Whats teased by Jeff Siegel? He says, “After this announcement is made on December 4, 2020, a new world will exist”

Checking out the latest "Day Zero" pitch from Green Chip Stocks

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, October 15, 2020

I’ve seen this ad circulated so many times, with adjusting deadlines, that I didn’t realize I hadn’t specifically covered this pitch for my favorite readers… at least, not in its current iteration with a new company in that “Day Zero” position.

“Day Zero” is now trumpeted as being December 4, but not long ago it was August 16, with the same company being teased, and before that very similar ads pointing at a different anti-aging company shouted about November 13, 2019 as “Day Zero”… and before that, August 4, 2019, June 13, 2019, and March 26, 2019.

Those 2019 “Day Zero” teaser pitches were all pointing at ResTORbio (TORC), which then changed its name to Adicet Bio (and did a 7:1 share consolidation) — so that November 13, 2019 tease about this being the day the world changed was kind of true for folks who had bet big on TORC… they did release important news that day, and then saw their shares lose 87% of their value over the next two days.

For anyone who’s new to these parts, that pick actually came in second place when I was deciding on the coveted “Turkey of the Year” winner for 2019 last Thanksgiving, and the “world changing” news was that their drug trial was a failure… which is what led to them essentially being used as a reverse merger vehicle to take Adicet public, with some net cash and some lingering programs being all that’s left of the original TORC business that was supposed to end aging as we knew it.

(Incidentally, the winner of that “Turkey of the Year” last year enjoyed a similar fate… though even worse, I’d argue. That was Crop Infrastructure, which briefly tried to sell itself but instead ended up doing a 15:1 share consolidation and changing its name to Vert Infrastructure (VVV on the CSE now), a move that did not stop the bleeding at all.)

So what, then, is the new “Day Zero” stock that’s going to end aging? Let’s start over and look at the clues being used in recent versions of the ad, which has run for several months but, in its latest “December 4 is Day Zero” iteration that I’ve been getting recently (several readers sent it in this week), starts out like this:

“After this announcement is made on December 4, 2020… a new world will exist.

“Insiders are calling this moment in time: Day Zero

“The history of humanity has been defined by a few epic, course-changing events…

“That alter life as we know it forever.

“Sometimes for bad…

“But often for good.

“And on December 4, 2020, it will happen again.

“This event will be very, very good…

“And could make you very, very rich.”

So what’s going to happen that day? The wording is very similar to past “Day Zero” pitches and is pretty generic, but this is what Siegel says:

“On that day, at an invitation-only meeting of the world’s most connected and influential people…

“A company executive will step to the podium and make an announcement so stunning…

“That it will rank at the top of the most life-changing events ever recorded in history.”

And, frankly, they ladle on the hyperbole pretty thick for a teaser pitch for a $99 newsletter…

“Folks still remember where they were when we landed on the moon…

“And when the Berlin Wall fell…

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“And when bin Laden was killed….

“Think of the big bang creating our universe…

“Or how the time before Jesus was born is called B.C.

“And after his birth is known as A.D.

“It’s that big.”

Ridiculous, right? We know that’s stupid, but we can’t help it… we want that answer!

And what is the pitch about? It’s no longer about ResTORbio, of course, that ship has sailed (or sunk, perhaps), but it’s still an anti-aging story… just about a different company with a different cure. Here’s how they put it:

“This Is the End of Aging as We Know It….

“… on December 4, 2020, that changes.

“In that invitation-only room…

“Packed with the wealthiest insiders on the planet…

“The chief executive officer of this company will reveal scientific proof detailing a new treatment…

“That makes age-related illnesses…

“Like heart failure…


“Chronic pain…

“Brain diseases like Alzheimer’s…

“And many more…

“A thing of the past.”

OK, who wants to take the “under” on making Alzheimer’s Disease and heart failure a “thing of the past” on December 4? We’ve been fighting those ailments and diseases since before modern science even knew what they were (and arguably they still don’t really know what’s up with Alzheimer’s Disease), so it’s absolutely not true that all “diseases of aging” will be cured on December 4.

