum sensing has also been used successfully to explain the behaviour of social insects such as ants and honey bees for their collective decision-making.

Cast and count

But in reality, how does the population of hair follicles “cast and count its vote” in quorum sensing?

First, there is a stimulus – such as hair plucking, which stimulates follicle stem cells – to some, but not all, hair follicles.

Second, the plucked hair sends out a signal to surrounding cells.

Third, the group of cells gauges the intensity of signal from its surroundings.

Finally, a local decision is made within the population in an all-or-nothing fashion: if enough hairs have been plucked, mass hair regrowth will occur, but if not, there will be no response at all.

In the most simple cases of quorum sensing, the signal molecule spreads by diffusion from the secreting cell. But it was found that the signals being released by plucked hair follicles were travelling further than could be achieved by simple diffusion, suggesting that a something more complicated was involved.

Molecular and genetic analysis revealed that the signals were transmitted through a two-step immune response, triggered by the plucking of the hair follicle. First injured hair follicle stem cells will release a small signal molecule, this recruits a specific cell type involved in the immune response called a macrophage (HMMMM… remember these guys" http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002002). This then secretes a signal molecule involved in the immune response called a cytokine, which acts directly on surrounding hair follicle cells by stimulating various cellular regeneration signal pathways (hmmmmm… http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25866259).

Repair and regeneration

This work shows that a quorum-sensing system can sense cell injury and use immune response to quantify how much damage has occurred. The stem cell population then disregards the stimulus if the minimum number of hairs has not been plucked, or responds to it with a full-scale regenerative response in many hair follicles when a threshold is reached.

This finding also is important in the field of regeneration medicine as a whole. We believe that the quorum-sensing behaviour principle is likely to be present in the regeneration of tissue and organs beyond the skin. Using such efficient regenerative strategies opens a new window in treating hair loss as well as many other degenerative disorders.

000000000 SEPARATE ARTICLE QUOTE:

“By coupling immune response with regeneration, this mechanism allows skin to respond predictively to distress, disregarding mild injury, while meeting stronger injury with full-scale cooperative activation of stem cells,” the authors write. Could it be a cure for male pattern baldness?

Chuong says that “it will help in the future.” However, he notes, “It is not very practical to go and pluck human hairs. We are working to find out more molecule signals related to this quorum sensing behavior. Hopefully, we can just apply the molecules to help treat human [baldness].”


#2

Lasers Surg Med. 2015 Apr 10. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22330. [Epub ahead of print]
Enhancing hair follicle regeneration by nonablative fractional laser: Assessment of irradiation parameters and tissue response.
Wu YF1, Wang SH, Wu PS, Fan SM, Chiu HY, Tsai TH, Lin SJ.
Author information

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
Identification of methods to enhance anagen entry can be helpful for alopecia. Recently, nonablative laser has been proposed as a potential treatment for alopecia. However, how the laser parameters affect stem cell activity, hair cycles and the associated side effects have not been well characterized. Here we examine the effects of irradiation parameters of 1,550-nm fractional laser on hair cycles.
STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The dorsal skin of eight-week-old female C57BL/6 mice with hair follicles in synchronized telogen was shaved and irradiated with a 1,550-nm fractional erbium-glass laser (Fraxel RE:STORE (SR1500) Laser System, Solta Medical, U.S.A.) with varied beam energies (5-35 mJ) and beam densities (500-3500 microthermal zones/cm2 ). The cutaneous changes were evaluated both grossly and histologically. Hair follicle stem cell activity was detected by BrdU incorporation and changes in gene expression were quantified by real-time PCR.
RESULTS:
Direct thermal injury to hair follicles could be observed early after irradiation, especially at higher beam energy. Anagen induction in the irradiated skin showed an all-or-non change. Anagen induction and ulcer formation were affected by the combination of beam energy and density. The lowest beam energy of 5 mJ failed to promote anagen entry at all beam densities tested. As beam energy increased from 10 mJ to 35 mJ, we found a decreasing trend of beam density that could induce anagen entry within 7-9 days with activation of hair follicle stem cells. Beam density above the pro-regeneration density could lead to ulcers and scarring followed by anagen entry in adjacent skin. Analysis of inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, revealed that transient moderate inflammation was associated with anagen induction and intense prolonged inflammation preceded ulcer formation.
CONCLUSION:
To avoid side effects of hair follicle injury and scarring, appropriate combination of beam energy and density is required. Parameters outside the therapeutic window can result in either no anagen promotion or ulcer formation. Lasers Surg. Med. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


#3

I wish it were more simple, but some sort of wounding protocol is going to give us our hair back befor SB, Lauster etc. do


#4

Roger, I was just trolling you, no hard feelings

Earlier work from author’s of laser study i posted:

Hair follicles are located at the interface of the external and internal environments and their cycling has been shown to be regulated by intra- and extra-follicular factors. The aim of this study is to examine whether or how hair follicles respond to visible light.

