What a complete and utter farce.
At the end of July, acting CEO Iain Ross informed that markets that he would be conducing a systematic review of Novogen’s (ASX : NRT) prospects, with the goal of a shareholder update by the 1st of September. Today, we received the promised progress update in the form of a notification about the outcomes of a ‘comprehensive science review.’ The gist of this review is that the company will continue business as usual in terms of pushing all three lead candidates ahead (notwithstanding that back in July the company acknowledged that it did not have the financial resources to pursue all three clinical programs effectively). The company has informed shareholders that:
Novogen initiated a company-wide review, including a comprehensive science review, to determine top priorities and enabling the Company to focus valuable resources to achieve high value opportunities in a highly competitive market place.
Arguably, the most “important” thing that that Iain Ross has done, as acting CEO, is put in place a scientific review committee:
In keeping with industry best practice and Novogen’s commitment to maintaining a high standard of scientific integrity, we’ve formed a Scientific Review Committee to ensure rigor is applied to all of our decision-making progresses.
Awesome! Long overdue, sounds great… but wait…
Committee members include retired Executive Vice President for Eli Lilly & Co and President of Lilly Bio-Medicines, Bryce Carmine, as well as two eminent academic researchers : Professor Peter Gunning from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and Professor Gil Mor from Yale University in the USA.
Sorry… whaaaa’ ….?
Hang on a minute. You mean to tell us that Novogen has put together an “independent” committee of scientific reviewers of the pipeline consisting of an existing Director of the company (well, I suppose two if you believe that Peter Gunning has anything of value to contribute as a director of a public company) and the two key scientists that are the originator’s of the company’s intellectual property???
You’ve got to be kidding us.
Folks, I don’t often feel compelled to make an “investment suggestion”* but my strongest advice to all you “Mum and Dad” investors is that if I were you, I would get my money out of this company as fast as possible. This management team is a complete and utter joke and lacks the integrity and sophistication to responsibly deploy your shareholder capital. And where the hell are the major shareholders in Novogen at this time? Why are you standing by the sideline watching your capital dissipate? Not only did Novogen lack the integrity to conduct an independent scientific review following the Graham Kelly shake-up, but it failed to actually tell the market anything meaningful about the go-forward strategy of the business. Today’s announcement is nothing but text on a page, and not even very good text at that. These idiots even affirmed project “Jacob’s Hope” (did you see they even stuck in a note at the bottom of page 2 about not a patent application – but the plans to file a patent – truly a new low for an ASX disclosure).
I’m truly disgusted. In conducting itself like this, Novogen has once again demonstrated that it unfit to be a public company. I’m also disappointed in Iain Ross because, quite frankly, I expected better from someone of his purported calibre. This farcical display of corporate governance not only reflects badly on Iain, but it reflects badly on several other companies that Iain is involved with that are also going through a bit of a soul search as to whether or not their technology really has “legs” (like Tissue Therapies and Anatara).
Shame on you all.
* Because this is not a financial advisory site.