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The God Switch: Human Beings Become Immortal, We Become Rich?

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This article originally ran on January 8, 2013. It has not been updated save for the addition of this brief introductory note.

More recent ad pitches on this same topic that say the stock and ticker have been “hacked” probably refer to our coverage of the story, but the more recent ads do not appear to have otherwise been substantively updated. The stock teased (revealed and discussed below, don’t worry) bumped up dramatically during the first week or two of the Breakthrough Technology Alert ad campaign but has since fallen back down a bit.

“God’s power to grant ETERNAL LIFE stolen by stem cell scientists in California

“Heaven’s Been Robbed!

“With the flip of a switch, doctors can now make the human body heal and regenerate itself — quickly, painlessly and naturally.

“Imagine what your life would be like… how much money you could earn…

“if you become… IMMORTAL!”

That’s the lead-in to the latest ad for Patrick Cox’s Breakthrough Technology Alert, a newsletter that we end up covering pretty frequently here at Stock Gumshoe … in large part because their copywriters keep coming out with great stuff like that and getting our readers hot and bothered.

Patrick Cox is a lover of the biotech breakthrough, and it seems to me that he’s pretty quick to draw straight lines off into into the future, turning promising pre-clinical results into world-changing science.

And I haven’t read his actual newsletter, which I’m sure must be more sober than his ads, but I’ve read enough of his hype-filled ads over the years that I almost spit my coffee onto the computer monitor when I read this paragraph:

“If you’re familiar with him, either through his published articles or by reputation, you know he’s not given to exaggeration or hyperbole.

“If anything, he’s an avowed skeptic and card-carrying cynic”

Maybe so, but when he’s reading one of his “presentations” to entice investors, and tells us that we’re on the verge of both immortality and generation-spanning wealth, well, I can’t help but think there’s a fair helping of both exaggeration and hyperbole.

Not that this means we’re less interested in finding out which companies he teases, of course — these companies have cool science and sometimes some of them do break through, turn science into products and FDA approvals, and make investors a lot of money. Not often, from what I hear, but sometimes.

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And yes, I’m quite aware that a quick browse through the Stock Gumshoe Tracking Spreadsheets will not show you many Patrick Cox picks in the top half of the rankings. Or in the green, frankly. But they do have substantial pops from time to time, either because of Mr. Cox’s attention and Agora’s massive email lists or because of company news — these stocks are essentially never financial investments, because they almost never have meaningful sales and never have profits in these early stages … they’re driven by news, sentiment, and science.

So will this be one of the times that a teaser pick of his does well? Well, let’s see which stock he’s touting as the owner of the patent for the “God Switch” that can turn off aging in your body’s cells.

And no, we’re not going to get into the tease about whether this is really a “playing God” thing, or a threat to religion — the copywriter just throws that into the ad to get your temperature up a little bit and make sure you read (or listen to) the whole thing.

People heated up about big picture issues often don’t make rational small picture choices, I reckon, which certainly helps someone who’s selling an expensive and speculative newsletter to individual investors.

So … with that said, what’s our “God Switch” company? The tease says it’s run by a man who gets the pseudonym “Dr. Blanc” …

“The founder, CEO and lead scientist of the biotech company I’m talking to you about today — the company that could provide you with the means to live forever… and enough money to do so.

“Because I can’t disclose his real name just yet, I’ll simply refer to him as Dr. Blanc.

“A quiet, pensive man and small of stature, he is, nevertheless, a giant within the stem cell community.

“I believe, in time, he will be viewed in the same light we view other great medical minds that have changed the world.

“Pasteur, Mendel, Curie and Fleming immediately come to mind. Though I have no doubt his contribution to the improvement of the human condition will be considered far, far greater.”

And we’re told that Patrick Cox is a true believer in this one:

“Patrick is strictly forbidden from holding shares in any company he recommends — accordingly, he owns no shares of Dr. Blanc’s company.

“But if he could, he swears… he would’ve long ago purchased every share he could — enough to make him at least a “10% beneficial owner” and, therefore, technically speaking, a company insider.”

So what’s their technology? Apparently it’s some kind of way of creating pluripotent stem cells (ie, not embryonic stem cells — they want to use the body to make it’s own new stem cells), a way that is less dangerous than the previous virus delivery method for inserting gene control agents (Shinya Yamanaka just won the Nobel Prize for this 2006 discovery of those gene control proteins that can induce stem cell creation, creating induced pluripotent cells). More from Cox’s ad:

“Dr. Yamanaka’s process of inserting the four genes into an adult cell to create iPS cells appeared to be another dead end…

“The riches investors believed they could earn by backing the winning horse in the race to cure and prevent disease and prolong life were as faraway as ever.

“But Patrick knew the race had only just begun, and he told his readers so.

“Don’t fall prey to the skeptics who doubt the near-alchemical power of stem cells, he told them….

“Dr. Blanc knew, too, that if there was one way to create an iPS cell, there had to be another.

“And soon enough, he found it — and far quicker than anyone could’ve imagined.

“You see, he realized… if other animals (certain mammals, fish and reptiles, for example) could self-regenerate — grow new limbs or tails and repair damaged internal organs — it wasn’t impossible.

“And we should, therefore, given the right conditions, be able to do the same.

“Enter the one gene that rules them all — the God Switch!”

How does that work? The ad describes it as kind of like “breaking the encryption” for a cell’s DNA:

“[for] DNA to replicate and pass into a new cell, encryption must be turned off.

“Dr. Blanc reasoned, therefore, that if he could find the encryption key — in other words, the gene or genes responsible for encryption — he could unlock the cell and instruct it to return to its embryonic state — just as Yamanaka did using a virus….

“Fortunately, in one of his subsidiary companies, a scientist devoted to finding a cure for cancer found that needle without even knowing it.

“After analyzing gene ‘expressions’ from numerous cancerous and healthy cells, this scientist noticed that one particular gene, named SP100, was not activated in cancer cells.

