» Phase II trials, mid-2008 word, percentages, scalp stimulation . . . blah,
» blah, blah . . .
» It begs some very uncomfortable questions, doesn’t it?
Quite some time ago I stated that people should expect from ICX pretty much what we saw from Gho. People freaked out on Gho, but the truth is, you are watching bleeding edge startup companies attempt to cure a very complex disease. What you see is exactly how these processes are typically carried out. Of course the researchers are optimistic about their procedures. Of course they repeatedly miss their timelines. Of course the experiments progress more slowly than prospective patients wish. Of course the earlier phase trials tests are limited to small areas of the scalp. There are logical reasons for all of this, but they are lengthy to explain. The best way to understand what is going on is to look at any other startup company attempting to bring a bleeding edge medical product to the marketplace. Gho holding and Intercytex are no different. They are everyday average startup companies trying to realize a dream. The only reason they seem more important to you than other bleeding edge medically related startup companies is because they are/were working toward curing the disease that personally afflicts you.
Sometimes I get the feeling people think HM is above the medical law. It isn’t. It abides by the same laws of physics that any other promising new treatment must abide by. There is no guarantee that it is going to work. And in truth, the biggest hurdle standing in its way is not medically related; it is monetarily related. A company must conserve its resources and turn a profit by a certain date or it fails. That is the harsh business reality that Gho was met with that bankrupted his company and killed his HM dream.
Gho’s failure was a result of HM being extremely difficult to perform consistently; thus, investors who wanted a quick profit were reluctant to fund it long enough to allow it to come to fruition. The promise of Intercytex is not that it has better smarter scientists than Gho. The fact is that it doesn’t. The promise of Intercytex is that it has more scientists (diversity in thought), more product lines (diversity in potential profit), has better funding, and most importantly it has a much better/more robust business model (including prior expertise and experience by those that guide the company).
Why is it difficult to get HM to work consistently? Each person is bio-chemically unique. With HT you have a big hunk of tissue you move from the back of the head to the front. Thus it is easier to get somewhat consistent. You can think of HT as the macroscopic/surgical world. Mankind is more capable in the macroscopic/surgical world because it is more straightforward and it has been around for a very long time.
HM is different in that it exists in the microscopic/cellular world. You can think of this duality in a similar manner as Newtonion-Einsteinian physics vs. Quantum physics. Both exist harmoniously to make up the universe, but each represents a very different mechanical model, and it is difficult to understand how the two extremes fit together to form a single entity. The world of the very large and the world of the very small are in truth a single entity, yet they appear to be as unique from one another as a plant is to the moon.
So what are the implications of HM being a microscopic/cellular-based science? For one, HM has a lot more in common with drug medicine than it does with macroscopic/surgical techniques like HT. And what does science at the drug medicine level bring us? It brings inconsistency; so the results are typically measured by percentages of those who respond well and those who don’t. And even in those who respond well, there is typically a lot of variation in result outcomes.
Of course, HM has as much not in common with drug medicine than it has in common with it, but my point is that in order to understand why a company like the old Gho Clinic or Intercytex have gone down roads they have traveled is not because there is something wrong with them. It is because there is something right with them. It is important to realize that HM has very little in common with HT, so one cannot try to fit a round peg into a square hole in an attempt to explain it away.
The best way to explain it is that what you have seen from Gho in the past and what you are now seeing from Intercytex and Aderans is exactly what you should be expecting from these companies at this stage of the game. There is absolutely nothing out of place here. But in order to fully appreciate this, you need to realize that there are no guarantees here. Nobody is guaranteeing you that HM will be here by such and such date. Right now HM arriving in the next 5 years looks extremely promising. However, there is also a possibility that it will never see the light of day. So Intercytex wisely chooses to conserve its resources and keep experimenting as cost effectively as possible while it attempts to radically alter our future.
As for whether it would be too much to ask for ICX to restore a single head? I’ve thought about that a little more lately and decided, yes. It is way to early in the game. Why waste time and resources restoring 100 cm^2 on a single scalp when the same time, money, and intellectual resources could restore 1 cm^2 on 6 patient heads and satisfy a portion of the required regulations for bringing this to market? The potential profit in HM is not in making it work for one out of a million balding people and leaving the other 999,999 people bald. The potential profit is making it work consistently on 999,999 out of a million people and leaving the other 1 person bald.
The only way I see restoring a single head as being useful is if a company is running out of money and wants to try to raise some WOW income from the general public (as opposed to VC). But doing so will take time and money, so it would only be useful under duress. Personally, I think Gho would be the best candidate to do something of this nature right now, but he is probably too scientifically intelligent to do so. IOW, he knows restoring one head is fairly meaningless in the grand scope of the game as far as marketing a consistent procedure is concerned. It’s an expensive gimmick, and even the best results would not be without flaw. And if it were done, it would be a radical departure from standard scientific protocol and risks bringing criticism of one’s scientific credibility (where are the independent double-blind placebo control trials published in a major peer-reviewed medical journal?). If I were Gho, I would do it, as he is a radical out of the box thinker, but I think ICX should stick to mainstream scientific protocol and try to get this thing out as soon as possible.
The point is, you have to learn how to crawl before you can walk, so don’t expect HM to hit the streets in 2008. It just is not going to happen. Even the 2010 timeline is pretty optimistic and is described by ICX as being the “earliest possible release.” For those that don’t believe we have a while to wait yet, I suggest taking a look at ICX’ history of timeline announcements and when they have actually met these milestones.