“Miracle Stem Cell ‘Cure’ Could Allow 10 Million Blind To See Again”

Sniffing out the latest teaser from Patrick Cox's Breakthrough Technology Alert

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 9, 2012

Curing the blind — that sounds lovely, eh? That’s the headline of the latest ad from Patrick Cox …

… we’ve seen many overpromising ads from Cox’s Breakthrough Technology Alert over the years, and they never fail to catch the attention of the great Gumshoe readership. It is, after all, just the kind of thing that newsletter subscribers yearn for: investments that will be so ridiculously successful that your life will be transformed, turning us all into tycoons. And not incidentally, giving us something to brag about while we’re playing golf with old college buddies.

Funny how rarely that transformational wealth actually happens, eh? At least for me. Still, hope bubbles up from underground — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. What fun is life without daydreams?

“And starting today, here’s how you could become richer than you ever imagined by tapping into the explosive $64 BILLION stem cell market…”

This ad brings us several phrases that sound awfully familiar from past ads — not just from this same editor, Patrick Cox of the Breakthrough Technology Alert, but from lots of folks who dabble in biotech. Phrases like …

“It’s a medical breakthrough that is unprecedented in human history….”

And ….

“Could improve and extend the life of every person on earth….”

And

“… one of the most important companies of our time….”

And of course, if we’re to improve and extend every life, there’s riches in them thar hills:

“ONE tiny California-based company, priced under 80 cents per share, has the exclusive rights to this patented new stem cell technology.”

So yep, it’s another life-changing, the world will never be the same, the buckets of cash will rain down like rain from the sky kind of teaser about stem cell technology. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. So who’s he pitching?

Well, it’s one of the “no embryos” stem cell companies — as Cox puts it,

“technology which has the power to ‘cure’ … by rebuilding damaged cells and generating new tissue … without the use of controversial human embryos”

And the eye business? Curing 10 million blind people?

“… scientists at this tiny biotech have developed a patented process that has the potential to create human corneal tissue from their new stem cell technology.”

This technology can apparently create corneal tissue, which would help with the dire shortage of donor corneas.

Cox goes on to quote an expert as saying that most consumers are reluctant to cut back spending on their health even in a bad economy (there are, of course, plenty of folks who can cite facts pointing to the opposite — that elective procedures, in particular, get postponed during weak economic cycles, but certainly big healthcare companies are often considered to be steady and counter-cyclical — or at least, they were before medical investing became so entwined with patent expirations and regulatory upheaval).

But yes, we can stipulate to Cox’s main point, that biotech companies can “soar on new breakthroughs” even if the economy stinks.

And this breakthrough is apparently that someone can take non-embryos and build human stem cells — Cox simplifies it to say that they take an unfertilized egg and “trick it into growing and dividing.”

Thereby sidestepping, he says, all the political and ethical issues that arise when you’re talking about human embryos. He also says that it might solve the problem of immune suppression and prevent rejection of transplanted stem cells. Sounds impressive, no? That is, if you were willing to sit through his looooong “presentation” on this teaser (for whatever reason, Cox’s ads don’t usually let you get at that handy transcript like most publishers do)

And he says they have “multiple clinical trials in the works… for Parkinson’s, liver disease, eye disease, and more.”

And that they’ve “taken the first major step” to build a bank of stem cells in the U.S. — whereby, it sounds like, individualized personal stem cells could be banked for future use.

So what’s the company? Well, I’m sure he’ll tell you if you pony up $895 to subscribe to his newsletter and get his special report (which is subtly entitled, “How to Live Longer, Healthier and Richer with this One Tiny California Company’s Potential Stem Cell Miracle.”)

But if you’re like us, “Free” sounds better than $895″ … so let’s feed those clues into the mighty, mighty Thinkolator and see what our solution is, shall we? Of course, or “free” solution doesn’t come with all the fancy-pants explanations that I presume you would get for nine hundred bucks (I guess they’re not doing too bad, they’ve raised the price from the old “discount” of $695) … but we’ll try to get you started.

guardian — discovery of non-embryo stem cells will “truly revolutionize the treatment of life-threatening illnesses”

A few more clues to toss in …

“$58 million market cap at under 85 cents per share…

“128 international patents or patent applications….”

