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Author Topic: Starting up a biotech research/investment company  (Read 26762 times)
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grande2
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« on: September 05, 2007, 06:55:55 PM »


The idea of starting up a new biotech company related to height increase has been lingering in the back of my head for some time now. There's nothing concrete, i'm just looking for some more information and possibly participation from interested persons. So for now you could consider this topic a "brainstorming" session. The reason for starting up a company instead of building up a non profit organization is that I just see an enormous business potential, a company can work faster , it might be easier to start it up in the United States with their limited regulations framework considering the international character. (need to look into this) Possibility of selling/licensing/franchising the technology in the end and end up very wealthy and a bit taller aswell Wink  I have seen enough examples, european and american, of small new founded biotech companies that focus on a "niche" market and end up being very succesfull.

Here are the ideas for my reasoning:

New biotechnology research/investment company. Most likely US (UK) based.

Reasons:

* Current options for cosmetic height increase are severely limited

- In practice only applicable on legs, and mostly only one segment (tibia/femur) at the time
- due to practical limitations of current technology for most people there is a proportions issue , normal regular growth is widespread over the whole of the body (arms/armspan, shoulders, spine/rib cage tibia/femur, etc.)
- not many surgeon practitioners with expertise in the LL subject
- therefore still risky, very expensive and cumbersome , which all keep it a taboo matter compared to other cosmetic surgery
* Goal is the creation of a safe, (cheap), ?easily? applicable wholesome approach technology, preferably non-invasive (eg. ?growing up? while regular life).

* ?Bulk? of this (even non-invasive) technology is already researched in various forms and stages, it needs further development and commercializing. 3-5 year time frame for basic market release is realistic (?).   

* Increasing heightism, no sign of improving, worldwide phenomenon. This technology would equate it or render it obsolete. It gives people an option as most other cosmetic therapies do..

* Besides cosmetic reasons also applicable for other (more severe) medical indications  (growth defects / growth plate trauma / amputation / tumour removal / microsomia / klinefelter / turner syndrome / etc.)



Current ?limb-lengtening? market for cosmetic and medical reasons is already a multi-billion dollar market. A new, safe, less invasive technology for height increase and bone lengthening/widening would obviously take a significant portion of this market, but more importantly it will create a completely new world-wide market for people (men/women) who want to be taller, be they of short, average or already tall stature. There will in all probability always be people who want to increase their height. 


Method? Ideas?

- attracting seed money, hiring scientists with expertise on the subject & license/buy early proprietary rights of technology.
- first specialise on bulk of height increase (legs/arms) and market/commercialize this, later specialise on other parts of the body (shoulders, spine, fingers/toes, etc.) 
- need of people with expertise/interest in biotechnology, government, business & investment relations and marketing, willingness to start up, expose & invest in a completely new company, risk on outcome involved but huge money/return on investment potential, more control over process and development compared to non profit organization, easier to start up for international collaboration,

- how to attract investors / donators / seed money for company?  -> perhaps intensive exposure to wealthy, influential (short-statured) people/investors willing to join the company?
- choice to team up on a project which could revolutionize the medical world and profoundly impact global civilization

- but how realistic is this idea? what are the main obstacles?



You can contact me at withering.heights@hotmail.com should you have any questions. However, it would be great if this topic provoked some further food for thought. If anyone has any suggestion or recommendation, feel free to share your knowledge!

 



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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2007, 10:26:56 PM »

Hi.

There are some basic numbers that you should start with in order to start shaping-up a possible business model:

1. How much money would be required to develop the solution and to make it ready for market?

2. What is the potential market? What research is there available to support the potential numbers?

3. How much would the solution be sold for, how much of it would be sold each year and how long would it take to recover the investment in point 1.


That should be enough to get things rolling!

MMT
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2007, 05:57:32 AM »

wow - its nice to know that I'm not the only one who is aware of all the points you made. The way you organized your introduction is PERFECT. Its nice to know I'm not the only one who's aware of how prevalent and prominent the issue of ..

