It's all about the fundamentals for Jason Napodano, CFA, of Zacks Investment Research. Revenue and earnings at the big biotechs are signaling investors that the market is still strong, and that there is still a huge thirst for early-stage devices, small molecules, biologics and cellular therapies. In this interview with The Life Sciences Report, Napodano details the upside for small-cap biotech names that he believes will be huge gainers for investor portfolios.
The Life Sciences Report: Jason, the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI) is up almost 400% over the past five years. That beats the S&P 500 Index, which is up about 90% over the same period. The relative strength of the biotech market is much stronger right now than the overall markets. When do you think we'll see biotech take a breather?
Jason Napodano: I wish I knew. If you look at something like the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB), one of the most-followed biotech indexes, it has had an incredible run, staying right with the NBI during the same five-year period.
Your question implies that we may currently be in a bubble, but I don't think that's the case. This incredible run has not been fueled by speculation. I think this strong biotech market is based on improving fundamentals and earnings in the biotech sector. Some of the larger names in the IBB, like Amgen Inc. (AMGN), Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD), Celgene Corp. (CELG) and Biogen Inc. (BIIB), are doing extraordinarily well because they're bringing new, improved drugs to market that are creating enormous benefit for patients. These stories are powering the index and bringing attention to the biotech market. You have enormous strength at the top of the biotech index. This activity and progress is creating interest in the sector, and we are seeing mergers and acquisitions (M&A), partnerships and, of course, a desire for big pharma to start playing in the game too. As stock prices go up, you have increased currency in biotech shares to do M&A and other kinds of deals.
TLSR: Are you saying there's no speculation in the biotech market right now?
JN: I'm not saying that there's not speculation; there is always speculation. But beyond the speculation, I think there's fundamental strength in the biotech sector as a whole. The strength has been built on real things, as opposed to the dot-com bubble that burst in spring 2000. Before that crash, Internet shares were being valued on "eyeballs" and "click-throughs"; on websites that really didn't have solid foundations. It was based purely on speculation.
TLSR: Is it fair to say that the large biopharma fundamentals are driving valuations of the mid- and small-cap biotech companies?
JN: Yes. I think as large-cap stocks go up on their fundamental strength, interest is being created in the sector as a whole. If the large caps were not doing well, then they would not have a lot of currency to do deals with the small-cap names. It really is a follow-the-leader story.
TLSR: Jason, the mid- and small-cap biotechs are developing gene therapies, immunocellular therapies, small-molecule and monoclonal antibody immunotherapies in the checkpoint-inhibitor space, prophylactic and therapeutic immunizations, gene-editing technologies and regenerative medicine/stem cells therapies. Despite all this depth, do you think this biotech market has a long way to go before investors see it as mainstream?
JN: I think an investor must have some kind of endgame to invest in a small-cap biotech. You either have to believe that the technology is so good that the company will eventually generate significant revenues and earnings from its platform technology, or that it is going to get partnered with a company that will be able to generate revenues from that platform—or that the company will get acquired, period.
If you look at some of the new companies, like Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) or Kite Pharma (KITE) with their focus on immuno-oncology, these companies have done extraordinarily well because they're bringing something new to the table: chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells in the cancer space, which obviously needs new ideas. If you look at a company like bluebird bio Inc. (BLUE), with its gene therapy and CAR T-cell platforms, it is solving unmet medical needs with new technologies that big pharma has not ever been able to tackle. In the hepatitis C space, for example, we are seeing cures in some cases.
TLSR: Despite the solid fundamentals, new technology platforms and potential cures in this space, one might reasonably assume that the biotech markets will take a break. What would give rise to a bubble?
JN: Bubbles tend to form when things get out of line with reality and when expectations get beyond the actual fundamental strength of the sector. I don't think we're there in terms of biotech.
TLSR: Let's talk about names, please. Go ahead.
JN: BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (BCLI) is a very interesting name because it has what looks to be a safe and potentially effective treatment for delaying disease progression in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It has presented data from a Phase 1 study with its autologous (the patient's own) bone marrow-derived MSC-NTF cells (mesenchymal stem cells induced to secrete neurotrophic factors). Most recently the company reported good data from its Israeli Phase 2 trial, with 14 patients, which was presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April.
What these early studies did first was baseline these patients. They were scored on the ALS functional rating scale (FRS) for three months; this graphed their decline over those three months. In the Phase 2a study the MSC-NTF cells, called NurOwn, were injected intrathecally (into the spinal canal) or intramuscularly. Then the patients were followed for six months. What we saw was that the slope of the decline lessened. This was an open-label, single-arm trial, and there was no placebo. The study compared patients to their own three-month run-in scores, before NurOwn was given. Unfortunately there is still a decline, but the lessening slope of the decline is encouraging.
TLSR: The Phase 2b trial (NCT02017912) that is recruiting now will have 48 ALS patients, and it will be double-blind and placebo-controlled. Final data will be collected in March 2016, but the study completion date is just one month later, in April 2016. Will this be enough time to assess the trial?
