Lichtenfeld’s Alzheimer’s Disease “Genius Molecule Discovery”

What's being teased as the next blockbuster from a business prodigy CEO whose first company went from $35 million to $47 billion?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, February 27, 2017

Welcome back from vacation, me! There’s no question what ad should be covered first as I brush the sand off my feet and turn up the heat here at Gumshoe HQ… it’s the pitch from Marc Lichtenfeld for his Lightning Trend Trader over at Oxford Club, and the “special report” he’s dangling as bait.

That special report is apparently about a company with a potential Alzheimer’s Disease treatment, which always makes investors perk up their ears (even though they’ve been burned so very many times by Alzheimer’s stocks in the past)… the order form describes it as…

“‘GMD Founders’ Shares Dossier: The $20 Billion Cure to Alzheimer’s Could Hand You an Absolute Fortune.”

Sounds enticing, right? This is, we’re told, a “backdoor play” on this exciting new private company that is led by one of the great business geniuses of our time.

The order form sums it up pretty well, this is the final enticement before you plunk down your $1,495 to learn the secret:

“The recommendation Marc Lichtenfeld is making public (for the first time) is a special play on a revolutionary “Genius Molecule Discovery” (GMD) company…

“Marc says it’s poised to TAKE OFF 519% HIGHER – he guarantees it – by this time next year.

“This biotech gem has a slew of competitive advantages, including…

  • Nobel Prize-worthy ‘genius molecule discovery’
  • A decorated CEO who’s already earned 13 FDA approvals in his lifetime
  • $1.5 billion in cash that could be used to develop prized drugs
  • A chance at a $20 billion Alzheimer’s drug
  • And a potential $43.6 billion overall market (including cancer, diabetes, etc.).

“Not only that… we think the great GMD Company will be set up for a major Lightning Strike if it’s handed FDA ‘Fast Track’ status for it’s potential Alzheimer’s treatment.”

What else can we glean from the verbiage in the ad? Well, I can tell you that the “decorated CEO” who runs this private company is indeed a big name — that’s Art Levinson, who built Genentech into one of the first biotech powerhouses (he left when Roche took full control a while back, but Genentech did reach a $47 billion valuation thanks to breakthroughs like Avastin).

And that “Genius Molecule Discovery” was made at UCSF, and which significantly improved memory in mice… here’s how Lichtenfeld describes it in the ad:

“‘The inactivation of elF2 alpha is a brake on memory consolidation,’ said the lead biochemist at UCSF.

“The molecule he discovered prevents cells from shutting off this protein in the brains of mice.

“The scientists conducting the experiment were floored.

“‘It’s a beautiful little molecule,’ the biochemist said, clearly moved.

“But the discovery got even better…

“That’s because this ‘Genius Molecule Discovery’ was far more powerful than originally expected.

“In fact, not only did GMD prevent cells from shutting off this protein, it was also virtually strengthening the cells from within.

“This incredible breakthrough is now serving as a foundation for how to potentially increase brain activity, including cognitive thinking, memory, problem solving and more.”

Which leads to the connection — that “genius CEO,” who we know is Art Levinson of Genentech fame, has the “exclusive rights” to that “Genius Molecule Discovery.”

So what’s the deal?

Well, Art Levinson was tapped by Google (now Alphabet) several years ago to form a biotech subsidiary that would focus on big targets and breakthrough science, particularly in the diseases of aging. That company is run separately from Google and is called Calico.

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And, yes, Calico a couple years ago licensed the work of that UCSF lab, run by Peter Walter, that made this breakthrough in memory and cognition that’s based on integrated stress response — the molecule in question is usually referred to as ISRIB, Integrated Stress Response Inhibitor.

And it is an interesting story that has generated a lot of attention over the past few years — as every idea that might possibly help Alzheimer’s Disease does. There’s a good article from last Fall