Then, if you’re willing to sit through the whole “presentation” (we did so, but at the cost of much suffering and fidgeting), you even get a couple bonus clues — such as that this company, though it doesn’t yet have any FDA-approved products, does have a “fast-growing skin care line” using an extract that’s based on an accidental discovery from their stem cell research. That has brought a 270% increase in revenue as of the last quarter — and they’re trying to milk this skincare line to provide cash for their core business.

And they’ve also got a “revenue giant” business that sells research-grade stem cell lines to other researchers. That division introduced 30 new products last year.

So those two cash-generating divisions are expected to fund the company internally, and give them the strength to get far enough along to get good partnerships and development deals for the real money-makers that just might cure the blind and eradicate disease and human suffering.

And, of course, lest we forget the promise of great wealth, Cox tells us that …

“a tiny $25,000 stake in this emerging biotech powerhouse could make you as much as $2.1 million, if it all works out as I expect it to, and allow you to retire at your leisure.”

Which gets the drool flowing a bit, even if we consider that most of my readers wouldn’t call a $25,000 stake in a penny stock “tiny.”

But it’s certainly enough to toss into the ol’ Thinkolator — we’re running a little low on propane up here at Gumshoe Castle, but it’s still enough to spin up the ‘olator and get a quick answer for you. This is …

International Stem Cell (ISCO, trades over the counter)

And yes, those who’ve been astride the Stock Gumshoe pocket rocket for more than a few months will recognize the name — turns out, this is one that Cox has teased and touted a few times in the past, though it hasn’t been actively featured as a red-hot pick over the last year or so as far as I’ve seen. I think the last time I wrote about this one at all was for a Breakthrough Technology Alert tease two years ago.

I remember hearing from somewhere that Cox had stopped coverage on ISCO in the last couple years because of conflicts of interest — he was involved somehow in marketing their skincare line, along with fellow marketer/investment newsletter guy John Mauldin, and that got his Agora employers a bit nervous, I guess. Still, this is certainly ISCO that he’s teasing here, so perhaps he’s no longer working with them or the situation has somehow otherwise changed.

ISCO is an interesting three-headed beast of a company for one so small — and small it is, even smaller than Cox’s tease now. It’s down well below $50 million in market cap now that the stock has continued its year-long decline, with a share price down to below 60 cents … even after Cox’s tease running late last week gave the stock a big bump on Friday (and I do mean a BIG jump, it went from about 40 cents to 60 cents, a 50% increase, on no other news that I can find aside from the new Cox ad).

They do have two revenue-growth businesses, with revenue up by over 200% in the last quarter … but that’s still not nearly enough, of course. As of their last report, over nine months they had recorded net losses of just under $9 million. So we can extrapolate that very basic math to say they’ve been losing roughly a million bucks a month. That number had improved slightly in the third quarter, so it was down to maybe $800,000 in losses per month. They did see huge demand, much more than expected, for their cosmetic product launch, and folks aside from Patrick Cox are also forecasting that they have the potential to become break-even or profitable within the next year or two, but they’ll probably have to again raise money before that happens, even in an optimistic scenario (even if their losses drop to half a million bucks a month, they reportedly had less than $3 million in cash at the end of September … so you can do the math).

Still, these ideas from Cox are never about which stock has the cash to avoid dilution, or which one is about to get FDA approval — his companies are almost always far, far earlier in the development process (though he’s also shown that he likes “real” products that might get consumer attention, especially those like ISCO’s cosmetic line or Star Scientific’s Anatabloc that can be sold without FDA review).