Study Design/Materials and Methods
We examined the effect of 3 mW red (630 nm, 1 J/cm2), 2 mW green (522 nm, 1 J/cm2), and 2 mW blue light (463 nm, 1 J/cm2) on telogen in mice for 3 weeks. The photobiologic effects of red light on cell proliferation of outer root sheath keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells were studied in vitro.

Results
We found that red light accelerated anagen entry faster than green and blue light in mice. Red light irradiation stimulated the proliferation of both outer root sheath keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells in a dose-dependent manner by promoting cell cycle progression. This stimulative effect was mediated via extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in both cells. In a co-culture condition, dermal papilla cells irradiated by red light further enhanced keratinocyte proliferation, suggesting enhanced epithelial-mesenchymal interaction. In search for factors that mediated this paracrine effect, we found fibroblast growth factor 7 was upregulated in both mRNA and protein levels. The stimulative paracrine effect on keratinocytes was significantly inhibited by neutralizing antibody against fibroblast growth factor 7.

Conclusions
These results suggest that hair follicles respond to visible light in vivo. Red light may promote physiological telogen to anagen transition by directly stimulating outer root sheath keratinocytes and indirectly by enhancing epithelial-mesenchymal interaction in vitro. Lasers Surg. Med. 47:50–59, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


#5

OK, no hard feelings.

Anyway I wanted to state my big reasons for skepticism about this Dr. Chuong “plucking” idea. I’m not disputing his chops as a serious and highly qualified researcher or his sincere desire to pursue something useful to treat MPB.

In a nutshell, though, this plucking and “quorum sensing” thing that he’s talking about has been tested ONLY on mice, using mouse skin and mouse follicles. Hell, they haven’t even taken the logical next step, which is to graft human skin on the backs of mice to see if it can work on human follicles.

And as we know, mouse fur is actually very different from human hair follicles, and responds very differently to all kinds of drugs and stimuli. We’ve seen this time and time again, with researcher after researcher.

Note that Sanford-Burnham has tested their stem cell into DP cell technique using HUMAN cells, using human skin grafted onto mice – and it WORKED.

To compound the above, Dr. Chuong’s work is just a THEORY at this point. Sanford-Burnham’s study isn’t just a theory – they have actually proven it works. Dr. Chuong hasn’t even discovered his putative “molecule” yet which he believes might replicate the mechanical and chemical results of carefully plucking hairs using a mouse model. And that’s IF this type of sequential plucking in some kind of “pattern” will even work on humans in the first place. We have no idea. HE has no idea.

I think the problem is that you are actually judging Sanford-Burnham and these other ideas by two different standards. You’re not even aware of this, but this is what you’re doing.

Sanford-Burnham made its announcement at the end of January 2015, only between 3-4 months ago, and already you’re pronouncing judgment on them and saying they’re “not going anywhere”. What’s up with that?

When they respond to people on their blog something to the effect of “these things take years”, they are absolutely right, and they’re being honest.

But what applies to them – years – applies just as much to Dr. Chuong, Follicept, and all the others. In fact, those people are actually starting the game much further BACK from Sanford-Burnham. Particularly Dr. Chuong, who hasn’t even discovered his target molecule yet. Think about it – a whole era of FDA compliance work, an IND application, phase I and II trials, approval requirements, etc. – and no compound yet!

I think you’re subconsciously applying a different standard to Sanford-Burnham, because they have made a very strong, and perhaps shocking, claim. Part of you doesn’t want to believe that and wants to maintain your skepticism. That’s an unconscious mental self-protective mechanism going on that you’re not even aware of.

Let’s keep it logical and objective. We’re not researchers, we’re not geniuses, but there are certain things that just make sense.

