Miami, FL – May 8, 2020 (EmergingGrowth.com NewsWire) — EmergingGrowth.com, a leading independent small cap media portal with an extensive history of providing unparalleled content for the Emerging Growth markets and companies, reports on CytoDyn, Inc. (OTCQB: CYDY).
- Cyber bullying of CytoDyn (OTCQB: CYDY) taken to extreme levels
- Underlying causes of the attacks linked to – desire to be relevant.
- Turf war linked to recent articles on Immunomedics and Gilead
- No mortality in severe patients
A little less than two years ago Emerging Growth broke the story of how STAT reporter Adam Feuerstein was losing his relevance. We chronicled in detail how he operates. His current target is CytoDyn Inc. (OTCQB: CYDY) and he’s not letting go, but we will delve into his motivations later. He’s done back to back to back STAT plus articles about CYDY. If you are curious how many times this STAT reporter has done this and the word NEVER pops into your head you might be right. His recent actions appear to be reflected in a famous meme of Kim Jun Un.
Feuerstein is crying out to be relevant and his publicity stunts seem to be working. Just last month he broke the news about an “early peek” into Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) remdesivir trial data. This was wrong on so many journalistic accounts, but his strong relationships with Jim Cramer helped get him an interview with Sara Eisen and Wilfred Frost. Then no less than a week later he comes out with the “no benefit” article. Some say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but one congressman Dogget, saw through his publicity stunt and called for an SEC investigation that seemed to target Feuerstein. His target audience are biotech investors looking to get an edge with his research. As it is woefully obvious, his research is all about sensationalism and there is very little substance to anything that he touches.
Twitter Following Update
As we reported a couple of years ago, Feuerstein’s twitter following was on the verge of flat lining. In March 2020 it got a tiny yet noticeable boost from his GILD publicity stunts as he amassed 4,000 more twitter followers in a couple of months which was equivalent to a year and a half of organic twitter gains. If you look at the logarithmic chart there is a slight uptick.
Trifecta of Attacks
The first attack was busted in epic fashion by Medical News First. We can go over the highlights, but essentially the CEO Nader Pourhassan sold stock and exercised options which were injected back into the company so that the production of leronlimab would not be delayed. This move will go down in history as lifesaving. The STAT report omitted salient facts like the fact that he would have to pay 37% taxes and that the reason he did it was to pay Samsung. Had STAT done the tiniest bit of due diligence they would have realized a big Samsung payment was due at the end of the month. Additionally, data was in fact presented to the shareholders showing the results of patients that had taken part in a trial in Southern California.
The second attack piece was directed toward a video explanation by the CEO whereby the CEO explained how his stock sales were selfless and designed to save lives. The STAT report said “there is no way to confirm Pourhassan sold his company stock to pay for manufacturing,” yet that confirmation was in the Proactive Investors video that Feuerstein referenced. In the video Pourhassan said “manufacturing was crucial to not get delayed.” He then added “we had a big payment due, do we sell 10 million shares and let that hit the market, or do we just exercise our shares.” This move essentially kicked the can down the road for 5 to 6 weeks and saved investors from an open market sale of 10 million shares before trial data was to be announced. Pourhassan and Chairman Kelly had large tax liabilities as a result of this move, so it’s hard to fathom how these transactions raised additional questions. It’s arguable that Feuerstein misled the public not Pourhassan when he said “there is no record in SEC filings, as would be required.” These required Form 4’s were in fact filed for both Pourhassan and Kelly.
This last attack looks like it is bordering on libel. The fact is the BLA was submitted on April 27, 2020. In the past 3 press releases under the About Leronlimab and BLA Submission for the HIV Combination Therapy section key verbiage explaining the BLA process was incorporated to address the timing and completeness of the filing.
“We would like to provide an update that the Biologics License Application (BLA) for Leronlimab as a Combination Therapy for Highly Treatment Experienced HIV Patients will be considered completed after the clinical datasets are submitted on May 11, 2020. The clinical datasets are updated to address FDA comments for mock datasets from March 12 and March 20, 2020. After the BLA submission is considered completed, FDA makes a filing decision and sets a PDUFA goal date. CytoDyn has Fast Track designation and a rolling review previously assigned by the FDA and plans to request a priority review for the BLA. A priority review designation means the FDA’s goal is to take action on the marketing application within six months of receipt (compared with 10 months under standard review).”
The focus on “clinical datasets” is akin to someone making a mountain out of a molehill for 13 days. The data sets will be delivered on May 11th and this will allow a PDUFA date to be issued 6 months from then.
Factors Behind the Attacks
The top reason listed on social media for the Feuerstein attacks is because investors think he is on the payroll of big pharma. As preposterous as this sounds, investors think big pharma has enough influence to protect Feuerstein from SEC investigation. He’s been investigated since 2014 and nothing has been able to stick so it’s highly unlikely, but the last stunts with GILD really put a target on his back. Feuerstein is irrelevant, but getting the attention of the SEC isn’t the smartest way to increase a person’s social standing.
Big Ego: Feuerstein seems to have an innate need to be right. He is driven to be feared by all and see stocks crater on his announcements, and that just hasn’t happened with CytoDyn, which means that he is irrelevant. We covered this point in our first article, his need to gloat. It was never more evident than his first tweet in his latest barrage against CYDY.