Whether or not this stock Siegel is touting ends up being worthwhile at the current price is a whole ‘nother thing, of course — just clear your mind of that absurdity first, so we can take a look at whatever the stock is with some perspective. If you think of this as curing all disease of aging, and that’s the mindset with which you begin your research, you’re going to be too busy daydreaming about the next Pfizer or the next Genentech, and you’re probably not going to look under the hood very closely to see if what you were told was a V8 engine is actually just a basket of angry squirrels.

So we know it’s some kind of anti-aging thing, and they might be due to make some sort of announcement around December 4. What other clues do we get about this one?

It’s got the rich boys all revved up, as is always the case with anti-aging research (who funds it all? Super rich folks who’ve gotten a glimpse of their own mortality… and are terrified that the world, and their fortune or the company they’ve built, might have to go on without them)…

“The folks who always seem to be ahead of the curve are pouring huge amounts of their personal wealth into this field.

“Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison has already put $370 million into research.

“The New Yorker broke the news that Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, has invested as well…

“And has publicly stated he plans to live until 120.

“The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, has quietly been funding a startup…

“With the stated goal of “vaporizing a third of human diseases.”

“Plus, the founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page…

“Launched a secretive venture in the hope of curing diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s…

“And extending the human life span.

“They’ve already put in $500 million…

“And pledged another $500 million.

“That’s a BILLION-dollar investment.

“All these folks are investing their personal fortunes in this.”

That’s this idea or this line of research, not necessarily this specific company. There are a lot of anti-aging research projects around, and those big money folks are certainly backing a bunch of them.

And apparently there are some institutional investors, too…

“it’s not just them plowing massive amounts of money into this.

“Some of the largest investors and financial institutions on Earth are too:
* Longevity Fund
* Fidelity
* Venrock”

OK, Longevity Fund and Venrock are both venture capital investment funds, and the Longevity Fund is, as you will be unsurprised to hear, specifically focused on startups who are “developing therapeutic breakthroughs for age-related disease” (I think it has also only had two IPO “exits” from the fund, incidentally, so that might narrow our search a bit).

And, of course, Siegel implies that these funders are all involved because of this specific “Day Zero” event on December 4, which is almost certainly not true…

“What information do these massive financial institutions have about this company that makes it such a sure bet?

“They know the announcement that will be made on December 4, 2020…

“Will alter the course of humanity…

“They aren’t risking their wealth on some risky gamble.

“This is as close to a sure shot as it gets.

“That’s because these leaders understand the science.

“And when you understand what this means, you’ll see why I’m so excited…

“And why billions of dollars in private money are already flowing into this.”

So… what else do we learn about this specific stock?

“… the new treatment this company has developed…

“Has been shown to eradicate joint pain…

“Improve vision…

“Enhance mobility…

“And block age-related diseases.”

Hmmm, that’s starting to sound a little familiar. Any other clues?

We get some hints about the person who will be on tap to make that world-changing announcement — as we might recall from the first iteration of this “Day Zero” ad the promise was that the Chief Medical Officer was likely to be named “person of the year”… and that line is recycled here to apply to the CEO of this new company:

“… the chief executive officer of this company is about to be a science rock star.

“Not only am I convinced that his company is the best bet for overnight riches we’ve ever seen in our

“But I’d be willing to lay odds that he’s named ‘Person of the Year’ after this announcement.”

I would take those odds, incidentally… though, of course, he doesn’t say who will name this guy “person of the year” — maybe someone did name Joan Mannic of resTORbio “person of the year” last year. Heck, maybe I’ll be named “Person of the Year” for 2020. I’ve left a little space on my trophy shelf, just in case.

OK, I confess… I don’t have a trophy shelf. I won a cross country ski race at a Boy Scout Jamboree in 1981, but if there was a trophy involved I lost it long ago.

And I once won one of those contests where you count the number of jelly beans in a jar, but I ate that trophy.

Man, I could really use some jelly beans right now.

What were we talking about? Oh, right, the Person of the Year — what else do we learn about this dude when it comes to, you know, hints and clues and such? This is what we get:

“His résumé is beyond impressive.

“A B.S. in Physics from the California Institute of Technology…

“A Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School…

“He’s served as a professor at Johns Hopkins University and the University of California.