It’s a compelling business plan — get rid of wrinkles as a way to fund your cure for blindness — but it’s still a long-range plan, the parthenogenic stem cells (that’s their technology — and yes, they come from unfertilized human eggs) have come a long way since their breakthrough discovery, with pretty impressive milestones passed as they get regulatory approvals for their cell bank and increase their capacity to sell products to other researchers, but it’s still a huge leap ahead to actually develop a stem cell therapy that gets FDA approval to treat one of the dreaded diseases. I’m no biotech expert, but I’d guess that they’re at least a decade from a product in that area.

But then again, if their Lifeline Skin Care products can really get rid of wrinkles better than other creams … well, there are probably plenty of baby boomers out there who would put another mortgage on the house for a shot at that.

The revenue is growing, their skin care product seems to have been at least an initial hit, their “real” science of cell research products is in demand, and their parthenogenic stem cell therapy has wonderful pie-in-the-sky potential eventually. And some folks think their revenue might catch up with expenses by 2014 … so given that, is the company worth $10 million or $200 million today?

Beats the heck out of me — the company has developed fairly steadily on its path in recent years, at least for a teensy OTC stock, but has still seen share prices of both $2.50 and $0.50 over the past year or so, with the very clear trend over the last 12 months being “down.” Feel free to opine below if you’ve got a thought to share.

P.S. Curious about the second report that Cox throws in as a “bonus”? It’s a company that sells a “Super treatment” that will provide you with generations of wealth, and that could be the last stock you’ll ever need as it aims to stop Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s a reiteration of his oft-teased pick of Star Scientific, you can see our comments about it here (I do have a few LEAP options on Star Scientific, just FYI, but it’s definitely very speculative).

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41 Comments on "“Miracle Stem Cell ‘Cure’ Could Allow 10 Million Blind To See Again”"

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mike b
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mike b
January 9, 2012 3:06 pm

ISCO could be a good pick, especially since they currently have revenue from skin cream sales–still waiting on the last quarter numbers.

If you like stem cell plays, might want to check out ACTC, Advanced Cell Technology. Check out the new BOD appointments (DR Langer) and their CSO, Dr Lanza–both top in the industry. Bad news is the 1BILLION A/S being voted on later this month BUT it is resolving their litigation. Also, prelim. agreement with Roslin Cells is a plus. Checkout investorstemcell .c om for more info.. good luck

Ollie Woodard
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Ollie Woodard
January 9, 2012 3:19 pm

Saw 60 minutes last night (1/8/2012) that exposed a scam on stem cell treatments Duke Medical Center stem cell research doctor featured in program said that effective treatments were years away,

Mel Cruts
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Mel Cruts
January 9, 2012 3:24 pm

I also saw the 60 minutes report last evening and your article just becomes the laugh of
the day (LOL) as a text message would put it. I also trust the Duke Medical Center a lot more than a teaser from a stock promoter.

Stockmun
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Stockmun
January 9, 2012 3:32 pm
Missing the boat here with this article, Advanced Cell Technology ACTC has two FDA trials going at the Jules Stern UCLA facility for AMD with results due to be published within weeks. With a team of Dr, Lanza ACTC CSO and now considered the real expert in his field, the well respected Dr. Schwartz from UCLA supervising the trials, and the ex FDA head Dr. Langer on the BOD of ACTC, this is where you want to do your due diligence and get involved with a stem cell company imo. It is amazing how the only two stem cell FDA… Read more »
JOHN ZIMMERMAN
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January 9, 2012 3:39 pm
i THANK THE MANY GODS FOR PATRICK COX , I USE TO HAVE ONE LEG , FROM BIRTH , NO EYES OR EARS , AND WAS MUTE ALSO !BUT THANKFULLY , AND I DO MEAN THANKFULLY , FOR PATRICK – THE KING ALIMOMENTUS GIGANTUS STOCK WIZARD , HE HELPED MY PARENTS FIND A STOCK THAT ALSO SOLD SNAKE OIL IN A POP TOP CAN , A THROWAWAY IT WAS SO INEXPENSIVE !!! AND , NOW ONLY BECAUSE OF PATRICK CAN I SEE , HEAR , RUN (YES-I GREW TWO MORE LEGS AND WITH ALL THE MONEY WE MADE ON THE… Read more »
Buzz
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Buzz
January 9, 2012 4:05 pm

Here, here for Ollie. The 60 minutes piece last night demonstrated that not only has the medical community NOT got and super cure, there isn’t a company with an inside tract. Got to be another scam!!