“A quick side note: Dr. Blanc’s company is now on the threshold of using gene SP100 to screen patients for cancer before they actually develop cancer, and even cure cancer if they already have it.”

And then, as the ad says “Dr. Blanc’s company” has done, the IPS cells (that’s the acronym for the adult stem cells, the induced pluripotent stem cells that we want) have to be directed to turn into the kind of cell you need to repair the heart, or whatever. That part is a few years old as far as I can tell, the transplant of a donor trachea that the ad mentions, using stem cells in a Spanish woman, was almost five years ago, and the similar transplant of bladders that were infused with stem cells to remove rejection risk and help them meld into the body (I’m sure none of that is a proper technical description) was a couple years before that.

And finally, we’re told, there’s one more challenge — how to reset the “biological clock” of cells so that your transplanted IPS cells from your own body don’t have the same age-related weaknesses as your current cells. And “Dr. Blanc” also solved this problem, apparently.

With Patrick Cox as a guinea pig of sorts — we see some photos in the ad of Cox visiting “Dr. Blanc” in his lab, and having Patrick’s stem cells turned into “immortal” heart cells that could be injected into the heart, rejuvenating that tissue.

The cells weren’t injected, apparently — this was a test, and such injection is, we’re told, illegal without FDA approval. But we’re told they would have worked just fine and would have had the same impact as would Cox’s own embryonic stem cells … had he happened to have any of those lying around.

We also hear a bit about the huge stock pops that some of these advancements were made:

“He successfully immortalized an iPS cell — it became ageless and continued to replicate without end.

“After he published his findings, CNBC immediately asked to interview him so he could explain why his company’s stock had more than doubled overnight.

“The rest of the world’s press was also quick to pick up on his impossible breakthrough…

“A Bloomberg headline read: ‘Stock Soars as Firm Clones ‘Immortality’ Gene.’

“Time magazine titled its coverage ‘The Immortality Enzyme.’”

Now, those quotes are about this key part of the scientific advancement — largely related to telomerase, the aging enzyme first cloned 20 years ago — but they’re also quite old now, this particular wave of press and the spike in the share price of the company happened about 15 years ago, and the company that headlined those advances was Geron (GERN), which was the standard-bearer for stem cell research among publicly traded companies for a long time … but has also been a huge disappointment over most of the past decade.

So Geron is both an example of the huge profits you can make from these advancements — more than once it has gone up 5-10X in value in a matter of months — and a cautionary tale, as those who believed in the technology and promise and held for the long term have seen the stock go from about $10 to $1.50 over just the past five years (to say nothing of the $60+ share price it hit during the market mania in 2000).

But Geron isn’t our teaser target today.

No, the Mighty, Mighty Thinkolator tells us that we’re again being teased about BioTime (BTX), a longtime Patrick Cox favorite that has had a very bumpy ride … and that is helmed by Michael West, who was a founder of Geron and is described as a pioneer of stem cell research. It’s hard to tell from the photos that Cox includes in his ad, but the images from the lab show someone who looks a lot like Dr. West working on Patrick Cox’s skin cells. West is, ironically enough, showing some signs of age since his publicity photo was taken for the BioTime website, so I’m not 100% sure on that.

But the match is perfect for all the other clues, too, including several pages of blather that I’ve spared you from the ad. Cox talks about this company’s strategy of pursuing multiple products and technologies using a set of seven subsidiaries, and that’s what BioTime has — or did have until this week, when they added an eighth subsidiary (BioTime Acquisition Corp) to buy some of the stem cell intellectual property from Geron. And he talks about a few of their key products, including a new cancer diagnostic test that could become a huge seller — all of which also match BioTime and its subsidiaries.

Cox has probably teased BioTime more over the last several years than any other stock, with the possible exception of Star Scientific (STSI), but he hasn’t aggressively teased it like this for quite a while — I don’t think I’ve mentioned the stock for close to two years now. BioTime has also been around for ages, it’s been publicly traded for about 20 years but has seen some wild ups and downs and major changes to the business over that time … though the price now, right around $3.50, is pretty close to where it was in the early 1990s. It’s a small company but not a ridiculously teensy one, with a market cap of close to $200 million, and the shares are up by a good 15-20% over the last couple days based either on their deal with Geron or on Patrick Cox’s renewed enthusiasm — I’d guess it’s the latter, but I don’t really know.

Those subsidiaries at BioTime are involved in a lot of different things, and each one is apparently a joint venture that helps to get outside funding. That, and BioTime’s work to expand cell lines that are available for researchers at low cost (but with royalties due on future products), gives quite a few ways for the science to “work” in a business sense (ie, to make money).

In terms of substantial new products from BioTime, it looks like they’re targeting late 2014/early 2015 as a key time period, that’s when they hope to get European approval for a new cancer blood screening test, which would be a big deal (identifying genetic markers of cancer in the blood might be more effective and catch cancer much earlier than conventional screening like mammography or colonoscopy), and for a plastic surgery product called Renevia … and before that they hope to have launched clinical trials for an Age-related Macular Degeneration drug called OpReven that’s partnered with Teva. So there are some potential catalysts out there, though from a look at the balance sheet it appears they’ll probably have to bring in some cash from a new partnership or raise money over the next couple quarters in some other way.

BioTime has plenty of skeptics out there, folks who note that they have few real products and that those products bring in essentially no revenue, and that the promise of future revenue from work that’s now in the lab has been made many, many times over the years — so a substantial chunk of the shares are sold short, it would take a couple months of “normal” trading volume to clear up the short position, so if there happened to be some event that drove the shares much higher that move could be amplified by short covering … or, of course, the shorts could just hold on, if they have enough margin, and wait for the fall back down. There’s one bearish case for BTX here from last year — it needs updating but is still largely relevant, and some short sellers have shares negative pieces about BTX on SeekingAlpha, like this one from last summer. That’s not to say the short sellers will necessarily be right, but if you’re betting on a company with a large short position it’s usually a good idea to understand why folks are so aggressively betting against them.

