“Is the Pope Cornering a $55 Billion Market?”

Checking into Contrarian Profits' teaser for "The Pope’s Secret: How a New York Biotech’s Miracle Stem Cell Therapy Could Save Lives and Make You Wealthy"

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 11, 2014

Irregulars Quick Take Paid members get a quick summary of the stocks teased and our thoughts here. Join as a Stock Gumshoe Irregular today (already a member? Log in)

That line about the Pope was my favorite of the several different ads I saw on this from Rogue Capitalists Daily when I waded into the teaser pits to start my day this morning — there were others, they appear to be testing which headline works best with investors, so I was also enticed by the same ad pitched under the subject line “You, the Next Ground Floor Millionaire?”

Either of which catches your attention quite nicely, I think — do you want the direct appeal to greed, or the odd and attention-getting statement about the Pope? Either way, I read through the presentation so we could get some answers for the Gumshoe faithful today.

The ad is from Sara Nunnally, who along with Sandy Franks has been the core of what is now Contrarian Profits for a few years now (they were called Taipan in the past, then Insiders Strategy Group, other names have drifted in and out at this Agora-affiliated publisher), and she’s got a spiel designed to get us to subscribe to her Tipping Point Prospector, a newsletter that will run you $750. “On sale,” of course.

Her ad is all about a biotech stock, so we’re continuing our medical focus so far this week — appropriate, I think, since we just brought on a new contributor for biotech and medicine topics here at Stock Gumshoe and, well, because the biotech market is everyone’s favorite these days. It might be a bubble, particularly after even the large caps and the big biotech indices came close to doubling in the past year, but there’s always a hot new company that can quadruple based on good results in the clinic … and bubbles are sure fun until they pop.

And what is the stock this time? Well, the short answer is, it’s a stem cell company that’s partnered with the Vatican.

Whaaaat? OK, there really is such a company — but I don’t want to spoil the surprise, let’s see how Nunnally spins her web:

“This could be the market story of the century…

The Pope’s Discreet Investment

“REVEALED: How a small tech company – backed by the pope – could change the world and hand you 331% gains in the process….

“Few people know the Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest institutions in the world.

“It’s a $170 BILLION annual business.

“The Vatican even has its own bank….

“The Catholic Church invests its money just like big Wall Street institutions do… Not only does it trade bonds and shares of companies, but it owns assets like gold, rare coins and even a real estate company based in Rome….

“But what I’m going to share with you today marks an unprecedented event…

“Historic, in fact.

“That’s because it’s the first investment partnership EVER by the Vatican with this type of small-scale technology company.

“In other words, it’s the ONLY company in this realm that the Vatican endorses exclusively.

“This tiny company has a unique technology with the power to change our lives.”

That $170 billion number, incidentally, is just an estimate of the annual spending by the Catholic Church in the United States, based on an analysis by The Economist … most of it goes to fund hospitals and colleges.

The Church isn’t very forthcoming about its finances, but presumably the global operation is bigger. Not that this makes much difference, we can just stipulate that they’re huge and influential.

Here’s some more from the ad to help us get our juices flowing … and, of course, a few hints to help us identify the company:

“With this company’s blockbuster product, it could capture a major chunk of a market worth $55 BILLION.

“I believe you could conservatively see gains of 331%.

“But if history is any guide, the gains could go higher. Much higher. In fact I’ve seen similar companies at the forefront of emerging tech breakthroughs soar 1,075% in two years… 1,268% in less than a month… and as much as 9,292%.

“And right now, you can scoop up shares of this small company for around $7 a share… a small biotech company.

“With a market cap just shy of $200 million.”

Then we get to the big “reveal” that it’s a stem cell company:

“This tiny company’s technology has the potential to ‘cure’ by rebuilding damaged cells and generating new tissue.

“How exactly can it do this?

“By using the amazing healing power of adult stem cells.

“Now, I know what you’re thinking when you hear the words “stem cells.”