“He recently led a team of 350 scientists and clinicians at a renowned biotech company…”

OK, so that’s Anirvan Ghosh, who is the new CEO (as of March) of… Unity Biotechnology (UBX)

Yes, again. The same Unity Biotechnology that has previously been teased as a big Bezos-backed and Thiel-backed company that will solve all these diseases of aging… from what I can tell, Siegel started pitching this as his new “Day Zero” stock in July or August, with an August date at that time (though I didn’t cover it then), and continues with this latest “December 4” promise, but others have been on board this year, too — The Penny Stock Letter has teased it for a year now as having the potential to make a huge announcement (first on November 7 of last year, then on August 7 this year), and Hilary Kramer also pitched this one as the owner of an “immortality switch” that would turn $6 into $100. It’s been a high profile stock since it went public, and before that, thanks to the backing of Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel and others, but it hasn’t exactly been, well, successful just yet.

And what is it that’s going on with this Unity Biotechnology? Here’s the note that I shared with the Irregulars back on August 21, when the ugly news was out:

“From time to time we see a heavily touted stock that implodes overnight, often (but not always) in the biotech space, and that happened early this week — Unity Biotechnology (UBX), the well-backed and often-teased biotech working on “anti aging” stuff, reported that their first real drug, for arthritis in the knee, doesn’t work. So sadly, all those promises about the “day that will change the world” when the CEO steps to a podium and announces “the end of aging” failed to come true. I’d say “maybe next time,” but maybe is probably too positive a word for the promises made by biotech hucksters — if you go into an investment expecting a “change the world” moment, you’re probably going to bet too much, and be disappointed… especially if the company in question doesn’t have a “plan b” product close behind.

“The stock, of course, got clobbered on the news that their lead compound had failed to show any improvement over placebo — fancy backers and “good buzz” or no, if your product fails you’re going to lose investors, and the shares were down 65% or so at a new all-time low after the news hit on Monday. Maybe their senescent cells work will help for something else, they do still have some cash left and they’ll move the focus to their neurology and ophthalmology programs after this failure… but they don’t have any other drugs in the clinic yet, so it will probably be a while before they’re able to gin up any more excitement. And at some point they’ll have to raise money at probably a much weaker price than they had hoped.”

The stock did start to recover slightly, from below $3 after the bad news came out in August to back around $4 now, but it’s only fair to say that no, the drug is not proven to “eradicate joint pain” or “enhance mobility” as teased, what has been proven so far is that it didn’t do either of those things for patients in their first clinical trials in arthritis of the knee. And was so non-impressive, in fact, that they couldn’t even gin up a reason to keep studying this treatment in arthritis at all… so they’re moving on. Slowly. And I bet they’re quite thankful that they at least got $25 million of their $80 million debt financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC) in early August, before they announced those results (the rest might be harder to pry out of HTGC, we’ll see).

If you look at their pipeline page on the website they still list UBX0101 as being in Phase 2, I guess because that trial is not technically completely done and wrapped up, they’re still doing a longer-term follow-up on those patients (12-week data showed no difference from placebo, the 24-week data is expected to be shared at a scientific meeting but they are downplaying it completely, they also clearly note that they do not intend to advance the drug further).

The news that has encouraged investors recently is that they fired a bunch of people as part of their restructuring, and, just this week, that they started their next clinical trial — their second-ever drug is now entering the clinic, this time it’s a drug called UBX1325, being tested in Diabetic Macular Edema, with the first patient dosed this week.

Is there anything to this December 4 date? Probably not, you can see their general expectations in their latest Investor Presentation, but they do expect some initial results from this particular clinical trial in January of 2021, so I guess it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they’ll say something about it in December if there’s good news to report — it would be extremely early news, this is probably going into first patient dosing around now, and the first Phase 1 trial. (And who knows, maybe there will be some miraculous report on the arthritis followup on UBX0101 by December and the drug that failed will be rejuvenated, that has happened on occasion in the past… though the company itself seems pretty sure that ain’t gonna happen, and tries not to mention that drug much these days.)

What they are really doing is betting everything on this latest drug, UBX1325 in Diabetic Macular Edema — they are restructuring the company to cut costs so that they can get to “key clinical data readouts” for that drug and get their next drug, UBX1967, ready to move into the clinic next, before they have to raise money again. So they’re looking at focusing on these two drugs over the next year and a half, and trying not to spend too much money, and they think they’ve now got enough cash, with this slower burn rate, to get through mid-2022. By which point they’ll be in serious need of capital and will be hoping, no doubt, that they have had some good clinical trial news to report in 2021 that helps to boost the share price so they can sell some stock.