There’s really no reasonable way to value this company, in my opinion — it’s worth what the future has you believing it to be worth, and I can see two investors coming up with wildly different numbers based on whether they agree with Patrick Cox that Michael West and his company and subsidiaries have now “cracked the code” to repair and rejuvenate human cells and that it’s just a matter of time before that leads to wealth. From reading their latest investor presentation it sounds like they’re on the verge of some products that have real, large addressable markets … but they’ve made that claim on other products as well (including Hextend, their one real marketed product, that appears to have a much smaller market than was initially hoped by investors).

The implicit hope of investors from years past seemed to me that BioTime would make enough money licensing their cell lines and selling research materials to turn them into a steady cash generator who could push that cash into developing breakthrough products, and that hasn’t happened (yet, at least), but the blue sky potential seems to still be there … of course, lots of companies, including the Geron of five and ten years ago, have had that potential too.

Immortality would lead to the Earth being such a festering, overpopulated cesspool that none of us would want to live forever, I expect… but I can see that developments along the way to that hypothetical future, like all of the advancements in regenerative medicine to help your body repair itself from specific injuries or diseases, would certainly be welcomed by the marketplace … not least because the largest and wealthiest generation of the wealthiest country on earth is starting to face its own mortality. So it wouldn’t be a shock if anything in this realm turns into a moneymaker, it’s just that I have no idea which of the many, many regenerative technologies bouncing around in labs and in early clinical and animal studies, if any, is actually going to turn into a blockbuster product.

I’m sure Patrick Cox has a better handle on the science than I do, and BioTime is certainly a stock that he speaks more glowingly about than some and has followed quite closely for years, but it’s also been my impression that he shares a burst of manic optimism about a new stock with almost as much enthusiasm every few months… so if you’re interested in BioTime and think they’ll be turning their science into huge piles of money at some point soon, by all means, start nibbling, but take the promise of the “God Switch” and immortality with a wee bit of a grain of salt. I’ve played around with some speculating in BioTime and other “revolutionary” biotech stocks in the past, and some have worked out for relatively quick profits … but most have not — I don’t have the brains or the stomach to bet big on an early stage biotech stock and let it ride, so I’ll leave that for the stronger spirits out there. If you’ve got an opinion on BioTime and the promise of stem cells, and the wealth it may or may not bring for little investors like us, feel free to shout it out with a comment below.

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112 Responses to The God Switch: Human Beings Become Immortal, We Become Rich?

  1. There is an interessting article in Bloomberg Business Week magazine this week, about Stem Cell reseach and the high level people invovled, such as Rick Perry , Gov. of Texas. Maybe, Travis in his gumshoe might want to kick around what is happening there.

  2. I live near Austin Tx and I’m not sure what you are making reference to when you say “high level people”. Hopefully you are speaking of the office and not the intelligence of the current office holder.

    • You are correct. In Bloomberg, Perry was quoted as saying “Stem cells are my passion. Perry says, ” I have two interests. The first is finding cures for diseases that are complicating people’s lives. The second is economic, the companies that come out of the work with adult stem cells.”
      The fact that Rice University’s Baker Institute citing figures predicting US revenue from
      stem cells products could reach $16 billion by 2020 is interesting also.

      • Such comments were called “ad hominum” by the Romans, proving that ignorant people who attack the individual and not his ideas are still procreating after all these years, unfortunately.

  3. Welll, you dabble in the Gumshoe’s business and you don’t necessarily get it right. I thought that I had outsmarted Patrick Cox by deducing that is was Geron that he was shouting about. I even took a small position in their symbol GERN before Travis had his say. So I was sort of on the right track, but not really.
    What to do now? Sell the Geron and buy the Biotime? Keep the Geron and buy some Biotime? Choices, choices, choices. Maybe I really ought to stop trying for capitol growth and stick with my dividend stuff. At least the dividends keep coming even when the market stinks. Anatabloc, the subject of many earlier comments, is doing fine in my body, so I just HAVE to have at least a small position in STSI. Anyone notice that they are running TV ads now? Isn’t that a sign of progress in our modern business world?

    • Have to hand an “atta boy” to Edward. I’ve been using Anatabloc, wife too. Had an issue with rotator cuff(s) and made the trek to the Dr. “Need surgery to repair micro tears and remove a spur on the bone.” I passed. I don’t like to mess with the factory model.
      Since Anatabloc haven’t had an issue and full mobility/strength. Did buy some STSI too which is languishing. I follow Cox; enjoy his retorhic. Have some BTX. Also languishing. But they’re both small wagers…better than lotto tickets. One he hyped, I foolishly did the same thing and I’m up over 400%. I like his enthusiasm, but still do the old DD before investing. The whole nutracutical type pharma is the wild west. Pick a winner, you could own the Ponderosa. Seems like the dot com era reborn. Gets harder and harder to seperate the fly sh!T out of the pepper with these markets and newsletters. Am a wild fan of Gumshoe as it has saved me countless hours and helped me fill my recycle bin and Junk mailbox. With these markets I think the number of new “letters” coming out has increased faster than the National Debt.

      • Thank you Gumshoe,I have been trying to uncover the name of this company,since reading the Pat Cox teaser on Sunday 6th Jan ,13.I enjoy the detective work,but gave up after spending too much time.Today you have saved me lots of time and effort.

    • Just a quick note re: Anatabloc; I started on the max dosage of 8 tabs a day on 10-12-12 for three weeks, dropped to 4 tabs for weeks 4 through 6, and have been taking 2 a day since then. My knees feels significantly better, and more importantly a growth in my left armpit has shrunk from about the size of a small lemon to that of a grape. As I sit much of the time in my job, prior to taking Anatabloc my kness felt stiff when getting up – no problem with that anymore. I’m sold on the product, and although my position in Star (held before I started using the product) has not returned results worth writing home about I have no intention of dumping them…I’ll give em’ another few years and see what happens.