“But that’s EXACTLY what makes this tiny company so revolutionary… and also why it’s endorsed by the Vatican…

“It Doesn’t Use Controversial Human Embryos! ….

“The Vatican is excited about the power of adult stem cells to cure degenerative diseases without the ethical issues of having to kill a fetus to get stem cells.

“It’s excited about this company’s ability to take science and new technology to extend life without being in violation of faith.”

And we learn a little bit more about this secret company … like the fact that it actually has revenues:

“This company also operates a manufacturing unit that provides services for the regenerative medical industry.

“It provides manufacturing, regulatory and marketing expertise for some of the biggest cell therapy companies in the world.

“It was responsible for developing the manufacturing process for Dendreon’s breakthrough prostate cancer vaccine Provenge.

“It’s also worked with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and more than 100 other clients.

“So not only does this company have its own dynamic cell therapy product development business, but it has a revenue-generating service business…

“… this unit generates steady cash flow for the business to fund its robust stem cell therapy product pipeline.

“It’s got several robust cell therapy products in the pipeline to treat a variety of diseases, including autoimmune disorders such as asthma, multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes.”

And there are a few more clues, including institutional holdings (they’re a few quarters out of date in the teaser, but that’s not unusual — and they do match some older holdings exactly), but I won’t bore you with all of them … not now that we’ve got plenty of fuel for the Mighty, Mighty Thinkolator, which chugged for but a nonce before alerting us that this is Neostem (NBS)

Neostem is not brand new to the pages of Gumshoe, it was touted by Manny Backus back in 2012 at about $4.50 (split adjusted — it’s had three 1:10 share consolidations over the past decade to keep the stock out of penny territory, not that unusual for a long-lived biotech that’s been through several hype and hope cycles). The market cap has risen from $60 million to just over $200 million since that pitch, in June of 2012, but the stock has not quite doubled — that’s because they have, also not uncommon for a biotech, sold a bunch more stock in the interim to keep the lights on and the research going.

You can get a good idea of what they’re trying to become by checking out their Investor Presentation on their website here. That basically tells us that yes, their core focus is on stem cell therapies for heart disease and for diabetes right now, with some initial results from the phase 2 PreServe Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) heart “shot” trial expected in the third quarter being the highlighted expectation (that’s their lead drug, AMR-001, they explain the Phase 1 results and current status here). And they say their cash position is enough to fund current operations “into 2015” … which probably means they’re waiting for some (hopefully good) results to help the stock rise later in the year before they have to raise more money.

They have had pretty solid revenues from their contract development and manufacturing division, called Progenitor Cell Therapy, and it lets them post gross profits, but it’s not really growing revenue and the small gross profit inflow is dwarfed by the large operating and R&D costs … so they post losses of between $8-10 million per quarter. They have sold stock every year since 2010, though they’ve also had some substantial transactions over the years to change their balance sheet (they sold a Chinese subsidiary a couple years ago, for example, which let them get rid of debt and preferred stock), and they do seem like they’re in OK shape for the time being as long as the cash “burn rate” doesn’t accelerate with new clinical trials late in the year — so far these look like they’re pretty small trials so the costs may be manageable.

And the headline-generating stuff with the Vatican and the Defense Department is some combination of PR and early-stage grant funding — the Vatican has provided some grant funding, I think, but from what I can tell they’re not equity investors, and the Defense Department or related entities have provided grant funding for battlefield wound research initiatives, the kind of thing they fund at hundreds of small companies. Neither is going to move the needle for Neostem, from what I can tell, they may be able to grow their contract manufacturing business if and when demand increases from these kinds of advanced cell therapies, but real growth will depend on their therapies advancing through clinical trials and bringing on well-heeled partners to push through to approval in the next few years. Which is obviously an area of substantial uncertainty, since all we really have so far is Phase 1 results from their lead candidate.