This isn’t an attack against you, but here’s the bottom line: the time-to-market has nothing to do with viability of a treatment or the boldness of a researcher’s claims. If they’re adding new drugs to the body, or manipulating human cells, they all have to go through the gauntlet of an FDA approval process.


#6

the reality seems to be that there’s not likely to be anything novel that will help anyone much for at least a decade. so if you have any significant degree of baldness, and finasteride is still helping to stem the tide, you should probably think long and hard about trying to get the most bang for the buck you can get from a hair transplant (or even multiple transplant sessions)


#7

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]

Note that Sanford-Burnham has tested their stem cell into DP cell technique using HUMAN cells, using human skin grafted onto mice – and it WORKED.

[/quote]

Dude, you don’t get it. I am all about Sanford-Burnham. I was the first person to post the study all over the internet (to almost no response). Then later that week we saw all the clickbait “baldness cure” headlines.

I. am. all. for. SB.

I’m just saying it’ll be 5 years until that comes out-- if it ever does. They hopefully do another trial in the next 2 years, then a second trial, then maybe a release in japan… before 2020. That is great. I am happy, but I could use something sooner.

In summary, I’m bummed out that they don’t have a business development guy over there who is pushing harder for this specific discovery… I"m sure they only have so many people working on commercializing their reserach… and this hair finding was one small (and semi-unrelated) research. It seems they mainly deal with cancer, which is probably one of the few more profitable cures to find other than baldness. This is just the vibe I get from them… this is not a #1 priority for their next research initiative.

Roger, have you read the plucking study?


#8

for instance, Alexey (the sb researcher) is a co-author on this (entirely unrelated) paper published this month:

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 14;112(15):E1936-45. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421480112. Epub 2015 Mar 30.
SOX2 primes the epigenetic landscape in neural precursors enabling proper gene activation during hippocampal neurogenesis.
Amador-Arjona A1, Cimadamore F1, Huang CT1, Wright R2, Lewis S1, Gage FH2, Terskikh AV3.
Author information
Abstract
Newborn granule neurons generated from neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in the adult hippocampus play a key role in spatial learning and pattern separation. However, the molecular mechanisms that control activation of their neurogenic program remain poorly understood. Here, we report a novel function for the pluripotency factor sex-determining region Y (SRY)-related HMG box 2 (SOX2) in regulating the epigenetic landscape of poised genes activated at the onset of neuronal differentiation. We found that SOX2 binds to bivalently marked promoters of poised proneural genes [neurogenin 2 (Ngn2) and neurogenic differentiation 1 (NeuroD1)] and a subset of neurogenic genes [e.g., SRY-box 21 (Sox21), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf), and growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible, beta (Gadd45b)] where it functions to maintain the bivalent chromatin state by preventing excessive polycomb repressive complex 2 activity. Conditional ablation of SOX2 in adult hippocampal NPCs impaired the activation of proneural and neurogenic genes, resulting in increased neuroblast death and functionally aberrant newborn neurons. We propose that SOX2 sets a permissive epigenetic state in NPCs, thus enabling proper activation of the neuronal differentiation program under neurogenic cue.

Of course, he could have played a minor role as a co-author, but I’m just bummed. My big thing is that they have so much research going on… versus a small company with one product, where they focus soley on moving it forward.


#9

Dr. Terskikh’s main focus at SB is and has always been neurological research on the brain, and using human pluripotent stem cells to combat and cure disorders like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc. He has never been a hair researcher before this, to my knowledge.

It was actually amazingly fortuitous that he took this temporary detour and branched off to pursue stem cell into DP cell research. I am convinced that he is one of the only researchers in the country who: (1) was able to do this legally, or at least by stretching the rules of what he already had permission to do just a little bit; and (2) having the guts and foresight to actually do it.

What he did to push this particular envelope was to take advantage of the fact that DP cells and Central Nervous System cells both have their origin in NEURAL CREST ECTODERM.

This “loophole” allowed Dr. Terskikh to pursue this line of research, briefly, as a branch off of his main line of research (brain disorders). Dr. Terskikh and his team had amazing insight to see this opportunity and seize on it. And, I’d say he could easily argue that it is related to his main line of research (since the embryonic origins of the 2 types of cells is the same… so if the FDA came ringing his doorbell, he’d have a reason to justify the experimental detour.)