    • I have been taking Anatabloc now for about 2 months. I am a retired Carpentry Contractor and Professional Carpenter for many years. My hands and knees have been a wreck for decades. I heard about Anatabloc, on sale at GNC and started taking it on the outside chance that my problems were inflammation-related. Well,,, I no longer have pain in my Hands or Knees. There still is some stiffness, but the pain is gone.
      That’s not even the Best part! I fell asleep under a Sun Lamp when I was 25 yrs old, got burned pretty badly and it turned into Shingles,,, several Doctors told me so, all of my life.
      Well, The Shingles on my ankle and the back of my knee are gone and the area that has been the oldest and worst on my front and right side is going away slowly after almost 45 YEARS. so If you have any BS about STSI not having a Great product,,, stick it in your pocket,,, you don’t know what you’re talking about. That one works!!!!
      Lee Paul, Belleville, Il.

  4. Travis, thanks for this one, and as you have noted, Cox may have over simplified all of this so as to appeal to most investors for the short run, as he has popped the stock today, and has created a elliott wave # 1 in the process ( which mostly is technical) given nothing fundamentally is concrete. The money flow has been positive for 2 weeks, and the options chains are active for the 5 strike calls in March too, presumably buy writes, and collared puts too?. This may just reflect just the anticipated $5 dollar warrants on BTX for common shareholders, or actual speculation. It would be wonderful if human cells could revert to pluristem cells if it were that simple without creating cancerous tumors. From what I’ve read, that’s the research still ongoing behind the scenes at prestigious hospitals like MD Anderson in Houston. I’ll add it to a watch list and see where it goes in several months. It has an open future, so if we can catch an Elliott wave #3 on it, that’s the safest play on this one. I will drop a note back to you when/if we can catch it.

    • Yes, I would want to live forever, at least for now. I would be so presumptuous as to assume that I might also have the power to end it when I decided to.

      • You won’t have to end it when you want to. The real God has the final switch and you can run but you can’t hide. When it’s our time all of us will die. I think it’s a sacrilegious name to hang on anything but also don’t argue that God allows us to know and understand things to help mankind. But a God switch? I don’t think so. Besides, this kind of investment is years, maybe decades from making real money because of the bureaucratic red tape that will hold up any wide spread use of that kind of technology in patients. Invest if you wanna but you’ll be waiting a long time to make much profit. If you’re looking for income go with proved dividend stocks and if you’re looking for individual cheap stock.s that pop over night. That’s a gamble and you better have money to burn in the long run.

        • There is only one god. His name is Death. I have only two words for him; “Not Today!”. Seriously from a Swing Trader standpoint this BTX looks like a loser.

      • O.K. Martha. Now ponder and philosophize on this question. On which day will you choose to die? I know my answer to one form of the question. If someone says, “Today? Will you end it today?” My answer would invariably be, “No, not yet. I’m not quite ready.”

        Notice that I did not place any conditions on the decision. I don’t believe any conditions would matter. I would probably delay my end at least another day……….and another……….and another……………………………..

        What do you do for work? Perhaps an answer to that gives clues to your position.

      • O.k. Edward Maddox. Ponder and wax philosophical on this. It is the true nature of all animals and humans to survive as long as possible. That is the reason we were never given and will never achieve immortality in this life time no matter what technology is developed. Not even in biblical times was there ever an immortal human being. However the discussion is the validity of investing in this biotech stock. I say that only someone with a lot of time to wait for a substantial return would invest for reasons mentioned in my earlier reply to your comment. Hey, go for it if it’s your cup of tea but don’t expect to reap the reward of immortality or a huge return any time soon. There are better cheap stocks in sectors that are more apt to return big profit soon that have nothing to do with the headaches this company will have getting it approved for even human clinical trials not to mention the war from the religious groups in this country that will lobby to stop it.

      • At this point Trav… It would be BANKSTERS , LAWYERS, CORPORATE GIANTS AND
        POLITICIANS . Oh and their bestist buddies. Were these your first choices? guess I’ll
        have to spend eternity with Wayne Hatcher. eeegads

      • Ha! Good answer, Travis. But don’t overlook the crop of fresh young talent that would be available to you esp. if you are financially successful, huh?

    • It might be interesting, but what would you do for money? Hope that Gumshoe or the touts come up with fabulous stock picks?

    • If we ever have to answer that question for real, the world will eventually be populated largely with the people who answered Yes.

    • Sure as long as I have an off switch, fun to think about when Humans move into space and Terraform Mars and get off the earth like we must if we are to make it as a race. Funny to see how many folks think we depend on the Earth, when in reality we depend on the Sun, mans mind free from philosophies based in scarcity, limitation and fear are the only things in our way currently!

    • Heck yeah. I will say that I would want to live forever. I will say that for now and while I’m living forever. If, while I’m living forever, I decide that living forever becomes mundane, I’m sure there will be some genetic therapy for that too. I crack myself up. I surely would like to make the money to afford to live forever. Currently have about a year’s salary in the markets. Mostly select energy and financials. Also got a few plays going in precious metals/miners etc. When asked, “Would you want to live forever?”, who is going to say, “No, I’d rather just die?”

    • This man-made “advancement appears to be prophetic. If you read the last book of the Bible Revaltion 9:6 “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

      Death would be a welcome relief to all this suffering. These forces of evil turned loose (unrestrained) upon the earth, whether physical or spiritual, will be so terrible that men will beg to die but will be unable to during this punishment.

  5. It is interesting that a private investor is putting 10 million into BTX for the Acquisition of GERN stem cell research. Even with no “cash cow” BTX seems to have never had a problem raising capital – makes me wonder if there isn’t something behind there science and business model.