That’s about all I know about Neostem — they haven’t come up much in discussions or reader questions in the years since I last mentioned the stock, and the search for stem cell therapies has certainly been a long slog, with many companies looking at “repair of heart tissue” as the most obvious place to test their therapies. I also have no sense of Sara Nunnally’s expertise in this area, I’ve covered her pitches before but they’ve generally been for commodities related stocks (mostly silver and LNG in recent years), but it’s certainly possible that she knows the sector better than I do.

So … any renegerative medicine mavens out there want to chime in on the prospects for Neostem? Let the comments fly using the friendly little box below.

Leave a Reply

40 Comments on "“Is the Pope Cornering a $55 Billion Market?”"

avatar

Bill Ziese
Guest
0
Bill Ziese
March 11, 2014 4:40 pm

Catholic better hope the pope is right. he’s going to need a lot money to pay off the abused,

jimmygee
Member
0
jimmygee
March 12, 2014 12:54 am

OMG, I smelt it coming. Have your Mod stopped lynching: Blacks, Jews, Catholics and Irish, to name just a few?????

Bill Ziese
Guest
0
Bill Ziese
March 13, 2014 10:58 am

I happen to be catholic (and I can spell). **** the pope. He sits ther on his throne amid monterous masses of wealth and does nothing to help the poor and starving. He protects child molesters in the name of god. Religion is for sheep. When i finish my book, I’ll send you a copy. BAAAAH!

Bill Jones
Guest
0
Bill Jones
June 6, 2014 12:14 pm

Every Religion = Jew to Arabs to Catholics to Baptists have preverts and I hope You are not one
Faith is all that saves mankind = Those poor but Honest Faithful = That try to help All with Soup Kitchens ETCH – Of which I doubt You evr have – God Help Your Fifthy Mouth

Bill Ziese
Guest
0
Bill Ziese
June 6, 2014 6:20 pm

Religion is a perversion of reality. You keep dreaming; I’ll stick to reality. I am writing a book on religion and the bible that exemplifies the B S. I’ll send you a copy and save your mind. I’m not saying there is no God. I’m saying everyone of you got it wrong.

Bill Ziese
Guest
0
Bill Ziese
March 13, 2014 11:07 am

Sorry Egidio. Just realized you are not American and probably don’t have a decent knowledge of English. I guess your spelling is ok under the circumstances. I made a typo in my first reply. In any case, people of all cultures should realize that religion is big business and has nothing to do with saving souls. It’s all about power, wealth and greed (like Wall St).

Denise
Guest
0
Denise
March 16, 2014 4:02 pm

why don’t you all just stick to the subject?
Do you need that much attention?

Bill Ziese
Guest
0
Bill Ziese
June 6, 2014 6:23 pm

The topic was the Pope. Attention needs to be brought to the fallacy of religion and father figures.

paul
Guest
0
paul
October 12, 2014 8:12 pm

as denise said stick to the subject which IS “what stem cell company is being touted” not what the pope is or isn’t doing or done! jesus!!!!!!

Bill
Guest
0
Bill
October 12, 2014 11:32 pm

Pope is the 3rd word in the headline and jesus should be capitalized as Jesus you heathen. the pope would not be pleased.

daleto
Irregular
7
March 11, 2014 4:43 pm

I’m in for 22k shares, but will be out around $9 to recover from last Oct $8.9 buy. Needs a lot more news if I’m ever to recover.

