Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Part III of III from the ASLMS Meeting in Phoenix

Dr. Goldberg and I attended the ASLMS meeting in phoenix last weekend. This is my favorite meeting of the year as we see new products and evaluation of existing products. The clear winners this year in terms of number of presentations and buzz were Zeltiq and Ulthera—devices that we have blogged about before, and which we have in our offices. The scientific studies on Zeltiq were very clear - excellent results and efficacy of 20-30% per treatment. That is what we have been seeing in our Boca office - very satisfied patients with consistent results. The Ulthera data mostly came from Asia, where they have had the device for some time. Results with the older protocol were good but newer data from a number of physicians showed that the newer protocols of dual layers and increased numbers of "lines" placed, leads to better, more consistent results.

We had 2 posters from the Boca office at ASLMS. The first was on healing times after fractional resurfacing and microlaserpeel with the Sciton TRL (tunable resurfacing laser). See attached. We showed that healing times are affected by a number of variables, including depth of microlaserpeel, depth of fractional treatment and density of the treatment. This gave us the data for use in our practice to be able to treat patients more effectively and with limited downtime.

The second poster we presented was about face lifting and laser resurfacing. See attached. We showed the safety and efficacy of treating patients with the Sciton TRL system. The key to successful treatment was to perform deep resurfacing on the non-undermined areas and to use the lighter fractional settings on the undermined flap.

Dr. Jason Pozner

Part II of III from the ASLMS Meeting in Phoenix

At the 30th annual American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) meeting in Phoenix. Arizona last weekend, I presented a variety of talks. These included: 1) Pearls and Problems in the Laser Treatment of Unwanted Hair and Pigmented Lesions; 2) My Approach to Laser Facial Rejuvenation; 3) Problems with Laser Treatment in Medspas; 4) The Use of the Cutera Pearl Fractionated Er:YSGG laser for wrinkles around the mouth; and 5) a 10 Year Look at Laser Treatments of Tattoos in our Offices.

The highlights of my talks focused on the novel laser treatment concepts including the use of 1) the new Syneron eMatrix fractionated radiofrequency device for acne scars; 2) treatment of resistant melasma with multiple sessions of Q-switched Nd:YAG laser treatment; 3) the increasing incidence of complications seen at poor quality, low priced medspas; 4) the success we can now have in treating wrinkles around the mouth and 5) the future of newer lasers for more effective treatment of tattoos.

Last weekend we were in Phoenix. This week, Dr. Pozner and I are both lecturing at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) meeting in Washington, DC. Stay tuned!

Dr. David J. Goldberg

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dr. Charles Townes, recipient of Special Recognition Award at ASLMS Meeting

Last week we attended the ASLMS (American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery) meeting in Phoenix. One of the highlights of the meeting, besides celebrating the 50th anniversary of the operation of the laser, was the Special Recognition Award given to Dr. Charles Townes, an American Nobel Prize-winning physicist and educator. We were excited to see this award presented, as Townes is known worldwide as the “Father of Lasers,” having developed laser technology to the benefit of millions, both in military and medical uses.

Townes, born in 1915 in South Carolina, graduated summa cum laude from Furman University at the tender age of 19. He completed a master’s degree in physics at Duke and a PhD from Cal Tech with a thesis about isotope separation and nuclear spins. Keep in mind that this was back in 1939, when these technologies were in their infancy. As an early member of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, his work in radar bombing systems and microwave technology, which led to his appointment to the faculty at Columbia University, led to uses of ammonia gas in masers (microwave amplification through radiation), which ultimately produced laser technologies. He and his research assistants were the first to detect complex molecules in the galaxy, as well as the measurement of the mass in the black hole in our galaxy’s center. With the assistance of Arthur Schawlow, he wrote Microwave Spectroscopy, which was published in 1955. During his tenure at Bell Labs, Dr. Townes was asked to help with the development of a radar system for WWII aircraft. Although Dr. Townes did not serve in the military, he and his team contributed to the war efforts by creating more accurate and precise radar systems, though none of them were ever mass-produced by the military. Some of the new systems developed were used as prototypes in the early B-52 bombers.

Dr. Townes went on to become the VP and Director of Research for Washington DC-based Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit group that advised the government. After 2 years in that position, he became Provost and Professor of Physics at MIT, specializing in research of quantum electronics and astronomy. In 1967, he became a professor at University of California, on the Berkeley campus.

We'll be posting more details from the event later this week! Don't miss our upcoming info about the ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) conference this weekend!

Dr. Jason Pozner and Dr. David Goldberg

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Part I of III from the ASLMS Meeting in Phoenix

This past weekend Dr. Pozner and I attended the 30th annual American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) meeting in Phoenix. Arizona.

ASLMS is the one meeting where the latest in next generation energy based cosmetic treatments is always first presented. Attendees come from all over the world – although the volcano in Iceland, and its impact on flights to and from Europe, did deter some Europeans from coming. The meeting consisted of a wide variety of workshops, panel discussions and abstract sessions with the singular goal of learning what’s new, what’s old and what will be soon arriving in cosmetic laser treatments.