    • The neverending
      search for the fountain of youth. People get desperate and irrational when they face their own mortality,

  6. I did some detective work yesterday and found thought it was probably BioTime. Also, saw an article by the good doctor about another company International Stem Cell Corporation, (ISCC) which is a penny stock. They are supposedly working on an alternative, more universally accepted stem cell that could be used in 80-90% of the population. According to the good doctor, they have developed a promising cure for Macular Degeneration. Any ideas on this penny stock?

  7. Almost fell for the hype on this tease but thanks to your great info I saw the light before I parted with any money and will not be a Breakthrough subscriber! Glad I found Stock Gumshoe. Thanks Again!

  8. I just received the Feb 2013 issue of Life Extension magazine. In the article on page 54 Dr. West describes how he obtained $2,000,000 from the Life Extension Foundation to found ReCyte for the purpose of pursuing the use of pluripotent stem cells for the rejuvenation of heart and circulatory system tissue. ReCyte is a subsidiary of BioTime. It is significant that the LE Foundation was willing to invest big time for this endeavor. Stockgumshoe forever !!!!

  9. Back in 2008, I was motivated to purchase stock in the market after the big crash. One of the three areas I wanted to get into was stem cells. There was one company I focused in on, that was cheap and had alot of life changing medical ideas and products that were in various pre-clinical States. When Obama was voted into office, the three cent stock I bought in November 2008, hit twenty nine cents before leveling off and dropping once again. Like alot of these penny stock companies, they entered into toxic lending agreements that would further dilute their stock before they were able to pull themselves out of it. Now that they’re free and clear of the toxic financing, theyre readying their first offering to the FDA for dry macular degeneration, there has been alot of success. Recently their leader has stated that the financial intention of the company is to both pass the clinical trial with flying colors (obviously) and perform a reverse split, to bring the price of the stock back up and apply for listing on the NASDAQ. This company is Advanced Cell Techology. ( ACTC )

      • If grammatical mistakes bother you that much, you should stay off the internet. And it wouldn’t rhyme w ballot because it doesn’t have 2 Ls.

        A lot vs. alot-
        Though common in informal communication, alot has never been an accepted word, and it’s generally considered a misspelling. In any type of serious writing, make it two words—a lot.Keep in mind, though, that many people believe that even the correctly spelled form is out of place in formal writing.

        A lot is like any two-word phrase with the indefinite article (a) followed by a noun (lot). For instance, a cow, a cloud, and a burrito are similarly constructed phrases, but no one would write these acow, acloud, and aburrito. Why a lot is so often compounded into alot is an interesting linguistic mystery. It may have something to do with the existence of the unrelated adjective allot.

        The ngram below graphs the use of a lot and alot in books published between 1900 and 2000. As you can see, alot does not even register against a lot, which shows that the one-word form does not pass through the editorial process.

        No one is saying you can’t use alot in your emails, texts, and web comments. But the two-word form is always used in edited writing. For example, edited publications such as these only use the two-word form:

          • Further, my mother taught English grammar in grade school and high school. She was very demanding and tough about such things. Are you my mother re-incarnated?

        • I for one thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated your brief dissertation on “alot” and have used the term a lot over the years. Thanks very much and no, I do not think you are fixated or obsessive. My dad was a writer and editor and I loved how my parents sought to instill in my written and spoken words the proper use of “I” and “me” for example which are routinely misused nowadays. I have another “beef” with the increasing use of “way” as in “way more” in place of “far more ” or “much more”. Unfortunately I even listened and watched in horror :o) as Brian Williams used “way more” in a newscast the other night. Perhaps he was doing so with his tongue lodged surreptitiously in his cheek.
          In any case, thank you Dr. G. and of course a huge thank you to Gumshoe for all the research and teasing out of facts and bursting of potential bubbles.

      • Alot? Is that really what bothers you about this discussion? O.K. you’re right. The term for an amount of time of any advanced number of anything should be spelled “a lot” as in an allotted amount of something. But get hold of you excitement. Not everyone is an English grammer (misspelled intentionally) professor.

      • But, then, why do we have the word “abet” — aiding and helping a cause is commonly known as “abetting” or betting on, supporting, advocating. Thus if I help someone I am making “a bet” on their welfare, which can also be worded that I “abet their action??” Perhaps this is all a waste of time, unless you’re a Bill Clinton, and are forced to ask, “It all depends on what “is” means.”

      • Hey Edward? Maybe Billo IS your mother on stem cells??? Seriously though, that is ALOT of grammatical information there. :-) BTW is “anal” the correct spelling there Billo???

  10. Hey Travis, if you really want to make a fortune, sell copies of the Thinkolator. The gumshoe faithful will snapped them up in a flash.

  11. I read one of your articles a few days ago and you mentioned you have warent positon
    on one of you holdings.Could you steer me on where i can get some guidance on warrents as I have never traded them. Thanks and keep up your good work

  12. Thanks, Travis, this latest tease caught my eye and I immediately thought of you. Was gratified you were already on it! Enjoy your missives immensely. As for what “work” an immortal could procure, couldn’t the “miracle of compound interest” solve the dilemma?

  13. Immortality could result in infinite wealth. One dollar invested at 5% pa becomes one trillon in only 566.32 years. Interestingly debt explodes in the same way when allowed to compound pa or continuously. Allowed to accumulate over the next 566.32 years the first trillion explodes to $one trillion trillion ($1×10^24). Confetti !!!

    • You mean we have all most likely already outlived our MOOLA. I know it has happened to me and now I gotta reenter the world of work. It is better than being bored though. Also thanks to the Gumshoe excellent work.

    • If you lived forever you would find new interests, opportunities and goals. Along with those goals would come new opportunities for problem solving, creating wealth, and new relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Ah well reality intervenes.