"Increasing heightism, no sign of improving, worldwide phenomenon. This technology would equate it or render it obsolete. It gives people an option as most other cosmetic therapies do"

and how widespread and severe the issue of heightism really is. 95% of girls, even the short girls that are 5'3 and up, will only date tall (5'10 minimum and up) or really tall guys (6 or 6+).

In the workplace, important, prominent jobs and positions (supervisor, leadership roles) will only be trusted to the taller guys) and shorter guys get the "bottom of the barrel", low responsibility positions. (Applies to girls in the workplace too.)

And its amazing how people continue to deny it adamantly.

I'm glad I'm not the only one thats aware of it.

I wish you the best in your endeavors.

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HaraldO
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2007, 08:45:44 AM »

Dear grande2,

I applaude your efforts to start a bioetch/investment company for height increase research. If you want, the "Biomedical Growth Research Initiative" (BGRI) will connect you with the research teams, that expressed interest in height increase research.

Hopefully you will find some serious partners for this project on this discussion board or another height increase platform.

I am also convinced, that there is a significant market potential for a safe and effective height increase therapy. The BGRI has already written a detailed (10 pages) market analysis - here are some quotes from it:

Market analysis concerning a safe and effective height increase / limb lengthening therapy for children and adults

Arrangement
1. Current therapy options   Page 1
2. Advantages of the proposed theray options   Page 3
3. Indications and market potential    Page 4   
3.1. Cosmetic indication  Page 4   
3.2. Medical indication   Page 7
4. Summary market potential Page 8
5. Competition   Page 10


A safe and effective height increase therapy has the potential to become a ?blockbuster? therapy with a market potential of more than 1 billion dollars annually, because
- there is a significant market opportunity for several cosmetic and medical indications
- and the proposed therapy system would have significant advantages compared to conventional therapy options.

1. Current therapy options
Currently there are mainly two therapy options to increase height: growth hormone treatment and limb lengthening surgery. Additionally in 2005 the FDA approved Increlex for the small sub-group of short statured children because of severe primary IGF-1 deficiency. 
Because of the very limited indications and the enormous costs, the vast majority of short statured boys and girls doesn?t receive growth hormone therapy.
Nevertheless  the global Human Growth Hormone (hGH) market was worth approximately $1.5 billion in 2001 (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.asp?report_id=6537 ) and is expected to reach 2.2 billion dollars in 2006 (http://www.marketresearch.com/map/prod/827573.html ). Obviously the small market segment of a few medically defined short stature syndromes is already extremely lucrative.


2. Advantages of the proposed therapy options
As it has been described above the currently available therapy options have severe limitations. Growth hormones are only useful during the growth phase, they are extremly expensive, they are only prescribed for some defined medical conditions, they have a risk of side-effects and they require daily injections for several years. Even after growth hormone therapy most treated patients don?t reach average height.
IGF-1-hormone-therapy has the same limitations as growth hormone therapy. Additionally it is only approved for a small sub-group of medical short stature syndromes (according to company information approximately 30,000 children in the U.S. and EU are affected by Primary IGFD and 6,000 children in the U.S. and EU are affected by severe Primary IGFD http://trca.client.shareholder.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=182941).
The currently available limb lengthening surgery methods are drastic and painful surgeries with a risk of severe complications (like e.g. bone infection, nerve injury, injury to blood vessels and so on) and an extremly long recovery and rehabilitation time(about 6 months to several years). By adding height to only one segment (tibia/femur) of the leg, the body will look less proportional. Modern variants of this surgery can cost up to 80.000 dollars.   
A minimally invasive biomedical height increase therapy (e.g. with a tissue engineered growth plate implant) would probably require a significantly less drastic surgery and enable a natural growth process of tibia and femur. So the risk of side-effects could be reduced significantly and more natural proportions could be achieved. No additional operations in order to remove nails and metal plates would be necessary. Most importantly the recovery time could be reduced drastically.
Of course the holy grail concerning a safe and effective height increase therapy / limb lengthening therapy would be a non-invasive option. Such a non-invasive therapy option could completely eliminate the severe limitations of the currently available therapy options. There would be no long recovery and rehabilitation time. The costs would be extremly low compared to currently available therapy options. So it could open the mass market.   