Jenny lee
Guest
0
Jenny lee
March 11, 2014 4:53 pm

Seeking Alpha did a lengthy report on NBS. Opinions vary on the outlook for the stock price. The most prudent approach I’d suggest is to read this article and draw your own conclusions.

twjd
Irregular
13
March 12, 2014 10:57 pm

Seeking Alpha is a pump and dump web site that is loaded with scam artist and short sellers.

dealerdeb1
Irregular
20
March 16, 2014 4:30 pm
I happen to disagree with you on Seeking ALpha. I find some of the contributors spot on and I do like one of them who is called Dividend matra. He is an ordinary guy trying to build his retirement portfolio a few shares at a time and he’s fun. There are others with very techie charts etc that are too much for my simple brain but they are not a pump and dump site. That being said I have a family memebr who is high up in Biotech and she says while it is an exicitng field we are years… Read more »
Lisa
Guest
0
March 11, 2014 5:13 pm

That nonsense about the Vatican is not new–its been known for at least the past 2 or more years when I traded it and dumped it at a loss. Nothing much has moved the needle since then, I see, as the price is still in the same tired range when split-adjusted. When a company has to reverse-split to remain listed on an exchange, I usually do not view it as a good candidate for my portfolio. There are exceptions, but I don’t see this as one of them any time soon.

Ventureshadow
Guest
0
Ventureshadow
March 11, 2014 6:09 pm

Return on Equity is a good guide to the quality and risk of an investment. Let’s see, return on equity for this company is minus 85% per year, according to Yahoo. You definitely will have better odds buying lottery tickets.

But what about the sexy story? If you want a sexy story while gambling (because that’s what this is), go to Vegas. You’ll at least get some meals and something to look at.

teejay1
Irregular
0
teejay1
March 11, 2014 11:49 pm

AMAZING,I PAY FOR THIS AND END UP GETTING IT FROM MY FRIENDLY GUMSHOE. BYE SARA!!!

midorosan
Irregular
46
midorosan
March 11, 2014 11:58 pm

Great comments I love this group.
Thanks as always Travis
Mike

Clint Richardson
Guest
0
March 12, 2014 1:13 am

Prefer MESOBLAST in this field. Do your own DD.

emanigol
Member
2
emanigol
March 12, 2014 1:31 pm

Mesoblast Ltd. is on ASX and US OTC (MBLTY) and the chart looks more like a reverse iceberg with whisper volume and steady down trending. I like it!

who noze
Guest
0
March 12, 2014 2:41 pm

if intersted in stem cells LOOK AT ATHX I THINK THEY HVE MORE TO OFER

likeitis
Irregular
0
likeitis
March 12, 2014 4:27 pm

I’m not sure this is the right place to ask, but I really need your take on Kent Moors’ “ENERGY the inner circle” investment tease, subscription cost 1950.00 per year???
It sounds good to me, but I don’t know. Thank you. Likeitis. (Mack Ratcliffe irregular)

herbalix
Irregular
99
March 13, 2014 6:13 am

Mack: Look at Stock Gumshoe’s website a bit more indebt. As an Irregular you should be able to access :’Newsletters, Ranking, alphabetical, Teaser tracking etc. You’ll get the idea! See what you get from that. You might find that there is no need to spend $$1900 or so for any newsletter. my personal experience is, If you follow Travis and the other Gumshoers for a while there is no need for any expensive newsletters anymore. Good Luck and CHeers!

Rusty Brown in Canada
Guest
0
Rusty Brown in Canada
March 16, 2014 11:14 am

In depth?

Spence B
Guest
0
Spence B
March 16, 2014 3:18 pm

True dat.

debra roberts
Guest
0
June 6, 2014 1:38 am

No no no to kent moors. His latest on uranium, well you’d have to be living under an internet rock if u can’t figure out who he’s talking about in sixty seconds. His facts are skewed and in my opinion asking for twp grand is close to unconscionable. ..just my opinion. Steel clear of him and his recommendation of UEC…ONLY ONE OF THEIR MINES has the technology he talked about and the uranium they r mining isn’t high grade

ROBIN STEEL
Guest
0
March 13, 2014 1:21 am

New Stem Cell techniques are making the need for adult stem cells obsolete….by making them revert to fetal cells with a simple “acid Bath” process….Companies using fetal cells are way ahead of Neostem.