  14. You are wrong the stock is not APDN , WHAT A CLOWN APDN IS NOT A STEM CELL company. its a biomarker for indentifing highend products and technolgy micro chips used in military application , APDN is not a stem cell company . get your facts right

  15. If we lived for ever doesn’t it mean we would just have to work forever ?
    Terrible demographic problems, and the pension age would have to be moved to infinity – 20.
    Isn’t somewhere between 80-100 years a good enough innings ?

  16. Thanks, Travis. You are so good. I was fishing but couldn`t find the answer. Thought possibly STEM but it didn`t meet the hype. I had GERN and I`m still waiting on the buyout money. That has tied up a lot of cash for too long.
    I tried Anatabloc for 3 months. After $300. down the tube I was not convinced that it was anything other than snake oil.

    • Do you have a physical problem that you could identify? Anatabloc is for the reduction of excess inflammation. Perhaps you don’t have a distinct result of excess inflammation that the Anatabloc could help resolve or prevent. That would be one reason that you might not feel a result of taking it. On the other hand, excess inflammation is recognized as the root of almost all our diseases, allowing them to start. Try reading up on inflammation, especially excess inflammation, and you will learn that.

      For myself, I did have distinct problems causing pain and muscular soreness and the Anatbloc surely has helped me greatly. I have not felt better for years.

  17. Marty,
    Based on a number of people I know using it, Anatabloc doesn’t seem to work for all individuals or conditions. If you received no results in 3 months, you, unfortunately, may be one of them. Usually positive results are felt in two to three weeks if you start off with the recommended 3 pills per day. The interesting thing is that after you get the results desired (lack of inflammation pain), it appears that you can back off the number of pills per day and achieve the same results. Does that suggest you could get down to one pill every other day, every other week, etc. as maintenance for the condition being treated? I have no idea. Instructions on the bottle don’t say. But, in my case, that seems to be what’s happening. I’m pleased with the results.

  18. I bought some BTX last time it was teased and am just waiting to unload it for the best profit. It did cross my mind that there is a remote possibility that they might actually have tricked the god fella, in which case the stock would just keep going up for ever! It would be a pity to miss out on financial immortality, I would need the money to fund such a long retirement. I guess I’ll just hedge my bet till I see the edge of the cliff coming up. WOOOOPS, all together boys and girls. Ron

  19. Congratulations to the Thinkolater which appears to have again divined correctly the teaser stock and subject of a huge hype and expensive ($900 annual) subscription to otherwise obtain this information. But I must admit, I think this was one of the less challenging tasks for the Thinkolater. Providentially (or serendipitously if you’re not religious) I read an article by Michael West, himself, in Life Extension magazine on this new science of creating pluripotent (stem) cells the same morning I received Cox’s email hype, and all of the facts of the article seemed to jive with the generalities described in this impressive video from Cox. It mentioned Geron, his first company, the current parent company Biotime (BTX) and the spin-off subsidiaries now created, A little further research on the net revealed that Biotime is also partnering with Teva pharmaceuticals, providing it with stem cell lines to potentially cure retinal disease, and that one of West’s subsidiary companies has been developing an early stage cancer test–two additional details provided in Cox’s video. So the bottom line is that even I, a mere reader, who humbly bows at the feet of the great Thinkolater, figured this one out. For anyone regularly reading Stock Gumshoe, Cox has been discussed several times over the past couple of years, and his record at picking winners seems to be inversely related to his towering intellect and ability to understand and uncover the latest scientific breakthroughs. Couple that with West’s heretofore fairly abysmal record of generating long term and in many cases, even short term, profits for his companies makes this venture sound like it belongs in the “speculation” part of one’s portfolio, in spite of the exciting potential for “immortal” cells and the unusually interesting and exciting publicity hype by Cox and his narrator which certainly grab the imagination. So, in conclusion–thank God for providence and Stock Gumshoe–I just saved $900 and some potentially big losses that a large investment, inspired by Cox’s hype, would have engendered.

  20. Travis,
    Does the Thinkolator have anything on the “Phoenix Event” that is offered as a free report as offered for a subscription to the Dr. Blanc Geron / BioTime tease?

    • Unless you were an entreprenuer, you would not develop new careers, unless age bias is eliminated. Mny people over 55 cannot find good job.

      • Oh how I can relate to that. I am retired and 56 years old after 33 years in the brewing industry. I have a load of mechanical experience from my days prior in construction. I have veritable smorgasbord of process systems knowledge and a background in safety and much more. I have already become bored with retirement. Hell I can’t even get a job stacking lumber at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store. Who the hell wants to live forever?

        • Can you imagine the dating sites??? “Well preserved 262 yr. old male seeks female 25-40 yrs. old for fun, good times, and maybe something serious…..”

  21. I have just signed up and this is my first post, I read/listened to Cox’s pitch this morning and then did a bit of research and found the Gumshoe, I am so happy that I did. I look forward to a long and beneficial relationship.
    With a few exceptions the contributors seem to be reasonable in their comments than on many forums.

  22. Gee imortality. What do we do for water when it runs out. Nothing like war to cull the populations. If not water, the threat of bombing from North Korea, Iran, crazed militants. Will stem cells protect us from that. Immortality is overrated.

    • Julz, remember your chemistry. Or maybe not. Water doesn’t run out. The only way to destroy it is to break it down into Hydrogen and Oxygen and/or combine those elements with some other element or combination thereof. And then you can chemically undo that with basic chemistry, turning the oxygen and hydrogen back into water or breaking down some other chemical combination and recovering water.

      Well, you could shoot the water off into space. That would get rid of it I suppose, but I think you meant that we would consume it by drinking it or flushing it down the toilet, etc.

      You are certainly correct about the possibility of bombing. No “immortality” will defend us from bombs and bullets and any other of the things that physically destroy us. The immortality we are promised is only good for the elimination of aging as we now know it.