Getting federal permission to use human embryonic stem cells is extremely difficult and it’s only granted to a small number of researchers who are usually working on “politically important” research considered critical to alleviate human suffering.

Male Pattern Baldness is NOT in that category.

Because of the above, I would say that even high-profile hair loss researchers like Dr. Cotsarelis NEVER had permission to use human embryonic stem cells, and probably would NEVER had been granted such permission – or even asked for it, because he would have felt out of line. That’s why Dr. Cots’ research always “danced around” the issue of stem cells, without actually doing anything with them. In fact, in his famous PGD2 paper which he wrote with Dr. Garza, they actually said that human HF stem cells have never been cultured because they probably can’t, or it’s probably too difficult.

(Note: Dr. Terskikh and company have even gone beyond using HF stem cells – they are simply taking pluripotent stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, and making new “DP” cells from those).

Dr. Terskikh and his colleagues saw a “window of opportunity” that would have been an impossibility for the vast, vast majority of medical researchers in the US. They saw the opportunity and they jumped on it.

If that hadn’t happened, I can guarantee you that it would probably have been 15-20 MORE YEARS for this development to be made, at least in the US.

So we are VERY lucky for what happened at SB.

That is just my opinion, having analyzed this situation.

And now that the “cat is out of the bag”, Sanford-Burnham’s discovery cannot be “un-discovered”, no matter what the FDA says.

It will now be pursued for commercial purposes by someone. Someone, somewhere around the world will probably be doing this commercially long before the FDA grants permission in the US.

That is what is so great about this development.


#10

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]
Dr. Terskikh’s main focus at SB is and has always been neurological research on the brain, and using human pluripotent stem cells to combat and cure disorders like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc. He has never been a hair researcher before this, to my knowledge.

It was actually amazingly fortuitous that he took this temporary detour and branched off to pursue stem cell into DP cell research. I am convinced that he is one of the only researchers in the country who: (1) was able to do this legally, or at least by stretching the rules of what he already had permission to do just a little bit; and (2) having the guts and foresight to actually do it.

What he did to push this particular envelope was to take advantage of the fact that DP cells and Central Nervous System cells both have their origin in NEURAL CREST ECTODERM.

This “loophole” allowed Dr. Terskikh to pursue this line of research, briefly, as a branch off of his main line of research (brain disorders). Dr. Terskikh and his team had amazing insight to see this opportunity and seize on it. And, I’d say he could easily argue that it is related to his main line of research (since the embryonic origins of the 2 types of cells is the same… so if the FDA came ringing his doorbell, he’d have a reason to justify the experimental detour.)

Getting federal permission to use human embryonic stem cells is extremely difficult and it’s only granted to a small number of researchers who are usually working on “politically important” research considered critical to alleviate human suffering.

Male Pattern Baldness is NOT in that category.

Because of the above, I would say that even high-profile hair loss researchers like Dr. Cotsarelis NEVER had permission to use human embryonic stem cells, and probably would NEVER had been granted such permission – or even asked for it, because he would have felt out of line. That’s why Dr. Cots’ research always “danced around” the issue of stem cells, without actually doing anything with them. In fact, in his famous PGD2 paper which he wrote with Dr. Garza, they actually said that human HF stem cells have never been cultured because they probably can’t, or it’s probably too difficult.

(Note: Dr. Terskikh and company have even gone beyond using HF stem cells – they are simply taking pluripotent stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, and making new “DP” cells from those).

Dr. Terskikh and his colleagues saw a “window of opportunity” that would have been an impossibility for the vast, vast majority of medical researchers in the US. They saw the opportunity and they jumped on it.

If that hadn’t happened, I can guarantee you that it would probably have been 15-20 MORE YEARS for this development to be made, at least in the US.

So we are VERY lucky for what happened at SB.

That is just my opinion, having analyzed this situation.

And now that the “cat is out of the bag”, Sanford-Burnham’s discovery cannot be “un-discovered”, no matter what the FDA says.

It will now be pursued for commercial purposes by someone. Someone, somewhere around the world will probably be doing this commercially long before the FDA grants permission in the US.

That is what is so great about this development.[/quote]

Good write up, thanks.

