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Reducing sebum output topically = holy grail?

I think when a topical cream comes along which reduces sebum output it will be GAME OVER for EVERYTHING else. Everything. All other creams, bars, soaps, healthy lifestyles (harhar), holistic madness, keeping your hair out of your face, standing on your head, drinking fifteen thousand pints of water a minute, and what have you.

I came across this patent application from 1983, excerpt:

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, it has been discovered that through the administration of 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1,1,4,4-tetramethy-6[α-methylstyryl]naph thalene to patients sebum secretion is reduced. Therefore, the administration of this compound which acts to reduce sebum secretion, provides a means for combatting diseases such as acne, oily hair and oily scalp. In such a manner, the administration of this compound may be used either as a prophylaxis against disorders caused by excess sebum secretion such as acne or oily scalp and hair or in their treatment.

In contrast to the methods of the prior art, the present invention provides new methods and compositions which are both topically and internally effective in reducing sebum secretion, particularly with respect to combatting acne and which, surprisingly, do not have any of the deleterious side effects associated with the prior art. The present invention does not lead to side effects caused by prior art therapeutic modalities such as toxicity, scarring or hypervitaminosis. Furthermore use of this compound does not produce side effects such as toxicity nor does it result in sensitizing reactions or the development of resistant organisms. This compound, in contrast to some other modalities used to treat acne, is not tetratogenic, and is not irritating to the skin when applied topically.

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A lot of patents never see the light of day as far as resulting successful commercial products are concerned, and this is obviously one of them. Another example would be RU58841, which is probably the most effective topical antiandrogen ever developed. But despite the fact that it's been around for about the last 15 years or so, it's never been brought to market to treat acne, male pattern baldness, hirsutism, or other androgen-related diseases. That's probably because nobody wants to pay the ENORMOUS costs of FDA testing and approval. I suspect that the same is true for the substance in that patent you posted.

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A lot of patents never see the light of day as far as resulting successful commercial products are concerned, and this is obviously one of them. Another example would be RU58841, which is probably the most effective topical antiandrogen ever developed. But despite the fact that it's been around for about the last 15 years or so, it's never been brought to market to treat acne, male pattern baldness, hirsutism, or other androgen-related diseases. That's probably because nobody wants to pay the ENORMOUS costs of FDA testing and approval. I suspect that the same is true for the substance in that patent you posted.

I think the large costs of FDA testing and approval must be ruled out, because if these products were to be great then the companies would make that money back many, many, many times over. Hundreds of thousands of times over.

I think it's one of these:

a) The products are not effective enough so people wouldn't want them.

or

b) The products have been deemed dangerous.

or

c) They are being prevented from coming to market as they would negatively effect the profits of other products / companies who have more clout in the medical world.

And I certainly think c) should not be thrown out. In the health care industry, profit is number one. And the companies involved have massive influence.

I think it's interesting that it seems like Roche own the first patent I posted. If all people had to do was slap that cream on and they couldn't get acne, (or dry skin, or bleached clothes, or a billion other side effects caused by oral medicaiton) then how much Accutane are they going to sell? None. But they would be selling the cream you say....well, how much are they going to charge for tubes of cream?

A whole lot less than Accutane courses.

Conspiracy theories abound!

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I think the large costs of FDA testing and approval must be ruled out, because if these products were to be great then the companies would make that money back many, many, many times over. Hundreds of thousands of times over.

The cost of getting FDA approval for a new drug averages well over $100 million. I don't remember for sure if the exact figure is $200 million or $300 million or $400 million, but for the sake of argument, let's assume that it's only $100 million. If what you said is correct about a company making back "hundreds of thousands of times over" the cost of FDA approval for an acne product, that would be AT LEAST $100 million X 100,000 = 10 TRILLION dollars!!! The last time I checked, the entire GDP of the United States of America was about $10 trillion!!

Have you learned anything about the economics of drug design and FDA approval today? :angel:

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Well, according to your theory, if Roche were afraid of cannibalizing profits from Accutane then they should be pursing this miracle drug now since Accutane's US patent has expired.

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Why don't we have a cream which can reduce sebum output?

After reading a bunch of stuff, there's one simple answer to this question: the massive cost of clinical trials. If you have a drug that does something pretty well and you're making money out of it, and something new comes along that's pretty good too - in the ball park as the current drug in terms of efficacy - why would you bother spending the hundreds of millions getting it approved? The risk is huge. What if it isn't exactly what you expected? You don't care about the side effects of the current drug. You don't care whether the new drug is a little better or a little worse. It's all about risk. You're making your money out of the current drug - you're not gonna bother bringing the new one to market.

Isotretinoin has approval. It reduces sebum output. It's the gold standard in sebum reduction. Lots of people sell it now. It might be a dangerous drug but nobody can afford to develop something else that is effective.

I read something like this somewhere: "a blockbuster drug is not just desirable it's becoming a requirement". That's not good. It means small drug companies - which can compete with the big guys through innovation - cannot bring something to market on their own because they can't afford it.

Read this: http://pharmalicensing.com/public/articles...8_44bfac02291f1. It talks about the cost of running a clinical trial in the USA vs India.

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Well, according to your theory, if Roche were afraid of cannibalizing profits from Accutane then they should be pursing this miracle drug now since Accutane's US patent has expired.

