I think alot of people know about this not-all-that-well publicised venture in India.
I had a look at the patent which theyre using and it makes interesting reading. If nothing else, it kind of confirms to some extent why ICX is ineffective. It was published in 2006 and filed in 2003 and includes research from the 1980s so it does make me wonder what ICX had found in the first place in DP cells.
Not sure about the science as such because its the only place using mesenchymal stem cells from the scalp, but Rolf Hoffmann is a credible source based on his CV so there is probably some value to it.
It all sounds very promising of course. If my medical sources in Delhi are reliable, Phase I trials in India should be starting in October or November. But thats unfortunately a fairly big if in terms of reliability.
The other thing is that in India patent laws are different in that you can’t patent a drug or a treatment but only the production method…and the law is fairly weak, in that if for example hypothetically speaking Batra’s clinics incubated cells for 3 weeks, a competitor could essentially take a different number of cells and incubate them for 4 weeks instead and it will be a sufficiently different method that it wouldn’t breach patent.
So on the one hand, if it works, it could be good for baldness sufferers in that there will be plenty of potential treatment providers pretty quickly after it hits market. Also, the CDSCO (India’s FDA) isnt quite as stringent as the FDA and the average time from Phase I to market is 4-5 years…yes I’m aware of that dreaded “5 years away” syndrome.
On the downside, because of the patent law as I explained, info will be very little and very hard to come by simply because of the weak intellectual property laws meaning they will want to keep more or less everything under wraps. And of course its still in its infancy so there are still alot of variables and uncertainties to master first.
But I think on the whole, there is some promise and some reason to be optimistic…cautiously of course.