I hope you’re correct


#11

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]
Dr. Terskikh’s main focus at SB is and has always been neurological research on the brain, and using human pluripotent stem cells to combat and cure disorders like Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc. He has never been a hair researcher before this, to my knowledge.

It was actually amazingly fortuitous that he took this temporary detour and branched off to pursue stem cell into DP cell research. I am convinced that he is one of the only researchers in the country who: (1) was able to do this legally, or at least by stretching the rules of what he already had permission to do just a little bit; and (2) having the guts and foresight to actually do it.

What he did to push this particular envelope was to take advantage of the fact that DP cells and Central Nervous System cells both have their origin in NEURAL CREST ECTODERM.

This “loophole” allowed Dr. Terskikh to pursue this line of research, briefly, as a branch off of his main line of research (brain disorders). Dr. Terskikh and his team had amazing insight to see this opportunity and seize on it. And, I’d say he could easily argue that it is related to his main line of research (since the embryonic origins of the 2 types of cells is the same… so if the FDA came ringing his doorbell, he’d have a reason to justify the experimental detour.)

Getting federal permission to use human embryonic stem cells is extremely difficult and it’s only granted to a small number of researchers who are usually working on “politically important” research considered critical to alleviate human suffering.

Male Pattern Baldness is NOT in that category.

Because of the above, I would say that even high-profile hair loss researchers like Dr. Cotsarelis NEVER had permission to use human embryonic stem cells, and probably would NEVER had been granted such permission – or even asked for it, because he would have felt out of line. That’s why Dr. Cots’ research always “danced around” the issue of stem cells, without actually doing anything with them. In fact, in his famous PGD2 paper which he wrote with Dr. Garza, they actually said that human HF stem cells have never been cultured because they probably can’t, or it’s probably too difficult.

(Note: Dr. Terskikh and company have even gone beyond using HF stem cells – they are simply taking pluripotent stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, and making new “DP” cells from those).

Dr. Terskikh and his colleagues saw a “window of opportunity” that would have been an impossibility for the vast, vast majority of medical researchers in the US. They saw the opportunity and they jumped on it.

If that hadn’t happened, I can guarantee you that it would probably have been 15-20 MORE YEARS for this development to be made, at least in the US.

So we are VERY lucky for what happened at SB.

That is just my opinion, having analyzed this situation.

And now that the “cat is out of the bag”, Sanford-Burnham’s discovery cannot be “un-discovered”, no matter what the FDA says.

It will now be pursued for commercial purposes by someone. Someone, somewhere around the world will probably be doing this commercially long before the FDA grants permission in the US.

That is what is so great about this development.[/quote]

Roger I hope you’re right that someone is going to grab this technology soon because of course this technology is the surest bet. But until we hear that someone somewhere (anywhere in the world) has grabbed the technology and is doing a study to make sure it works so that they can market the technology I will not believe it. You see, there are so many ways a technology can get snagged. In the case of SB cells the first barrier to cross is that someone at that school or the school itself owns the technology and that means that someone has to work out a deal with SB in order to use the technology. This alone could take some time. And for all we know SB is not even in serious negotiations yet.

I think you’re looking at 5 years before SB follicles are available so we have no choice but to hope that one of the more iffy treatment candidates surprises us all and grows a lot of hair.

The short-term treatment candidates I’m paying the most attention to are AAPE and Follicept. I actually believe that AAPE will probably work if injected once or twice a week. I’m way more skeptical of Follicept but I haven’t 100% ruled it out yet.


#12

This procedure is patentable and I believe that SB is the process of applying for a patent for this procedure now. I can’t say how I know this, but let’s just say I have it on good evidence.

Does that mean that people in Russia, China, etc. won’t try to duplicate the results and circumvent a patent and introduce the procedure sooner than the FDA will approve it? No… Of course they will, because those countries rarely enforce international intellectual property treaties.

The third alternative is somewhere in-between, i.e. once SB receives its US and international patents, it could lawfully license the procedure to doctors elsewhere in the world, so they could provide the procedure in countries which do not require lengthy trials and regulatory review.


#13

Roger, my main point is that SB is a big organization with a lot on it’s plate and they won’t move as fast on this as a smaller company who’s only product is a hair cure… and that is a bummer.

I want to say that they already filed for a patent, as they can’t file for a patent after they release their paper… however that may have changed under the new first to file laws.