3. Indications and market potential: 

3.1. Cosmetic indication:
The beauty industry market is considered to be one of the biggest and fastest growing markets worldwide. According to the ?Economist? the worldwide market was 160 billion dollars in 2003 with an annual growth rate of up to 7% a year, more than twice the rate of the developed world's GDP (http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=1795852 ). One of the fastest growing segments is cosmetic surgery, already a 20 billion dollar business. The number of cosmetic procedures have increased in America by over 220% since 1997. The fastest growth can be seen with minimally invasive procedures, like e.g. Botox injections with a growth rate of more than 2400% since 1997.
Height distribution:
Adult height for one sex in a particular ethnic group follows more or less a Gaussian distribution (bell curve).That means: 68% of the observations fall within 1 standard deviation of the mean.
?Out of one hundred men, about 2/3 of them, about 68 %, are between 5'6" and 5'11". About 2/3 of all American men are 5'9" ? 3". About 1/3 of them are outside this range, with about half of those on each side. So, about 1/6 are 6' or taller, and about 1/6 are 5'5" or shorter? (http://investing.calsci.com/statistics.html ). So about 16 % of the population are significantly shorter than the average (that means 3 inches shorter or more). So about 500 million men worldwide can be considered short statured.
Short stature often has significant social and psychological consequences: 
Several academic studies have proven, that short statured men have fewer opportunities for romantic relationships, have fewer children and on average are paid less. Height hierarchies are established early and persist for a long time. In an excellent article from 1995 the respected newsmagazine ?The Economist? cites several academic studies (http://www.shortsupport.org/News/economist_heightism.html). Much more information and studies concerning additional aspects of height discrimination can be found e.g. at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heightism   
For most people a harmonic relationship and a satisfying job are the most important factors for self esteem and happiness in life. And these two aspects are severly influenced by height aspects. So a higly significant correlation between psychological problems (like e.g. depression and suicidal tendencies) and short stature could be found (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/162/7/1373). Taken together these study results prove, that height is one of the most important factors (perhaps even the most important factor) concerning male attractivity. So surely a lot of short statured men would use a safe and effective height increase therapy. Also a lot of medium-sized men would surely use this therapy, as many of them typically say, that they would like to be taller. Most probably also a lot of women would use a safe and effective height increase therapy, as long legs are considered to be the female beauty ideal.
As height discrimination is a worldwide problem, there would be a worldwide market - not only in the USA and Europe, but especially also in Asian countries, where people tend to be shorter (please see e.g. this Time-Asia-article about the boom of limb lengthening surgery in China  http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,187654,00.html ). This article also emphasizes, that there are (unfair) height requirements for several jobs in China: ?In a country that has hundreds of qualified applicants for every job, height minimums are one way to whittle down the competition. "You don't have to be tall to be good at computers," says Ma Xiang, a recruiter for a consortium of online companies in Beijing, which requires that female applicants be at least 1.60 m tall (the average height of Chinese women). "But it's one of the ways we can limit the number of [applications] we get."
It has to be added, that official height requirements for special jobs (e.g. policeman/policewoman, fireman, pilot) are also existing in the USA and in European countries.   



 
   
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2007, 08:59:05 AM »

3.2. Medical indications

Microsomia:
This is the terminology for a body size of between 80 and 150 centimetres. Frequently a normal torso and short legs and/or arms result in proportions which are far from ideal. This can cause enormous daily restrictions when sitting or driving. These problems could be solved. The proportions of the arms and legs in relation to the torso could be corrected.

By far the most frequently diagnosed cause of short stature is achondroplasia, a genetic condition that results in disproportionately short arms and legs. The average height of adults with achondroplasia is 4'0". Other genetic conditions that result in short stature include spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SED), diastrophic dysplasia, pseudoachondroplasia, hypochondroplasia, and osteogenesis imperfecta (OI).
According to information compiled by the Greenberg Center at Johns Hopkins Medical Center the frequency of occurrence of the most common types of dwarfism is as follows:
1.   Achondroplasia (one per 26,000 to 40,000 births) – so there are about 195.000 people with achondroplasia worldwide (http://www.dwarfism.org )
2.   SED (one per 95,000 births)
3.   Diastrophic dysplasia (one per 110,000 births)
These conditions are essentially untreatable, although some people with achondroplasia and hypochondroplasia have undergone painful (and controversial) limb-lengthening surgery. Although achondroplasia accounts for perhaps 70-80 percent of all cases of dwarfism, there are approximately 200 diagnosed types, and some individuals with dwarfism never receive a definitive diagnosis.