  23. Thanks Travis, you give us a fabulous help to save 900$ from extraordinary regenerative medecine from Docteur Blanc pushed by Cox.
    Any idea which tobacco manufacturer provide nutraceutical products to add 20 years to your life, in another report of Cox . UNBELIEVABLE .
    Play on the human misery, intolerable and unfair

  24. Wow! This seems to be a much better forum based on reality than the “5 minute forecast” although I enjoy both. The “forecast” needs to cut down on the repetitive and redundant “pitches” though.

  25. I’ve tried almost of Agora’s publications and have yet to invest in any of their recommendations. Thanks for your review . I was about to subscribe to Mr. Cox’s publication and invest in the God Switch company. I’m 73 years old and doubt that I’ll benefit from any of these miracles. At least I won’t be putting any money in the “shorters” pockets.

    • Ray, check out Dr. Al Sears as he is cutting edge anti aging and age reversal. For example, taking cheap milk thistle and RNA/DNA supplements repairs cells and lengthens telomeres which determine cell replicating tenure. Also BBC study showed that feeding mice every other day lengthened their life span from 3 to over 5 yrs. For humans it’s call IF ( Intermittent Fasting) and easy to do. I eat one meal and one snack per day in a 4 hr. window most days. Try it and reverse aging and lose fat. Need to pump some iron too to retain muscle mass.

  26. John Mauldin has touted BioTime several times in the past, and if you bought when he first talked about it you would be down about 15 – 20%.

    Mauldin, a Rice University Alum, I believe (FWIW, as I see it mentioned above), is a big fan of Cox.

    Great post,

  27. Clearly, I’m NOT alone, in my gratitude to Gumshoe, for doing the quality analysis that had kept me from making at least one expensive mistake! Thanx

  28. When we study Einstein and E=MC2 we view in IMHO Truth as presented in an equation.
    Making claims about living forever would lead a logical man to consider then the relevance of time in the regards to quantum Physics and the implications time has on quantum biology.
    Even if the so called Dr. Blanc has discovered a switch through his genomic research , the conclusion that Patric Cox draws is illogical. he falls into the trap , as do many in the research and financial fields of linear thinking , and as a quantum organism ,homosapien is not subject to live a linear existence but one that is influenced by a whole array of conditions such as light, magnetic pull,food, air ,water and how they interact in time by a sequencing or timing of of various chemical/electrical reactions. Unless he can make a cell “bullet” proof i.e. immune to the changes in our quantum existence cellular degradation will continue. Therefore if Mr. Cox is misrepresenting even a portion of his claims as truth then it is all false. May I suggest researching the effects of cellular degradation on the cosmonaut in the MIR space station, the effects of resonance on honey bees , the cellular results of astronauts ( positive) in NASAs own space station ( they began to grow and did not age) and the effects of EMFs on the ionization of electrons in quantum biology.I would be happy to share and cite my the science behind my opinions.

    • Now why would you want to go and confuse a farm boy like me with all those big words? I already made my mind up that Mr. Cox is full of hype (crap) and we will not live forever due to many reasons. Now I have to ponder quantum biology as well?
      This is great and thank God I found Gumshoe.

  29. Thank you Gumshoe. I just received Agora’s “leak” about the God Switch today Feb 15, 2013. They claim the videa has been leaked and it is about to go viral!!!! I am so glad you dedicate yourself to shedding light on these hyped up claims.

  30. I happen to be a subscriber to several Agora services. This is one that I do not use, but Agora has always hyped their various newsletters and services. This practice of hyped “releases” has cost Agora some very good writers and experts in their field. For obvious reasons I won’t mention any names. This particular newsletter has some very speculative plays in it that, if they pay off at all, it won’t be for quite some time.

  31. The video has pushed so much by hucksters that it is viral–and boring too. A test for terminal stupidity is failed by those not clicking the delete button within the first ten seconds of these countless, mindless narrated PowerPoint videos now so favored by hucksters. While stem cell research is certainly exciting, and the macular degeneration cure is real, selling “eternal life” is ridiculous. This video is a 21st Century version of snake oil sales.


  33. Hi,
    Just found this site today. I have been a long time reader of both Agora and Life Extension.
    I follow up on both of their recommendations, not because I want to invest in them, but because I want to USE them. I am 67, and a big fan of life extension. I want to have the latest innovative therapies bookmarked so that I can access them if and when I may need them.
    I live in a rather small town and my local Docs are probably not up to speed on this info. This is a great site for learning what is new.
    By the way, I tried the nicotine therapy for a while, I did not see any results.

  34. STSI chart seems to be bottoming. Future looks good relative to the overall market movement, but the company has a long way to go before it’ll make all of us rich. Anatabloc is a great product as Cox touted for inflammation. I will attest to that personally. Unlike my January post, I’m down to one pill a day and pain has yet to come back. I don’t view it as a cure, but rather as a supplement. My greatest fear is that the makers of such prescription pain killers like Celebrex will buy the company out just to get Anatabloc off the market. Being a natural substance, Anatabloc has no side effects. If I was running Star Scientific, I’d shout that all over the TV commercials. That would make Celebrex and their kin look like poison with their list of side effects.

    • Celebrex and their kin ARE poison. They don’t just look like it, they really are. Luckily quite a few folk aren’t hit by the terrible side effects. I try hard to avoid all prescription drugs. The alternatives sometimes cost a good bit, and because insurance only covers the prescription drugs (why is that?) I have to spend real money to get the supplements that do real good. Certainly not everything can be cured by supplements, but the emphasis on symptom relief given by many prescriptions shows that there is more profit in giving relief than on curing the basic ailment. After all, a cure ends the profit. Relief calls for continuing consumption of the product that gives relief. Think about it. Even Anatabloc doesn’t cure, but it gives relief without risk, and I do appreciate that.