Although the economic recession has led to some pull back from laser manufacturers, there was great interest in the new approaches to the non-surgical treatment of the aging face and neck, body sculpturing, and fat removal. In addition, it was clear that improved cellulite and melasma treatments remain the next 2 great frontiers in the cosmetic treatment of the skin. In my next blog I will focus on my own particular lectures.

Dr. David Goldberg

Monday, April 12, 2010

Publishers of New Beauty Mag buy 2 more pubs

Our friends at Sandow Media, publishers of New Beauty magazine, on whose board Dr. Pozner serves, has completed the acquisition of Interior Design magazine and the Furniture Today group of publications.

These two pubs add powerful and influential brands to Sandow's group of publications as well as more than 100 new employees. This important deal doubles the size of Sandow Media and continues to position the firm as a leader in the media industry.

Our congrats to Sandow!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Injection for Small Varicose Veins Approved by the FDA

The FDA announced on March 31st that polidocanol (marketed in the US as Asclera) has been approved as a treatment for varicose veins. Asclera works its magic by damaging the cell lining in the blood vessels, causing them to close. Eventually the blood vessel is replaced by other types of tissue. The product is approved for veins less than 1 mm in diameter and reticular veins 1-3mm in diameter. (As a reference, there are 24 mm to one inch).

There are three primary types of venous problems: varicose veins, reticular veins and spider veins. Spider veins are generally very tiny, while varicose veins are quite noticeable and generally develop on the legs. Reticular veins are mild and generally cause little in the way of discomfort. Vein treatments generally include lasers, broad band light and/or sclerosing agents.

Few side effects were noted by the FDA, including leakage or blood collection from the injected vessels at the injection site, as well as potential for bruising, irritation, discoloration and discomfort at the injection site.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Osiris Therapeutics to Reincorporate in Maryland

Osiris Therapeutics (NasdaqGM: OSIR) has filed with the SEC a proposal to reincorporate its stem cell products company in Maryland in order to save on taxes. Apparently, the annual franchise tax in Maryland would run the company around $300 compared with its now-Delaware franchise taxes of over $160K in 2009, with a planned raise to $180K in the near future.

As indicated in the SEC document, Peter Friedhi, a Swiss-based investment banker and company director, owns 44.4% of Osiris common stock. Venturec, part of the Zurich, Switzerland-based New Venturetec, of which Friedhi is Investment Manager, owns 12.1%. 
With the interest in stem cell products, the company grew to $14.6 million in net revenues for the year 2009 compared to a net loss of $33.5 million in 2008. In late afternoon trading this past Thursday, Osiris stock stood at $7.40, with a range in shares between $5.35 and $15.20 over the last year.
Osiris Therapeutics is considered one of the leading stem cell therapeutic companies, creating products in the inflammatory, orthopedic and cardiovascular areas. The company currently has several biologic drug candidates under evaluation including Prochymal for inflammatory, autoimmune and cardiovascular illnesses, as well as Chondrogen for knee arthritis. Osiris participates fully in the development of its products including R&D, manufacturing and distribution.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amniotic Cells Reprogrammed for Stem Cell Use

The journal Cellular Reprogramming has revealed a Mount Sinai School of Medicine study showing that skin cells found in human amniotic fluid can be reprogrammed, after which the cells were identical to human embryonic stem cells.

"We induced amniotic fluid skin cells to return from their final differentiated stage back to an undifferentiated stem cell stage from where they can develop into any cell type of the body," said the study’s lead author, Dr. Katalin Polgar, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Just as exciting, when compared with cultured adult skin cells, the amniotic cells created cell colonies nearly twice as quickly and in nearly 200% greater volume. Polgar goes on to state, "There remains today a need in stem cell research for an easily reprogrammable cell type. Our study shows that reprogramming of cultured, terminally differentiated amniotic fluid cells results in pluripotent stem cells that are identical to human embryonic stem cells, and that it is much easier, faster and more efficient than reprogramming neonatal and adult cells." This can help fill the need for stem cells desperately needed for research and development of new regenerative therapies, such as for heart, liver, kidney and other organs; replacement of neurons in patients suffering with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and even in the creation of treatments through the use of personalized stem cells banks.

Dr. Polgar states that using stem cells from amniotic fluid could reduce the need for testing drugs on animals and can help personalize the delivery of medications. "Their potential use in toxicology models could reduce the need for experimental animals.”

"These reprogrammed amniotic fluid cells have the ability to self-renew indefinitely. Pluripotent stem cells created from amniotic fluid cells shed from the fetal skin maintain all the potential of embryonic stem cells without using embryos, thereby eliminating ethical concerns associated with human embryonic stem cells obtained from preimplantation embryos," Dr. Polgar said.