It's even worse than that: Roche don't sell accutane in the US any more because they say it's not cost effective!

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I think the large costs of FDA testing and approval must be ruled out, because if these products were to be great then the companies would make that money back many, many, many times over. Hundreds of thousands of times over.

The cost of getting FDA approval for a new drug averages well over $100 million. I don't remember for sure if the exact figure is $200 million or $300 million or $400 million, but for the sake of argument, let's assume that it's only $100 million. If what you said is correct about a company making back "hundreds of thousands of times over" the cost of FDA approval for an acne product, that would be AT LEAST $100 million X 100,000 = 10 TRILLION dollars!!! The last time I checked, the entire GDP of the United States of America was about $10 trillion!!

Have you learned anything about the economics of drug design and FDA approval today? :angel:

Well there it is! $100 million for FDA approval of a new drug.

That is nothing short of hilarious. The system in the US is completely screwed. The government needs to get out of medicine. The only thing it does it make the costs go sky high and the treatments get worse. Look at the technology sector in comparison, prices always going down, technology skyrocketing. The fact that there's much less government involvement in that sector is not a coincidence.

Obviously if $100 million is the cost I don't think they're going to make that back hundreds of thousands of times over. :)

Isotretinoin has approval. It reduces sebum output. It's the gold standard in sebum reduction. Lots of people sell it now. It might be a dangerous drug but nobody can afford to develop something else that is effective.

I agree with everything you said. Profit before everything, side effects don't matter, FDA costs completely stifle innovation. The. Worst. System. Ever.

Isotretinoin is the worst gold standard ever. If a topical could do the same job, purely reduce sebum output, it would be infinitely greater.

And no doubt the FDA is effectively completely corrupt. Just incase the $100 million hurdle isn't enough.

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That is nothing short of hilarious. The system in the US is completely screwed. The government needs to get out of medicine.

Do they? You know what actually caused the government to get into drug control big-time, don't you? It was the terrible thalidomide scare in the late 50's and early 60's. It caused some HORRIBLE birth defects in the babies of pregnant women who took the drug. After that, the FDA realized they had to carefully monitor and control the development of drugs. Can you really blame them for that?

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That is nothing short of hilarious. The system in the US is completely screwed. The government needs to get out of medicine.

Do they? You know what actually caused the government to get into drug control big-time, don't you? It was the terrible thalidomide scare in the late 50's and early 60's. It caused some HORRIBLE birth defects in the babies of pregnant women who took the drug. After that, the FDA realized they had to carefully monitor and control the development of drugs. Can you really blame them for that?

Of course there needs to be an approval process and oversight, you can't have companies selling anthrax cream. However, governments are useless for this. Cost of approval process up, quality down. Guaranteed. It needs to be done by a completely independent group. The current situation is government run and it's terrible.

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Lets just wish that there will come a time where an intelligent scientist will come accross such product mentioned, who had suffered severe acne and will not care about the profit but will sympathetically share his discoveries to his fellowmen who are suffering from the kind of problem that he had.. ;)

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Lets just wish that there will come a time where an intelligent scientist will come accross such product mentioned, who had suffered severe acne and will not care about the profit but will sympathetically share his discoveries to his fellowmen who are suffering from the kind of problem that he had.. ;)

That happened with the polio vaccine. The guy who invented it didn't patent it so everybody could make it. He said it would be as absurd as patenting the sun.

The problem with this is - somebody already patented it. Not sure how patents work but they do run out for most things I believe. Not sure if this can still be patented for this long. It may be able to because it's not been in use, not sure.

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God damn corruption in this world makes me sick...I so want to punch someone in the FACE!!!

I have high hopes for this hubpages.com/hub/acnecures

more info en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMT_D002

You guys think this will ever come out on the shelves? they say 2011-2012

Or will it just be forgotten like the above mentioned?

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God damn corruption in this world makes me sick...I so want to punch someone in the FACE!!!

I have high hopes for this hubpages.com/hub/acnecures

more info en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMT_D002

You guys think this will ever come out on the shelves? they say 2011-2012

Or will it just be forgotten like the above mentioned?

Hey i just checked this out. This sounds pretty cool! How long would it take to hit American shelves if development is done in a couple years?

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People often file patents long before they have anything of value. Any human studies on this? Well, a search for "sebum secretion stilbene" produces 2 1970's vintage papers, that's all. The patent itself mentions only tests on animals, AFAICT. You don't have to prove your patent claim that a drug works, or that it is safe. Seems unlikely this drug was ever formally tested on humans at all; certainly not enough to make any conclusions about its toxicity.

Meanwhile, existing drug companies periodically need to puff up their stock price for shareholders. Anything back in the labs we can talk about at the next meeting? Sure, we got this drug we might be able to repurpose for acne. Excellent! But we don't know if it works. That's OK, we'll say its a secret! If we never manage to produce anything useful, nobody will notice! When they abandon the oral pill and switch to the slathering cream mode, that doesn't speak well to their confidence about lack of toxicity.

But certainly, if a big evil corporation had an effective, non-toxic cream that you had to use for the rest of your acne-bearing life, I think they would abandon something like Accutane pretty quick in favor of monthly payments from every person on the planet with acne.

There are much simpler explanations than conspiracy theories here...

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