Harrison Kornfield
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January 9, 2012 4:08 pm
Corneas are not needed for transplant. The blindness from corneal disease is preventable with public health programs vs. the infectious agent that destroys the cornea. Sixty Minute expose of scams was right on, except it was not honest. The Canadian government is sponsoring a patient study NOW, with great basic science support, with cartilage stem cells being injected into shoulder joints of NHL professional players. Results should be available within a year. And the parthogenetic source for stem cells is moral and good and plentiful. Stem cells will be used for tissue replacement; organ replacement is questionable, and treatment of… Read more »
stockcrazy10
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stockcrazy10
January 9, 2012 9:53 pm

You’ve obviously not aware of Fuchs dystrophy which often requires a corneal transplant..
“Corneal transplants are common and effective. However, you may have to wait a long time for donor tissue to become available. ”
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fuchs-dystrophy/DS01147/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

Bill Gray
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January 10, 2012 11:18 pm
Mr Kornfield’s comment about corneal disease problems (” corneas are not needed for transplant”) being preventable by public health measures is nonsense. The necessity for many transplants comes from keratoconus, a disease which amounts to a misshapen cornea. To my knowledge –admittedly not expert– there is not a definitively known cause for keratoconus, but allergies have been suspected. Onset is usually in the late teens; some cases’ progress result in corneal thinning to such an extent that a transplant is indicated. The average transplant life is about 25 years, so if your transplant occurs when you’re 25, chances are you’re… Read more »
Roey Chasman
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Roey Chasman
January 9, 2012 5:11 pm
Stock Gumshoe, I believe that the stock that is implied from Patrick Cox’s newsletter hype is not actually ISCO, but Advanced Cell Technology. ACTC is the only biotech that is FDA approved for stem cell trials, and they have a patented “Embryo Safe” method of extracting stem cells. The board members they have been hiring are all setting up ACTC for a major future expansion. Coupled with China and European JV rumors, and BOD bread crubs such as “exceed expectations”, and “both of the patients want their other eye treated”. When the trial results are released (PR from management said… Read more »
Namlak
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Namlak
January 9, 2012 8:27 pm

I take the letter and it s isco.

Brian
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Brian
January 9, 2012 5:36 pm

Cox is an ego maniac, who certainly picks his share of turkeys, I would not touch his recco’s with a barge pole…

joe wyczalek
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January 9, 2012 5:56 pm

“normal” medicines take several 100’s of millions of dollars and many years of testing before getting fda approval. So, I would think( o-later) this company is already underfunded. But the , what do I know, I’m only a dumb doctor.

Don X
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Don X
January 9, 2012 10:52 pm

Advanced Cell Technology Inc. Presents at EBD Group, Inc.’s Biotech Showcase 2012, Jan-09-2012 through Jan-11-2012. Venue: Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco ­ Union Square, 55 Cyril Magnin Street, San Francisco, 94102, California, United States. Presentation Date & Speakers: Jan-10-2012, Gary H. Rabin, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Principal Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Member of Audit Committee, Member of Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee and Member of Compensation Committee.

Don X
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Don X
January 9, 2012 10:57 pm

Check out this article on whether stem cell stocks are a good buy and who are leaders in the field:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-stem-cell-stocks-a-good-buy-2011-07-13

Mohd Razak khan
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Mohd Razak khan
January 10, 2012 2:44 am

Well,I guess as of today,I am still in the money for a refund.They really shoot up from 695 to 895 real fast.

Matt S
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Matt S
January 10, 2012 5:16 am

Travis, You mentioned a second company Cox was intimating about. Could be Geron, as I just read an article by Cox for Small Stocks concerning firm’s ability to replicate a feature of early embryonic development that begins the process of cell differentiation. Known as the “primitive streak,” it is the initial division of undifferentiated embryonic cells into “bilateral symmetry.” Some bioethicists, in fact, consider this event the “ensoulment” or beginning of life.

