Hi there… it’s been a while. I hope you are doing fine? You’re looking great, by the way…
I took a break. Between a pile of business travel over the past few weeks*, several new ventures getting off the ground and the pending arrival of my second child, I have just been swamped. But I also needed a rest from this forum. After the last set of posts on Novogen and the Kid’s Cancer Foundation, I was frankly a cranky and irritated with ASX biopharma shenanigans. Although I did get a fair amount of supportive feedback about my critical assessment of Novogen’s Anisina program, I also got a lot of flack from trusting donors that couldn’t understand why I would want to jeopardise the development of a “promising” drug for neuroblastoma, during Children’s Cancer Month no less. My decision to post Owen Finegan’s ‘rebuttal’ unedited was apparently insufficient demonstration of my integrity.
To be honest, from a karmic vantage, the whole situation felt really awful. Here I am expecting another child in my life, and I am criticising a charity that tries to help little kids with cancer (even if they do it by investing in mediocre research with poor governance).
I felt like a schmuck.
The good news is, not much of excitement has happened where you would have really missed my scathing commentary (correct me if I am wrong). Sure, Starpharma continues to wax lyrical about AstraZeneca and Benitec is still out doing victory laps from their underwhelming NASDAQ debut. The High Court says we can’t patent genes (keeping us roughly in line with the rest of the world but still causing “angst” from Medicines Australia) and Bionomics is still cranking away with Merck (now major shareholder – an exceedingly cheap way of taking out a drug pipeline IMO). Generally, most of the underwhelming companies out there continue to underwhelm us on a daily basis.
As an aside note, I owe you an updated commentary on BNO because I have had several informed people tell me that my previous assessment of BNC210 (including its molecular identity) is incorrect. Obviously this would be less of a problem if the company had some decent published data/research.
I have some new material coming and although I promise to be no less ruthless in my assessment of companies, I am going to try and also be a bit more positive. However, one company I will no longer be able to comment on is Brisbane-based Tissue Therapies Limited (ASX : TIS). As per the ASX announcement this morning, I have joined the company as an Executive Director. Since this will possibly be the first of several pending “conflict of interest” disclosures, I have added a COI menu.
I’m very pleased to be joining the TIS team – I have always liked the technology, even if execution hasn’t been stellar. Hopefully we can fix that in due course.