Growth problems/defects:
For example when there is a growth joint defect leading to unequal growth of the
legs. This unequal growth could be corrected.

Amputation:
Generally speaking it causes less prosthetic problems when dealing with a longer stump. So a signifcant percentage of patients with amputated limbs could benefit.
In the United States alone, there are approximately 1.8 million people living with limb loss. It is estimated that one out of every 200 people in the U.S. has had an amputation (Adams et al. 1999). Between 1988 and 1996, there was an average of 133,735 hospital discharges for amputation per year (Dillingham et al. 2002).

Sources:
Patricia F. Adams, et al, “Current Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 1996,” Vital and Health Statistics 10:200 (1999).
Timothy R. Dillingham, MD, et al, “Limb Amputation and Limb Deficiency: Epidemiology and Recent Trends in the United States,” Southern Medical Journal 95 (2002): 875-83.
Trauma:
As the result of an accident where bones or soft tissue have been seriously damaged. The limb must be shortened to ensure wound healing. This could be successfully corrected.

The removal of tumors:
When a tumour is diagnosed extensive parts of the bone sometimes have to be removed. Currently this usually means that the leg has to be amputated above that point. If the previously removed bone could be lengthened, the patient had the chance of a fully-functional limb again.


4. Summary market potential

There is no doubt, that a safe and effective height increase / limb lengthening therapy for children and adults would instantly take a significant share of the existing multi-billion-dollar-height increase / limb lengthening market. More importantly it would most probably create a completely new market, as it would offer the first therapy option for the vast majority of short statured people, for which there is currently no therapy option available (e.g. because they don´t have the indication to receive growth hormones, they aren´t satisfied with the results and/or they don´t want to do the drastic limb lengthening surgery currently available). Especially a completely new market for “cosmetic” height increase could be developed. As height is such an important attractivity factor and as even medium-sized men would like to increase their height, there is a huge market demand / market gap concerning a safe and effective “cosmetic” height increase therapy. For some medical indications (e.g. achondroplasia, amputations, trauma …) the new therapy option would probably be covered by medical insurance. A coverage by medical insurance would definitely improve the already significant market potential.
Below is an estimation concerning the market potential of a safe and effective height increase and limb lengthening therapy. As there is currently no real therapy option for the vast majority of these indications, these estimations have to be considered speculative. The final market potential depends on several factors, that can´t be predicted exactly right now, e.g. the exact costs of the new therapy option(s), the demand for “cosmetic” reasons, the coverage by medical insurance and other factors. Nevertheless the severly limited therapy options, that are currently available for a few medically defined short stature syndromes, have already created an annual height increase market of more than 2 billion dollars. So it can be predicted, that a safe and effective height increase / limb lengthening therapy with a much broader indication spectrum, has a market potential of at least 1 billion dollars annually.
The estimations below can be considered to be very conservative. They are based on moderate treatment costs (20.000 dollars for a minimally invasive biomedical therapy and 7.000 dollars for a non-invasive therapy) and a low to moderate demand, e.g. 4500 treatments annually worldwide concerning the minimally invasive biomedical therapy of amputated limbs or 100.000 treatments per year worldwide for the “cosmetic” non-invasive therapy option (for comparison: in the USA there have been 291.000 breast augmentation surgeries in 2005 http://www.plasticsurgery.org/media/press_releases/2005-procedural-stats.cfm ).