Sharon Logue
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Sharon Logue
January 10, 2012 2:21 pm
There is a website from NIH that anyone can access > ClinicalTrials.gov Just plug in stem cell, and cornea and 6 trials are found. Only 2 are NIH approved, one is looking at the success of a drug and the other (NIH study is gathering cells from patients with eye disease) The others are being done in Asia with sketchy information. It’s easy to enter any variable, even ACTC to find information. If ACTC has their extraction process approved, then in can be used in further trials on actual patients, but from what I have read, it’s the process, not… Read more »
baltbear
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January 10, 2012 4:53 pm

It’s amusing to see that no matter what rational discussion is ongoing, the chickenpoop bingo players of actc.ob show up. Having clients in isco.ob i can say this is a pretty fair analysis. the “upside”–continual r&d without the need for endless dilution, because it can make ebitda from cosmetics is the most “equities” honest approach of any of the small players. Its involvement with cox/agora/mauldin is the downside.

bill
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bill
January 10, 2012 5:58 pm
I have held stock in ACTC for 4 years. It has been a very slow process. Trials in the first stage are nearly finish. They have trials in the EU next week. They have a JV starting with China and the EU. They have more patents than any other stem cell company. And last but not least, in the last 6 days the stock is up more than 100% from the low. Why? In the next 6 to 9 weeks the trials were a success to date and they also have orphan status for the next stage and FDA fast… Read more »
bill
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bill
January 10, 2012 6:10 pm

OOps I forgot the total sales for today were $5,498,878.00, and have been rising in volume each day. Sounds like this stock is a total waste of time LOL

Sharon Logue
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Sharon Logue
January 11, 2012 2:17 pm
You can view the actual study referenced by Stockmun above at the Clinical Trials website. It’s identifier number is NCT01345006. So far, they are in a recruiting phase with a 12 month timeframe ending Sept 2013. It’s easy to read, even with a lot of medical lingo. They are looking for evidence that the injected stem cells are alive and show enhanced activity. They will inject anywhere from 50,0000 to 200,000 stem cells based on cohort group. The start date is April 13 2011. They list primary completion date as July 2013. They allow 10 weeks per group before they… Read more »
Carol F
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Carol F
January 11, 2012 4:13 pm

Has anyone checked out the stem cell clinics in Germany? They use autologus stem cells that don’t have a rejection problem. Interesting information, videos and patient responses and results. Xcell, Dusseldorf. May provide some info to help analyze current stock rec.

Bill Nowotney
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Bill Nowotney
January 14, 2012 1:44 pm

Geeze, sounds like a bunch of girly-men having a whining session. Go outside girls, get away from your facebook and texting. Technology has been advancing for thousnands of years. Stem cell research is on-going just be patient women.

RWM
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January 14, 2012 4:13 pm

Medivet is a company in the field of veterinary medicine which harvests some of the animal’s fat to produce stem cells, therefore, no rejection issues. I have talked to a respected veterinarian that has seen remarkable results in arthritic patients. I wonder if any of the human stem cell industry uses the fatty tissue to harvest the stem cells as does Medivet.

Mark H.
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Mark H.
January 14, 2012 4:39 pm
I have owned (and lost money) on several occasions with ISCO in the last couple years; currently down almost 50% even with the latest pop in price. That said, at around 40-50 cents, it might be worth a modest amount of risk capital, as long as you don’t mind waiting possibly for years before they have a product line beyond their cosmetics. I think Patrick Cox tends to fall in love with his picks way too easily, without much regard to economic realities. So far, I’ve lost a bunch of $$ on not only ISCO, but also NanoViricides (NNVC), down… Read more »
DARRELL REID
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DARRELL REID
January 15, 2012 3:44 pm

I am an ISCO stockholder….have researched the company and followed it for about two years….price is about 50% below what I purchased it for but I didn’t buy it based on “INSTANT RICHES”….the potential is enormous, the research ongoing and significant, and I see the possibility of success very likely. Also, have turned many female acquaintances onto the Lifeline Skin products and been thanked profusely by them.
Major Truth….he who stands in the middle of the road shouting “IT CAN’T BE DONE”
usually gets knocked on his ass by someone doing it!!!!!