David B
Guest
0
March 13, 2014 5:41 am

ACTC has great science in the fetal stem cell area but has had terrible management throughout the years. Some think the fetal cells are much more powerful and adaptive but you have the political/moral issues to contend with.
Right now most of my biotech money is with BNIKF and I also hold RNN, DRTX, SVA and XNCR. I will likely purchase TRGT soon.

Solyom
Guest
0
Solyom
March 16, 2014 11:15 am

When I look at the daily charts DRTX,SVA, XNCR and TRGT when abit close above 5 all looks interesting and bullish for the next month but all have a negative fair value when I calculate that. Therefore, I hold that most of the value of the stick is built on possible prospects and not track record.

Seems suitable for those who know biotect inside and out.

Harley
Guest
0
Harley
March 13, 2014 10:10 am

Not sure if it was the same company, however this same nonsense was going around a year ago, old story!

emanigol
Member
2
emanigol
March 13, 2014 10:12 am

http://www.nature.com/news/acid-bath-stem-cell-study-under-investigation-1.14738

The Acid Bath may turn out to be tricky…(Although one would think that a peer-reviewed journal like Nature would not publish tricky papers.) At the same time one wonders if similar stress could induce reversion of cancerous cells to normal. Or, whether cancerous cells are failed “acid bath” experiments of the body itself.

Frenchy
Irregular
473
Frenchy
March 15, 2014 11:33 am

Neostem has been mentioned in other GS thread and Dr. KSS has never mentioned anything about it. I’ll pass.

microbiobob
Irregular
4
March 16, 2014 9:44 am

Acid reversion to stem cells has been debunked by other scientists and the author has withdrawn the technology.

microbiobob
Irregular
4
March 16, 2014 9:50 am

There are a number of companies in the midst of using stem cell technologies, some of whom are mentioned, above. I’ve noted and invested in CUR, BCLI, MSB (Au) and NBS. They all involve different approaches to similar or very different problems and it is probable, to me, at least, that all of them will be successful to some extent in dealing with their focus area. Which ones will rise above is not in my crystal ball right now.

Solyom
Guest
0
Solyom
March 16, 2014 11:23 am

BCLI should be bullish for the next 26 days and if NBS closes above 8 I would predict a bullish outlook for at least a month. (from this date). But most have a negative fair value based on past track record. I think they are suitable only for those who know biotect inside and out.

debra roberts
Guest
0
June 6, 2014 1:44 am

Go to website i-amperfectlyhealthy.com and check out their stem cell PILLS …link to NIH study that confirms it increases production of one’s own stem cells for a few hours by 25 to 33%. At only $55 a bottle i would put my money on them. If i had any.

EnglishIan
Guest
0
EnglishIan
March 17, 2014 5:53 am
New Technology stocks share a characteristic with Pop music. 90% is rubbish, but you only recognize the 10% that has merit when looking back 20 years later. but when searching for winners today, note that a tech stock like NBS that goes nowhere for a couple of years is like a pop record that never climbs the charts, it is not a good sign. As usual I offer an alternative for your DD from the London stock exchange. ABCAM ticker ABC.LSE Ad Director has just bought 1.65 million GBP worth at 413 GBX. A couple of American Tech stocks that… Read more »
bj
Guest
0
bj
March 23, 2014 10:52 am

I WILL PRAY FOR THE POOR AND THOSE LESS FORTUNATE FROM MY GOLDEN THRONE.
THE RAT

Joh Smith
Guest
0
April 7, 2014 5:42 pm

What Bio-tech is Pope / Vactican investing in ?

John loren
Guest
0
November 20, 2014 9:54 pm

Anyone kow what this is ?
The Future is Made in America
See the jaw-dropping new technology that’s putting the U.S.A.
back on top — and the 3 companies that control it. Two of them
have doubled since we first recommended it… and the other
has more than TRIPLED.
Enter your email
(required)
* This is a FREE service from The Motley Fool. Credit card is NOT required

wpDiscuz