  35. In spite of all the promotion Biotime has got the stock hasn’t moved very much, just enough for me to escape with a 20% profit. Thanks Pat Cox, now how about teasing Star Scientific, the stock is in need of a boost and I’d like to pass it on to someone who might make his fortune out of it. Ron

  36. Thanks for your great information……Through an accident, the details of which would
    be boring, I had guessed that it is BioTime, back in January…..Lucky guess…On the
    subject of STSI, I can truly say that Anatobloc is fantastic! It has all but taken away
    shoulder rotator pain and discomfort, old runner’s knee problem, and tons of general
    muscle achiness…..and for my wife who suffers from lots of old surgeries from auto accident, has done wonders (no more Advil, Celebrex) To that, I am holding onto my shares – something good has to come from something this good……

  37. Look at STEM TECH. I tried it for a year. Helped my rotator cuff a bit. Releases, they claim, undiffernciated(sp?) bone marrow stem cells.
    Some folks are quite genuine in their quest to relieve the suffering of others; others, just looking for a sucker.
    Travis: keep up the good work. Best bet for eternity is LIFE TIME MEMBER for Stock Gumshoe. Bob

  38. Anatobloc is now part of a commercial with Fred Couples the great golfer with frequent back problems. It will be interesting to see if his back problems are gone permanently or will we still see him lying on the ground doing back exercises during his matches.
    How much is this product? I need somethibg for my back, knee and rotater culf !!!

    • Bob, The company sells through GNC and if you have a GNC discount card you pay $80 for a bottle. I went to the Anatabloc website and signed up for regular monthly shipments for $80 a bottle with free shipping.

      Originally the bottle contained 200 lozenges but they have increased that to 300 lozenges and added their recommendations as to dosage. They now recommend by body weight as:
      100 to 120 pounds / 2 lozenges 3 times per day
      121 to 170 pounds / 2 lozenges 4 times per day
      171 to 220 pounds / 2 lozenges 5 times per day
      221 pounds and over / 2 lozenges 6 times per day
      Well, without much guidance, I had originally started at 2 lozenges 3 times per day and got good results ( my weight = 150 pounds). I have cut back to 2 lozenges 2 times per day with still good relief. My primary problems were knee and ankle pain, blamed on excess inflammation. But I feel generally better all over since I have been taking Anatabloc. My body is now 81 years old and I am rather healthy and I’m happy about that.

      Several have reported getting relief from excess inflammation problems and after a time being able to reduce the dosage without losing the relief. Things like this depend somewhat on your individual body. We are not all alike. One dosage does not fit all and some have reported no relief from taking Anatabloc but many are getting good pain and stiffness relief and some report very unusual problems being solved.

      If you are not directly aware of the effects of inflammation, here is a bit of info.
      The immune system must create inflammation in its fight against disease and infection, but often an overload of problems will cause excess inflammation and that can occur in joints and muscles and some organs, giving discomfort and pain. Excess inflammation is also recognized as a major cause of bodily disease. Some erroneous medical approaches to pain in joints is the prescribing of medicines that produce intentional suppression of the immune system. This is a criminal offense as I see it. We all need every bit of our immune system every bit of the time. The ingredient in Anatabloc is anatabine citrate and it helps prevent excess inflammation without suppressing the immune system. Anatabine can be extracted from many things. Tomatoes for one, but Anatabloc finds that extraction from tobacco leaf is most efficient for them, so that is where they get the anatabine.

      No, I am not a doctor, but I do study carefully the things that help and things that harm my body. Longevity is my goal and especially, comfortable longevity.

      • This is interesting and useful information on the Anatabloc. At $80 a bottle perhaps worth it. However, living in the Carolinas gives me the thought that maybe just making a salad and throwing in a few tobacco leaves might have the same result? I don’t smoke (or chew), but do partake in an occasional fine cigar. I rate a good cigar and/or salad, above pill taking I suppose. Never have tried any green tobacco leaves. Any comments from the forum?

        • I don’t know about eating green tobacco leaves, but it might work if you eat enough of them.
          I do know that tomatoes contain anatibine, the thing that Star Scientific extracts from tobacco leaves to put in Anatabloc. I consume quite a few tomatoes per week, and that is a healthy thing but I do not get enough anatabine to solve my inflammations so Anatabloc is my solution and it really does help me.

  39. Wow this sound so powerful. Like the technology in “star gate” or the stuff Tom Beardon talks about. But you can bet that the rich people who have already trashed the environment and sold their souls will get it before us. Warren Buffet and the Koch Brothers will live forever and real people with hearts of gold will die or be enslaved.

  40. Another suggestion to the “Help me live more comfortably” arena: Hylan -joint is a superior hyaluronic formulation sold by Life ext., Dr’s Best and Swanson Vit. 200 mgs. keeps me and
    others I have made the suggestion to, happy. Swanson offers the 100mgs . You should notice an improvement almost immediately.

  41. 5/20/2013

  42. Don’t believe any of the claims, this is a lure for fools and a trap that has zero long term studies. We are talking about immortality not buying a pack of gum.

    The reaper comes for us all, not some, all eventually. And like another kind anon pointed out, the money driven, fearful and terrible will line up for this first. Which might not be a bad thing. If they are willing to be the recipients then we can examine them like mice in a lab. Closely and carefully.

    Just imagine…since no cells die, that will make for an incredible memory…and a terrible memory of things done. Forever. So maybe people will sign up for it and be torn to pieces mentally. We are built the way we are on purpose.

  43. Immortality mightn’t be all it’s cracked up to be….Imagine even 2-300 years…How would you live? What would you do to occupy yourself? Long life doesn’t necessarily mean your intellect’s up for the job!! And, unless we all get our acts together fairly soon, Earth may no longer be a “green and pleasant place”! You’d need lots of moolah and a secure base……..Just look at majority of uber-wealthy today!!!!!Sue

    • Immortality
      There are a million things I haven’t read,
      And more than that, I haven’t said.
      When asked if it’s now time to go,
      I guess I’d always answer, “No”.
      2/7/14 elm

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