Conservative estimation concerning the annual worldwide market potential of a safe and effective height increase and limb lengthening therapy for children and adults

Market potential of a minimally invasive biomedical height increase therapy worldwide annually at a cost of 20.000 dollars per treatment
- “Cosmetic” indication
400 million dollars(= 20.000 treatments)(short statured men worldwide: about 500 million)
- Microsomia / growth defects
5 million dollars(= 250 treatments)(people with microsomia/ growth defects worldwide: about 250.000)
- Amputation
90 million dollars(= 450 treatments)(patients in the USA with amputations: 1,8 million)
- Trauma
5 million dollars(= 250 treatments)
- Removal of tumors
5 million dollars(= 250 treatments)
- Combined market potential
about 500 million dollars

Market potential of a non-invasive height increase therapy worldwide annually at a cost of 7000 dollars per treatment
- “Cosmetic” indication
700 million dollars(= 100.000 treatments)
- Microsomia / growth defects
15 million dollars(= about 2150 treatments)
- Amputation
300 million dollars(= about 43.000 treatments)
- Trauma
15 million dollars(= about 2150 treatments)
- Removal of tumors
15 million dollars(= about 2150 treatments)
- Combined market potential
more than 1 billion dollars

5. Competition

Worldwide there is currently very few research activity concerning new height increase / limb lengthening therapy options.

Children: To the best of our knowledge there is currently only one company worldwide, that researches an innovative height increase therapy: ProChon Biotech (http://www.prochon.com), established in  Israel in 1997. ProChon is developing a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of achondroplasia. This antibody approach targets specifially the FGFR3-gene and hasn´t reached the stage of human clinical trials yet. If it is successful, it will only work for children with achondroplasia.    

Adults: To the best of our knowledge there is currently no research project worldwide with the aim to develop a safe and effective height increase therapy for adults. So a safe and effective therapy option would only have to compete with classic limb lengthening surgery.


« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 09:02:04 AM by HaraldO » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2007, 03:22:29 PM »

Just playing Devil's advocate here... Wink

Pharma and Biotech companies spend billions on research every year - if there is such a strong market potential for height increase products, why is there no serious research under way?

Interested to get your thoughts!
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2007, 04:44:13 PM »

Just playing Devil's advocate here... Wink

Pharma and Biotech companies spend billions on research every year - if there is such a strong market potential for height increase products, why is there no serious research under way?

Interested to get your thoughts!

Hi MMT. Well, without wanting to start another whole debate about the feasibility.  Wink My arguments:
 
- technology is not yet known to most big biotech/pharma companies. it's still rudimentary. I think biotech companies usually also buy new technologies/ideas with good potential while it's still in an "early" phase.
- most biotech companies mostly focus on diseases. increasing height is cosmetic ("psychologic"), however in all honesty i think the usage for more severe medical inclinations makes it all the more necessary to develop
- topic is obviously still controversial, and will remain this way untill the technology hits the market. I have no doubt that once given the (safe & simple) opportunity, countless people will pay up for a few inches so to speak. Compare with breast, nose and other nip/tuck jobs that were once quite controversial, now people aren't that surprised and judgemental about it anymore. Furthermore, as I read a few days ago, increasing height is to me far less invasive then changing your personal/genetic identity with nose jobs, etc.

I just compare it with other biotech firms, usually formed by people who worked in the industry, that start really small and focus solely on a specific theme. I know of one biotech firm which bought the rights to a technological innovation which was already rudimentary developed in the late 1980's, but then it was dropped because of lack of interest. They are now in phase III clinical trials for their product, which will be a solution to a chronic fibrotic disease, which untill this day has no other solution at best then surgery, and surgery is mostly just temporary as the chronic condition returns. Their new therapy proved succesfull with with long-term stability, and can be applicated on diseases with similar characteristics. So their calculated risk proves to be very lucrative.

 
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2007, 04:50:01 PM »

Btw,thank you for those 3 questions, they are indeed a very good point of where to start from. If you have any business books to recommend, please feel free to list them here.
As I said, I have no real plan worked out yet. I'm going to read up, hopefully some interesting/enthusiastic people will respond and as I am currently working in an environment related to biotechnology investments, I will get more experience about the business, the pitfalls, etc.

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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2007, 04:55:11 PM »

Btw,thank you for those 3 questions, they are indeed a very good point of where to start from. If you have any business books to recommend, please feel free to list them here.
As I said, I have no real plan worked out yet. I'm going to read up, hopefully some interesting/enthusiastic people will respond and as I am currently working in an environment related to biotechnology investments, I will get more experience about the business, the pitfalls, etc.



