[ed note: Dr. KSS is a paid contributor to Stock Gumshoe who writes about biotech stocks for (and discusses them with) the Irregulars. He chooses his own topics, and his words and opinions are his alone. Enjoy!]
Greetings fellow Irregulars! You’ve all been waiting for it….our first-ever annual ceremony in which we look back on the 2014 biotech year and reveal winners in all our coveted categories. Who really moved and shook biotechnology investing in the year that was? You’ll find out shortly.
2015 Best Science Entrepreneur
Among the most thrilling aspects of biotechnology is watching scientists and physician-scientists leverage their know-how, their discoveries, their investigative acumen in ways that can both benefit patients and reward investors. Many such entrepreneurs play active, daily roles in biotechnology companies without actually being CEO’s of those companies. The finalists for this award are chosen from people who have founded companies around their own scientific ideas and helped those companies flourish. To win this award, one must be a scientist.
From 2014’s year in biotech, here are the finalists for Best Science Entrepreneur (alphabetically):
David Baltimore, PhD, CalImmune (privately held)
Under Dr. Baltimore’s guidance, Calimmune is now 2 years into a trial that seeks to cure HIV by transfecting hematopoietic stem cells with a lentiviral vector expressing both ddRNAi to silence CCR5 and a gene for an HIV fusion inhibitor. The theory behind this approach is elegant, relatively simple, and widely hailed by insiders as the most promising approach for curing HIV, even though popular media seem to be ignoring it.
Ramin “Ron” Najafi, PhD, NovaBay ($NBY)
Dr. Najafi has visionarily advanced a concept of “therapeutic oxidation” as a non-antibiotic method for killing pathogens and inactivating their toxins. Najafi’s family of agents are capable of treating infectious disease without incurring resistance, or harming the environment, and have succeeded in cases where antibiotics fail. His agent auriclosene remains in clinical development.
Roger Newton, PhD, Esperion ($ESPR)
With Dr. Newton’s quite visionary lab work and clinical trial design, Esperion during 2014 completed extraordinary proof of concept studies for a new oral medication that lowers LDL cholesterol and hs-CRP and does so without side effects to a degree comparable to statins. This agent also lowers blood pressure and appears to reduce diabetes risk (the opposite of statins, which worsen insulin resistance). Newton invented an inhibitor of ...
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