Follow the Money: The middle of the road people think that he is on the take and that if you follow the money you will see that he is the front person for hedge funds that short biotechs. There is no evidence to support these assertions that investors are making. At this moment Feuerstein’s record is clean and although investigated a couple of times the findings didn’t amount to anything. In America you are innocent until proven guilty even if your hands are full of blood.
Laziness: Is he just lazy? The scientists and researchers that follow Feuerstein are waiting for him to go beyond the data and try to grasp the mechanisms of action. They want him to behave like a real biotech analyst, but his background makes him incapable. This group just calls him incompetent.
Its Personal: There is also a group of people that think it’s just a personal beef between them. It’s clear that Dr. Pourhassan is not as obsessed with money as Feuerstein. To that end, it’s obvious that Feuerstein has an agenda that could be tied to money but no tangible evidence exists.
All these theories have one commonality and that is a cry to be relevant and listened to. His recent tactics have demonstrated that he is no longer relevant. The twitter comments chide and chastise him for his poor analysis and lying. He receives little to no accolades and it’s a complete mystery why he has any followers at all because they have gotten burned so badly by so many of his picks. To top it off he is after all going after a company and treatment recognized in the Wall Street Journal and publicized on dozens of network shows and online magazines.
Potential Turf War
Putting aside all the zany theories from investors, perhaps the motivation boils down to a simple turf war. It’s not uncommon for an analyst to want to attack competitors to the companies they follow. Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) is a perennial favorite of Feuerstein, but he also holds Immunomedics (NASDAQ: IMMU) in high regards. Both of these companies are in real danger of being toppled by CYDY. Feuerstein has been known to comment favorably on IMMU and most recently reported on its approval in metastatic triple negative breast cancer (mTNBC). The cancer results using leronlimab are worthy of a Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD). In all leronlimab patients they achieved zero circulating tumor cells (CTC’s). It doesn’t take much imagination to reason that CYDY could have a functional cure for metastatic cancer and that would take away and destroy much of the market share that IMMU is trying to build from scratch for its targeted chemotherapy.
Feuerstein has done many supportive articles on GILD and his main motivation seems to be to protect the HIV franchise as he throws water on competitors. There is no bigger competitor than CYDY which has a non-toxic monoclonal antibody that binds to CCR5 and prevents viral cell entry. Within 6 months it’s almost a certainty that leronlimab will be approved for 2 multi drug resistant patients. The major threat is the monotherapy approval, and due to the rigorous FDA approval pathway, leronlimab has a layup for the monotherapy indication because most of the safety data in the combination trial was from the monotherapy trial. It would be very circumspect to see the FDA disapproved of leronlimab monotherapy as a label extension. GILD derives over 55% of its revenues from HIV and leronlimab could destroy this $16 billion franchise.
Adam Feuerstein said there isn’t “any data” on leronlimab. This slide tells a much different story. This is from 23 patients at UCLA and includes Samantha Mottet who spoke out about use of the drug and has been encouraging others to get compassionate use. Firstly there are no side effects of the drug. Out of the 6 critical patients 5 improved and none have died. In the severe group which more closely resembled Remesivir’s last trial we saw an average time to discharge of 5 days compared to the 11 days until discharge in the NIH study. If this data holds up in the controlled trial due to be released by the end of the month it will be over 50% better than what Fauci called the “standard of care.” Granted this is anecdotal evidence, but look at the n=23 and then add it to the 54 EIND’s and it doesn’t look so anecdotal anymore when you realize none of these patients died. In the remdesvir controlled trial where they got to cherry pick the data they had an 8% mortality rate. When investors compare 8% mortality to ZERO mortality there’s a chance they might get excited. It could me the reopening of the economy and the end of death from this plague. The only mystery left to answer is why Feuerstein would bet his reputation on this company, which clearly has good data. Is he really that bad of an analyst?
As of late, Feuerstein’s track record has been off. The bullish and then bearish call on GILD alienated a portion of his base. The successive attacks on CYDY seem to indicate a level of desperation on part of Feuerstein to control the downward trajectory of the stock price. His negative effect has for the most part been neutralized by an outpouring of social media defending the promising results of leronlimab.
Anecdotal trial results from these emergency IND’s (EIND’s) are almost good enough for blanket compassionate use approval which has not been granted because most of the oxygen in the room has been consumed by GILD. Not once has the white house press corps asked about leronlimab. The recent preprint journal article describes COVID-19 as a Rantes (CCL5) disease that lives in your blood. Dr. Patterson came up with a working theory of the disease that can describe why the young are asymptomatic while the elderly patients with comorbidity have poor prognosis. Using the CCL5 biomarkers CYDY was able to stratify and quantify the level of disease in COVID-19 patients. CYDY also reduced IL-6 levels and quieted other parts of the cytokine storm leading to a reduction in viral load which until now has never been seen in another clinical trial. There is no doubt about the science. The anecdotal evidence is about as subtle as a freight train. In the Montefiore study 3 out of 8 critically ill patients on the ventilator with co-morbidities were able to be turned which is a survival rate of 38% versus 12%. Dr. Jacob Lalezari said ““we can even turn the sickest of the sick, even the ones on death’s door!”
Next time Feuerstein tweets and wants you to “pay attention to him” we suggest you say NO to Feuerstein. Stop cyber bullying!
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