No problem - I'll keep throwing in a few questions that might help to shape your thinking and will email you over a draft Business Plan that could help Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2007, 06:45:19 PM »


4. Summary market potential

There is no doubt, that a safe and effective height increase / limb lengthening therapy for children and adults would instantly take a significant share of the existing multi-billion-dollar-height increase / limb lengthening market................................

I think it would be safe to say that this kind of medical progress would take all of the market in the developed world but after reading all of the information you have provided it really doesn't seem viable. I work in the medical research industry and whist billions of dollars are spent each year on testing; only 2% of the studies put forward make it beyond animal trials.

I have thought of many many more reason why this project can't get off the ground (I will list them if you really want me to) but have made this my only arguing point because you are talking of running it as a profit making organisation and whist I don't have the figures to hand of how many medical research organisations fold, when they concentrate solely on 1 product/ technology, I know that many don't come back to retrial because of the cost implications. Even the trials that make it beyond the live (animal) phase do not go on to testing on humans because of the legal implications.

I would never want to discourage someone?s entrepreneurial ambitions but I think something like this needs to be left to the experts. Also as a business idea it makes no sense at all; just for the testing of a new product it takes just under 10 years and nothing has been developed yet.



5. Competition

Worldwide there is currently very few research activity concerning new height increase / limb lengthening therapy options.
 
Adults: To the best of our knowledge there is currently no research project worldwide with the aim to develop a safe and effective height increase therapy for adults. So a safe and effective therapy option would only have to compete with classic limb lengthening surgery.

There is a reason for this!!!!!!!!!!

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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2007, 11:42:26 PM »

If a billionaire wanted to do this, and they were prepared to throw one billion dollars at it, they might just get it off the ground, but starting from ground zero will be a tough gig.

Even if it is technically possible, I don't see how this would make money - but I'm certainly willing to be convinced Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2007, 02:51:40 PM »

Just playing Devil's advocate here... Wink

Pharma and Biotech companies spend billions on research every year - if there is such a strong market potential for height increase products, why is there no serious research under way?

Interested to get your thoughts!

Simple. For ethical reasons. If this was available. Then suddenly the society would frown upon short people, who couldn't afford this. The prejudice in the workplace and in relationships would be far more extreme. People will treat short people far worse, thinking, if the technology is available, then why don't you become tall like the rest of us. Not only will a short person be viewed as short, but will also be viewed as short, disadvantaged, weak, disabled and POOR. One that cannot afford to become like the tall mainstream.
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2007, 03:02:39 PM »

Also, it is because half the population are content with their height.

Most of the girls are content with being at 5'5 and up.

So the guys in power (the rich guys, the management guys) to initiate this technology won't because they're already tall guys.

Is it also because most guys that are in management positions in big research companies and most rich guys are the tall ones, not the short ones?

Heightism is just being realized. It wasn't heard of 20 years ago.

People are just starting to realize women and their preference for taller guys. Again, it wasn't heard of 20 years ago.

Oh, don't forget..

the guys in power, management positions in research companies and the rich guys are already old fokkers, so they don't give jack shi* about how they look, cos they're already done with the dating market.

Those are other possible reasons..
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2007, 04:11:02 PM »

Simple. For ethical reasons. If this was available. Then suddenly the society would frown upon short people, who couldn't afford this. The prejudice in the workplace and in relationships would be far more extreme. People will treat short people far worse, thinking, if the technology is available, then why don't you become tall like the rest of us. Not only will a short person be viewed as short, but will also be viewed as short, disadvantaged, weak, disabled and POOR. One that cannot afford to become like the tall mainstream.

Err... Trust me, I'm a businessman - companies don't make decisions based purely on ethical decisions.

If it was possible and they could make money at it, they would be doing it Wink

Also, there is no such thing as 'short', because it is a relative term. If this 'magic pill' was available, some people would still be short, the average height might increase, but there will always be people below average.

All that short means is 'below average' - no matter what the absolute number is, not everyone could ever be tall.
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2007, 07:11:44 PM »

Err... Trust me, I'm a businessman - companies don't make decisions based purely on ethical decisions.