It’s a gamble, of course, and it’s a gamble that little biotechs make all the time, effectively betting the company on one stock. Sometimes it works.

So my guess is that either we’ll be back here in two years raving about how successful they were in proving that their strategy to eliminate senescent cells to fight aging has worked in something, and the stock will be rising and they’ll be raising money and maybe partnering this promising drug (which will still be years from approval), or Unity will be trading for pennies, laying off another couple dozen scientists, and trying to hire investor relations consultants to get people excited about some other drug in their pipeline. That’s the life for early-stage biotech companies, and that’s why people find them compelling stocks to speculate on — there are plenty of “all or nothing” moments along the way, and that really satisfies the gambling urge. I tend to avoid betting on these early stage biotechs, because if it’s a game of poker we’re playing here, then the only thing I know for sure is that the other players — including the ones who are willing to sell me the stock here at $4 — know the science a LOT better than I do.

Siegel does say that his conclusion about December 4, 2020 being “the most profitable day in the history of mankind” is not one he reaches lightly… but we should at least remember that it’s one he has reached often, and as of yet without success in 18 months or so of using this “Day Zero” tease to predict the announced “end of aging.” It’s a great story, and it clearly works well to suck in new subscribers or they wouldn’t keep re-issuing it despite the fact that these “Day Zero” events have so far consistently been either non-events or massive money-losing events, but that’s all it is — just a story, exaggerating the potential of a stock just like any other hype-filled teaser.

Does that mean Unity Biotechnology will fail? No, of course not. Just that failure is one very likely option… it is an early stage biotech, after all, and it has already had its lead drug fail, putting at least one question mark alongside their general theory that eliminating senescent cells will reverse the impact of aging. That doesn’t mean the next drug will fail (knees and eyes are quite different, after all), or that the science has no merit, it just means we should probably keep our expectations in check… and remember that the point of a teaser ad is not to make you rich or to tell you about a great investment — it’s to get you excited enough that you set aside your common sense and pull out your credit card.

So yes, I’ll continue to shy away from this one, despite the fact that Peter Thiel and Jeff Bezos sunk a bunch of money into the company years ago (they can afford it, to be sure, and know that their venture investments will usually lose money), and despite the fact that my knees and hips are a little sore, and I was kind of hoping for an arthritis cure before I’m due for another surgery in that area. Maybe it will work out, maybe not, but I’d say the odds have been getting worse, not better, through the 2-1/2 years that Unity Biotechnology has been a public company…and the chance of a massive company-changing announcement by December 4 in the “very low” category, and the chance of an earthshaking announcement by then about the “end of aging” in the “ain’t gonna happen” category.

But it’s your money, I remind you, so you’re the one who has to decide — willing to bet on Jeff Siegel’s certainty about December 4 being the most profitable day in the history of mankind? Perhaps he’s due after being a bit off on past calendar predictions? Or can you wash away the hype, look at Unity Biotechnology, and still see something you’re willing to speculate on longer term? Let us know either way with a comment below, please, your fellow investors want to hear from you.

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Dana McReynolds
Dana McReynolds
October 15, 2020 5:09 pm

I bet these newsletter publishers hate you as much as we love you. Keep up the good entertaining work ;”…basket of angry squirrels. ” I’m still laughing.

October 15, 2020 6:25 pm

Thanks Travis for linking this Day Zero to past stock investment news letters.
I will take a wait and see attitude as well.

👍 3
October 15, 2020 6:51 pm

I fell for the pitch the last time. Lost and promptly got my refund from his newsletter.
So here he goes again. The problem he has I now believe is that his knowledge of pharmacology,
virology, biochemistry, genetics as well as organic chemistry is I assume low on the pole.
No thank you. It is a very hard process to uncover and develop a new drug. No mas para mi.

👍 42
October 15, 2020 7:19 pm

Too late for the ‘end of aging’ for me. I’m holding out for the ‘reversal of aging’ stock.

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👍 498
October 15, 2020 9:06 pm
Reply to  ronwill

Mee too!

👍 137
October 15, 2020 7:55 pm