Another day, another promise of imminent riches from a biotech clinical trial! This time it’s from Ray Blanco, who has made many such promises in his ads, and the pitch is all about a “bio switch” that has the potential to “end diabetes, plus heart & kidney disease (with a twice-a-day pill).”
What more could you want, right? Blanco says the market is valued at $1.98 trillion, but that this is a tiny little $3 stock — and he’s predicting FDA approval on March 15, 2019, which, in case you aren’t looking at a calendar, is this Friday.
So, naturally, once he’s got you fretting about a huge gain to come in just a couple days… this is the perfect time to say gosh, sorry, can’t tell you the details unless you subscribe to Breakthrough Technology Alert for $1,995. And, whaddya know, that $1,995 is non-refundable even if it turns out that I just made up the March 15 date, or the stock turns out to be lousy.
That seems a raw deal, and a foolish bet, so we’ll just figure out the stock on our own… then you can think it over, decide whether you like the risk, and use your $1,995 for something more satisfying. Or, heck, maybe once you hear about the stock you’ll be convinced of Ray Blanco’s brilliance and will want to send him your money… that’s fine with me, it’s your money, but don’t type in your credit card number just to get a stock tip. This way, you’ll know the stock in advance and have a chance to love or hate it before you pay for it, which isn’t always the way things work in this field (Remember the last time you bought a car? I bet you kept checking ads afterward to make sure you got the best price, right? Same with the last house you bought? Everyone wants to congratulate themselves for making wise choices, the human brain looks for validation for big decisions it has already made — so once you subscribe to a newsletter, most people are hard-wired to want to agree with the author… and if you paid $2,000 for a stock idea, you’re probably going to be hugely biased to BUY THAT STOCK RIGHT AWAY, with your critical thinking put on the back burner. What kind of dummy would spend $2k for stock tip and then not buy the stock? Sheesh!)
So anyway, what’s this magical stock? Clues from the ad for you:
“The New York Times raves: “These [‘bio-switches’] are crucial… They can silence some genes and activate others.”
“And the doctor who discovered DNA thinks this science breakthrough is even BIGGER…
“In the race to find a cure, this Rocky Mountain biotech just blasted 7 years ahead of potential competitors — in a market valued at $1.98 Trillion….
“A massive investor in this company recently tripled down…
“Plowing $87 million more in anticipation of the predicted FDA approval…”
OK, so we can skip a few steps and say that yes, this teaser pitch is about epigenetics… which for those of us who don’t really remember much from our science days is defined thusly by NIH:
“What is epigenetics?
“DNA modifications that do not change the DNA sequence can affect gene activity. Chemical compounds that are added to single genes can regulate their activity; these modifications are known as epigenetic changes. The epigenome comprises all of the chemical compounds that have been added to the entirety of one’s DNA (genome) as a way to regulate the activity (expression) of all the genes within the genome. The chemical compounds of the epigenome are not part of the DNA sequence, but are on or attached to DNA (“epi-“ means above in Greek). Epigenetic modifications remain as cells divide and in some cases can be inherited through the generations. Environmental influences, such as a person’s diet and exposure to pollutants, can also impact the epigenome.
“Epigenetic changes can help determine whether genes are turned on or off and can influence the production of proteins in certain cells, ensuring that only necessary proteins are produced. For example, proteins that promote bone growth are not produced in muscle cells. Patterns of epigenetic modification vary among individuals, different tissues within an individual, and even different cells.”
So for our purposes, I guess epigenetic treatments for diseases don’t rely on doing gene editing (like the CRISPR stocks) that actually alter your DNA, but on modifying the way a gene is expressed… or something like that.
I’m a bio-idiot, so bear with me. I’ll focus on naming the company, then let you do the science-y bit. There’s also an interesting site here called “What is Epigenetics” if you want to explore more. (Oh, and that NY Times article cited is here, from 2016)
Other clues? Indeed, here you go:
“… the stock that could earn you a once-in-a-generation $1,032,031 windfall if you move before March 15, 2019 — when the FDA is set to approve its final clinical trial.”
Not sure what “approve its final clinical trial” means — the FDA does have to approve trial design, but what companies are really looking for in the end is for the FDA to approve the drug itself for commercial use. So that’s a little squishy… but that’s OK, because the dates in these ads are often made up anyway, mostly to give an artificial deadline to hurry you up as you dig for your credit card.
More from the ad:
“For millennia, this biological switch was hidden above the surface of your DNA.
“But since 2001, one company has been developing it behind the scenes…Are you getting our free Daily Update
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