If it was possible and they could make money at it, they would be doing it Wink

Also, there is no such thing as 'short', because it is a relative term. If this 'magic pill' was available, some people would still be short, the average height might increase, but there will always be people below average.

All that short means is 'below average' - no matter what the absolute number is, not everyone could ever be tall.

Exactly, I'm not conveying a society as in Gattaca. This technology (depending on the form ofcourse) will give people an option. I don't see everyone changing their noses and getting surgery for eyelids, etc. However, worldwide this type of cosmetic surgery is (and will remain for a very long time) a very lucrative business. From a business standpoint, a market like China, India, United States and in lesser part Europe, where height is used as a "filter" for the type of jobs people can or can't aspire to, I would say there is a whole lot of money to be made with this technology. Plus the technology can be used for similar MEDICAL indications. That to this day pharmaceutical and biotech companies don't jump on this, I think still has to do with factors such as lack of knowledge of potential technology and the current state of the business, which has become quite risk-averse.

Similarly I don't expect everyone changing their height. Right now I don't see someone being 5'3 now getting proportionally even to 6'1 height. What is possible in short term is atleast 2-4 inches divided over all arms & legs, and hopefully if it is easily applicable on other relevant parts of the body. If for example a technological procedure is developed in which working growth plates can with minimal invasive procedure be re-introduced in the human body (by injection, incision, ...) , then everything is possible ofcourse. If you have the prototype, then manufacturing and duplicating these growth plates (based on cell tissue from patient) is neither hard to do nor excessively expensive.
Other technology could be more practical to apply, has been tested on certain bone, but how would it do on other bony matter? Probably similarly, but that has to be investigated.   
To conclude: say the technology was available, the price wasn't cheap but it is doable and you could get taller while you are working, studying, whatever. Then I think a significant percentage of people would really think it over. I'm not saying everybody wants to be 6'2. But almost everybody has thought about his height, it's one of the first things people notice and comment upon, most shorter men and some women will have thought about what it would be like if they could be a few inches taller. Again, it is probably perceived as less drastic as a nose job, which makes it less of a hurdle to undergo the procedure. People would notice 2 inches, but then again not really compared to another nip/tuck job, if you know what I mean. 

Oh, and the Chinese army seems to have some interest in engineering growth plates aswel, maybe that's why I only see tall Chinese soldiers at military parades these days Wink

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=11832153&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

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EnglishFemale
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2007, 07:28:22 PM »

Simple. For ethical reasons.

For most drugs companies, ethics would be last on the list of reasons why they weren't going to go down a certain development route! Ethics really don't come into it. First and foremost they run as a money making business, as this is the only way to safe-guard their future potential. i.e. new indigestion remedies keep coming to the market (they may work fractionally faster and they get marketed as a whole new product!) for certain companies to keep the lions share of that particular market and to keep the money rolling in for the development of completely new studies.

If height increase is possible via biological means;
Studies are being developed at the moment
The big boys will be doing it
And about five people (from that study team), in the world, will know about it!

Companies are very good at keeping things quiet (paying the developers handsomely for their developing work and even better for keeping quiet about it) when something has the potential to be worth billions of dollars.

The different companies who then go on to test and co-ordinate trial studies are just as good at keeping things quiet, when they know that no developer will use them if information is leaked. The staff at these companies have their employment contracts terminated if information is leaked.

So to sum things up; if something is currently being developed you will not be able to find any published accounts from companies claiming to be in the early stages of development. When companies broadcast that they are developing and are close to finding a cure for something, what they really mean is that it's been developed, tested we have all the legal rights to the "recipe" that no one else can steal and we are just finalising the legal implications (which take a very long time apparently!).

Exactly, I'm not conveying a society as in Gattaca. This technology (depending on the form ofcourse) will give people an option.......................

Like I've already said; There is no doubt what so ever that this "technology" you are thinking of would capture an entire market and make you very very rich.

But it really isn't possible for a "one man band" with a very nice idea to get this kind of thing going.