Harry Fish
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Harry Fish
January 16, 2012 8:57 pm

Have you ever looked at Mesoblast? They’re an Aussie company that does stem-cell injections reputed to rebuild heart muscle. Seems like a disruptive technology to me

Bosko
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January 20, 2012 2:06 am

Thank you Namlak. This is truly the future of Medacine. In the future they faze out drugs. Stemcell is the FUTURE. When they get this right. We will all be better for it.

marksman
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marksman
January 23, 2012 7:17 pm
Just trolled through the many responses to Cox’s latest “pssst.. wanna make a few bucks” story, and was pleasantly surprised to come across Harry Fish’s reference to Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) on January 16 @ 8.57pm. I have been a very happy holder of this stock for some time. Bought at around $1.94, then sold half at around $9, I am having a free-ride on the balance. I will not toss in the many reasons behind my decision to buy this stock, but if you get onto their website and follow the various significant announcements made, you will be able to see… Read more »
Tzvi Yisrael
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January 28, 2012 3:58 pm

ISCO a research company brought to you by not one, but two extra subsidiary companies… All that extra management needs to be paid for somewhere. No wonder why the company trades at a hefty .49 cents! Who will get the first set of profits if and when things get approved by the FDA (years from now) and procedures work, and they have something to sell, etc. etc.

Not the stockholders!

Robert Michael
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January 30, 2012 12:26 am
Wow…lots of off-point whining is right-sheesh. Marksman, necessity is the mother of invention-no need for population control (How about you take Ted Turner, Obama, his lead scientist, and all others dumping feminizing chemicals into our water-along with Monsanto-the REAL reason people are starving, find a nice island, & practice your beliefs on each other-the rest of us will be just fine here, TYVM). Back to Travis’ article-long overdue. I bought BTA ~2yrs ago for $695, because he was plugging Three big key SC Co’s-turned out to be Geron (GERN), BioTime (new ticker=BTX), and ISCO. The newsletter said you could buy… Read more »
ben blumberg
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0
April 27, 2012 11:05 pm

Replacement corneas aside, the stem cell approach also offers the possibility of repair of damaged retinas, as in macular degeneration. This was actually successfully tested several years ago, in an unpublished study, before stem cells became diffucult to obtain.

john mcvey
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john mcvey
April 28, 2012 9:26 am

can you supply the coords to this study you refer to?
thanks – john

Dubious
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0
April 28, 2012 2:02 pm
Despite all the blather you hear these days “Quote from Oil Barron plus Silver Guru” From reading many suppossedly prof’s ,, it is a pile of ,,,,,,, Many years of reading and with just 10% of all the profits they all say to get your CASH Id be long retired on 10%, Take your equities with fatastic gains but more likely LOSSES and forget it ,,, ITS FIXED , ONE variable they cant control is volitility,,, To wager on peoples emotions and greed is safer than any recommendation I have been able to prove for any equity or money grab… Read more »
John
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John
May 3, 2012 11:18 am

Thanks for your eluminating article on ISCO glad to hear that I was not the only one fidgeting during the Cox Infomercial. He is the modern day Internet version of the Snake Oil Salesman in the horse and buggy!

burnerjack
Member
0
May 7, 2012 8:24 pm
To say I was an amature investr would be both grandious and insulting to true amature investors…. What I want to know is: when a development stage company of any field pops, all kinds of hysteria ensues, funds flow in, then either it tanks or is bought out. Those that stay the course seem to be of the slow and steady variety. OK… What I want to know is : is there a “rule of thumb” on waiting out the initial hysteria? I was bummed when I missed out on A123 debuting at 19 going up and, well, have you… Read more »
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