“The End of the Grey Plague”

This teaser ad that I started seeing about ten days ago has both promise for the families of Alzheimer’s sufferers and, of course, the promise of riches for those who get in early on the next hot biotech with a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. The ad is from Brian Hicks, for a new letter that he’s apparently launching called the Hicks and Lowe Report — hard to tell how much the report costs, they seem to be using it as an add-on inducement for folks to subscribe to one of their other letters.

And to be honest, they haven’t tried all that hard to obscure the target of this teaser campaign — you can find the full report for free in a few places, despite the fact that it’s been recently touted as a special report that you get for signing up for their paid services … though of course, I sniffed it out the hard way for you (masochist that I am).

Here’s how they pitched the special report in a recent ad:

“The Grey Plague’s Last Victim

“On May 31st, 2016, 70-year-old Jay Vanaken will become the last American to die of Alzheimer’s disease.

And by the time it happens, this micro-pharma’s miraculous cure could bank you 898 times your money — or MORE”

I have no idea who this Jay Vanaken character is, or if they just made him up or changed the name of a family friend to get an example that would hit home. And they tell Jay’s story for a bit, then get into the riches from this possible Alzheimer’s cure:

“His doctor’s estimate that he’ll not likely live more than 5 years — call it May 31, 2016…

“But as tragic as Jay’s story is, the far bigger tragedy is that he’s only one of the 5.2 million Americans now facing similar dementia and premature death at the hands of Alzheimer’s.

“Estimates predict the incidence of Alzheimer’s cases worldwide at up to 120 million worldwide in the next 20 years if no new effective treatments are created in that time…

“But all that is about to change.

“What if I told you that one company has not only an established way of discovering effective compounds which could fight Alzheimers…

“But they’ve already had success with one particular drug that has shown to stop and reverse the Grey Plague’s effects?

“You can imagine the ridiculous amounts of money that investors in such a technologically advanced company could make…

“‘An effective treatment could produce $20-30 billion for the pharmaceutical company that produces [a cure for Alzheimer’s].’ — Dr. Jordan Tang, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation newsclip center”

I don’t know what that “newsclip center” business is, but Dr. Tang is an OMRF researcher and founder of another research firm that has tried to develop Alzheimer’s treatments (not yet public — it’s part of what is now CoMentis), and the quote is real enough.

Of course, people have known for decades now that Alzheimer’s is, to put it bluntly, a cash cow just waiting to be milked. It’s a horrible disease, the existing treatments are not terribly effective and they generally just treat the symptons, and it’s one of those diseases that hits millions of Americans and is both long-lasting and fatal, so, not to be too crass, you can sell a lot of whatever treatment you come up with.

Unfortunately, the brain is a tricky place, and most of the treatments for Alzheimer’s have either been ineffective or caused frightening side effects, and the disease has led investors down the garden path time and time again as one hot biotech after another has promised the potential for even just a small improvement in the lives of Alzheimer’s sufferers. And I can’t blame investors or the companies behind this — anyone who’s ever known an Alzheimer’s patient knows how debilitating the disease is for families, and I think we can assume that if a safe and effective treatment does get developed, patients will storm the FDA if it isn’t put on the fastest of fast tracks for approval.

But first it has to be effective and safe. So that’s what we’re teased with here — and even if this particular compound is promising, it’s important to note that it has not even entered phase 1, the very first phase of human testing. We’re talking about a drug that looks promising, according to the tease, in preclinical testing on animals.

Here’s some more from the ad:

“For the past 3 years, I’ve been watching a particular Alzheimer’s research company with a technology so novel it makes the pre