Everything you are talking about would be great in an ideal world but as a "get tall and rich" business plan it's a none starter I'm afraid. You can prove me wrong if you like though; I'd quite like a few inches to my torso now that my legs are longer  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2007, 08:03:57 PM »

For most drugs companies, ethics would be last on the list of reasons why they weren't going to go down a certain development route! Ethics really don't come into it. First and foremost they run as a money making business, as this is the only way to safe-guard their future potential. i.e. new indigestion remedies keep coming to the market (they may work fractionally faster and they get marketed as a whole new product!) for certain companies to keep the lions share of that particular market and to keep the money rolling in for the development of completely new studies.

If height increase is possible via biological means;
Studies are being developed at the moment
The big boys will be doing it
And about five people (from that study team), in the world, will know about it!

Companies are very good at keeping things quiet (paying the developers handsomely for their developing work and even better for keeping quiet about it) when something has the potential to be worth billions of dollars.

The different companies who then go on to test and co-ordinate trial studies are just as good at keeping things quiet, when they know that no developer will use them if information is leaked. The staff at these companies have their employment contracts terminated if information is leaked.

So to sum things up; if something is currently being developed you will not be able to find any published accounts from companies claiming to be in the early stages of development. When companies broadcast that they are developing and are close to finding a cure for something, what they really mean is that it's been developed, tested we have all the legal rights to the "recipe" that no one else can steal and we are just finalising the legal implications (which take a very long time apparently!).

Like I've already said; There is no doubt what so ever that this "technology" you are thinking of would capture an entire market and make you very very rich.

But it really isn't possible for a "one man band" with a very nice idea to get this kind of thing going.

Everything you are talking about would be great in an ideal world but as a "get tall and rich" business plan it's a none starter I'm afraid. You can prove me wrong if you like though; I'd quite like a few inches to my torso now that my legs are longer  Grin


Interesting remarks. As said, I have no plans as of now to "start up a business". It's an idea as of now, depending on the people who contact me and the response I get. Further, I had been thinking about paving the way for this technology, in other words laying down the basics and testing out the technology rudimentary, in co-ordination with the researchers. Then sell the rights to a larger biotech/pharmaceutical company for a "good price". But all these are just ideas.  Lastly, there's a good chance some of the researchers involved have already been contacted and are now keeping things quiet. The last I heard was that 3-5 years wasn't unrealistic, but they seem to have put on an information stop... With all the exposure before, it would be strange if no company showed interest.

But for now, I assume the technology is there, needs to be further developed. A business plan is necessary, just as the necessary funds and interested parties for lift off.. I don't see the use in lamenting about the viability of business potential. If it were possible, it's a gold mine. No doubt.



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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2007, 03:03:34 AM »

Grande.

I think I speak for every one on this board. The people whom are all thinking over the idea of having their leg bones cut in half, just for the sake of a few extra inches...

That we all support you and we all agree that it is a very good idea, what you're contemplating and pursuing, regardless of the obstacles.

And we wish you the best of luck!

Quote
You can prove me wrong if you like though; "I'd quite like a few inches to my torso now that my legs are longer  Grin

In the words of EnglishFemale, myself and MMT.

I hope you do succeed and prove us wrong that this can be achieved.


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cshotsky
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2007, 03:10:36 AM »

Exactly what would be the mechanism by which such a therapy would increase height ? As I understand from comments posted here, one is attempting to reform the growth plates of the long bones with tissue similiar to that which exists in childhood. The first problem is A) Bone has formed in those plates so the plates would have to be opened surgically. B) Engineered tissue would have to avoid rejection - I assume such tissue would be derived from a patients own cells. C) The adult hormonal balance would quickly cause such tissue to reossify for the same reasons it ossified in the first place when you hit puberty. Frankly, I don't see this as a viable treatment anytime soon.
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MMTA
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2007, 10:30:21 AM »

I think I speak for every one on this board.

I don't think that you do Smiley

Most people who I have discussed this matter with wouldn't dream of taking some drug to alter their physiology.

LL is clean, quick and simple - you separate the bone, make it longer and then heal it up.

Taking a new drug that could potentially alter your physiology is a lot more risky and I would never do it personally.

I think that this is only something for people who are scared of LL.

For $10k you can get taller in Serbia with Dr. Mitkovic - that seems pretty cheap and straightforward to me, and those people who are really motivated to get taller are doing just that Wink
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