#14

The paper is already released on journals.plos.org. Any publication of the paper anywhere, including online, counts as “prior art” and is sufficient notice to the scientific community that they’ve made this discovery. I don’t believe the new USPTO rule on “first to file” would trump that, as long as SB works diligently to reduce its idea to practice (by preparing a patent application) but then again I’m not a patent lawyer.


#15

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]
The paper is already released on journals.plos.org. Any publication of the paper anywhere, including online, counts as “prior art” and is sufficient notice to the scientific community that they’ve made this discovery. I don’t believe the new USPTO rule on “first to file” would trump that, as long as SB works diligently to reduce its idea to practice (by preparing a patent application) but then again I’m not a patent lawyer.[/quote]

Well, making it prior art is actually a bad thing. If prior art exists, then they can’t file a patent.

However, I want to say the “first-to-file” law means it’s a matter of whoever files first, rather than prior art. In this case, they should be okay if they didn’t file yet.


#16

[quote]Well, making it prior art is actually a bad thing. If prior art exists, then they can’t file a patent.

However, I want to say the “first-to-file” law means it’s a matter of whoever files first, rather than prior art. In this case, they should be okay if they didn’t file yet.[/quote]

Right, but there is a one year grace period from publication. If they file during that period, their own prior art doesn’t count.


#17

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]
This procedure is patentable and I believe that SB is the process of applying for a patent for this procedure now. I can’t say how I know this, but let’s just say I have it on good evidence.

Does that mean that people in Russia, China, etc. won’t try to duplicate the results and circumvent a patent and introduce the procedure sooner than the FDA will approve it? No… Of course they will, because those countries rarely enforce international intellectual property treaties.

The third alternative is somewhere in-between, i.e. once SB receives its US and international patents, it could lawfully license the procedure to doctors elsewhere in the world, so they could provide the procedure in countries which do not require lengthy trials and regulatory review.[/quote]

It doesn’t have to be from Russia or China, there is no patent on this procedure yet so it’s fair game, anyone can file a patent in Europe or any parts of the of the world to duplicate the results.


#18

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]
This procedure is patentable and I believe that SB is the process of applying for a patent for this procedure now. I can’t say how I know this, but let’s just say I have it on good evidence.

Does that mean that people in Russia, China, etc. won’t try to duplicate the results and circumvent a patent and introduce the procedure sooner than the FDA will approve it? No… Of course they will, because those countries rarely enforce international intellectual property treaties.

The third alternative is somewhere in-between, i.e. once SB receives its US and international patents, it could lawfully license the procedure to doctors elsewhere in the world, so they could provide the procedure in countries which do not require lengthy trials and regulatory review.

[postedby]Originally Posted by damraak[/postedby]

It doesn’t have to be from Russia or China, there is no patent on this procedure yet so it’s fair game, anyone can file a patent in Europe or any parts of the of the world to duplicate the results.[/quote]

You’re right, anyone can file for a patent on this now. In the US, Sanford-Burnham has one year to file without their publication of the paper becoming prior art amd preventing them from getting a patent. But let’s say someone in Europe files with the European Patent Office to patent this now.

Under the Paris Convention, still in force, “an applicant from one contracting state shall be able to use its first filing date (in one of the contracting states) as the filing date in another contracting state, provided that the applicant files a subsequent application within … 12 months (for patents) from the first filing.”

So after SB files with the USPTO they would have an additional year to file with the EPO. They could do it at the same time, of course. The point is that if someone else did file in another jurisdiction, this would end up being litigated and SB would most likely prevail.

Correct me if I’m wrong damraak, but there are sufficient international treaties in place to deter people from knowingly doing what you said might happen. No, it won’t deter everyone from doing that, but I think most people would have the sense not to.


#19

Why is there even discussion about the possibility of some other entity or person filing a patent for the SB cellular hair growth technique when nobody other then SB knows the blueprint?

It’s my understanding that SB did not reveal their complete blueprint so the information necessary to execute the technique is not available to anyone except SB and nobody else could patent the technique because a patent should include all of the specific details and nobody except SB has those details.


#20

Yes, i think you’re right, jarjar. SB did not disclose their full blueprint for converting pluripotent stem cells into DP cells in their paper, at least that’s the way it looked to me. But someone could read that paper and now that they know it’s doable, a smart scientist could probably fill in the gaps and reconstruct what SB did.