JN: I asked BrainStorm this question on one of the conference calls following the release of quarterly results. I personally do not believe this is enough time to get a definitive answer on whether NurOwn for ALS works or doesn't work. Because the variability in the ALS-FRS score is so wide among patients, and because you could have periods where a patient has two, three or four months of stable disease and then, inexplicably, two or three months of rapid decline, and then two or three months more of stable disease, you really need to look at patients for one to two years before you get a sense of whether NurOwn is working or not.
TLSR: The primary endpoint in this Phase 2b trial is safety—to see if adverse events occur—which is going to be an easy endpoint for BrainStorm to meet. The secondary endpoints are changes in the ALS-FRS score. The question is, will this trial be meaningful to the market if it shows no adverse effects, which is its primary endpoint? Also, what if the secondary endpoint of efficacy is not demonstrated?
JN: The survival rate of patients with ALS is about 50% over three years, so I don't believe six months is long enough to get a true sense of efficacy, though I actually think we will see some sign of efficacy. But I do believe six months is long enough to get a true sense of the therapy's safety, which is what the company is trying to accomplish.
You have to do these things in baby steps with the FDA. The agency wants to know first, that the therapy is safe, and second, that it demonstrates a clinical benefit. Then a company can do a pivotal trial and put it all together. For BrainStorm, the Phase 2b trial will answer the very important safety question. I also think that, similar to the Phase 2a study, we will see initial signs of efficacy. But ultimately, BrainStorm will need to put together a pivotal trial to show improvement in patient decline over 12, 18 or maybe even 24 months, whether another Phase 2 or a Phase 3. That's when we will see multiple doses of the drug being administered over time. Maybe if you give the drug every four months, you can get a sense of efficacy 24 months later. More studies are clearly needed.
TLSR: You follow a different company called Neuralstem Inc. (CUR), which uses an allogeneic (from same species) stem cell therapy to target ALS. Neuralstem's NSI-566 cells are human fetal spinal cord cells committed to their final cell phenotype as neurons. Neuralstem has an 18-patient, open-label, dose escalation Phase 2 program in progress for ALS, and the final data will be collected in December 2015, with study completion in November 2016. It would be interesting to compare these two technologies, wouldn't it?
JN: Neuralstem and BrainStorm are often lumped into the same paragraph, and I, myself, am guilty of writing articles where I mention both companies. The truth of the matter is these are very different approaches to treating the same disease.
Let me first talk about the differences in these technology platforms. With Neuralstem's approach, neural stem cells are delivered directly into the spinal cord. These cells are designed to engraft and create a bridge, essentially, where the patient's own dying neurons have left a void. It is a very different strategy than BrainStorm's mesenchymal stem cells, which are not producing neurons or bridging. Brainstorm's NurOwn cells express neurotrophic factors designed to keep the patient's existing neurons alive.
What ultimately may make the most sense, if you're a patient with ALS, is to get both treatments. You get Neuralstem's NSI-566 cells delivered directly into your spinal cord to replace the neurons that have died. Then you get BrainStorm's stem cells, which have been induced to express neurotrophic factors to keep the neurons you still have alive, and maybe even bolster Neuralstem's stem cells.
Now, Neuralstem may argue its therapy doesn't need that help, but if BrainStorm can show that its NurOwn product keeps neurons alive regardless of whether they're exogenous (from outside the patient) or endogenous (produced by the patient), I think that could be a very interesting combination therapy for ALS. Since there's nothing out there for ALS, why wouldn't you, as a patient, try using both? It seems like you would want to try as much as you can, safely. A cancer patient may take one type of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and then take a targeted cancer therapy at another time. You could look at Neuralstem along the lines of a targeted therapy, and you could look at BrainStorm along the lines of a systemic therapy, designed to do something different than what Neuralstem's cells are designed to do. Yes, these two stem cell companies are both treating ALS in Phase 2, but they have very different approaches, and they're not really competing with each other.
TLSR: Could you go to the next name, please?
JN: ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CTRV) is very interesting because it has an opportunity to bring to market a much-needed therapy to reduce the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) in elderly patients who have had shingles outbreaks.
A large percentage of people who develop shingles then go on to develop PHN, which is an incredibly painful breakout of sores along the back and abdomen. We are seeing about 4 million (4M) cases a year in the U.S., Europe and Japan; more than half occur in the U.S., and a great majority—about two-thirds—of patients suffer for more than a month at a time. The pharmaceutical industry has developed drugs with massive sales to treat PHN—Lyrica (pregabalin; Pfizer Inc. [PFE]), Cymbalta (duloxetine; Eli Lilly and Co. [LLY]) and Neurontin (gabapentin; Pfizer). Depomed Inc. (DEPO) has a drug called Gralise, which is an extended-release gabapentin. Although the literature will tell you that opioids are not particularly effective in relieving PHN, patients do take them. Lyrica and Cymbalta are the two biggest agents used, and they are multibillion-dollar drugs. I believe Lyrica is a $4 billion/year ($4B/year) drug. Cymbalta is probably in the $3–4B/year range. There is a fairly large medical need because PHN is such a debilitating and painful disease.
ContraVir is developing FV-100 (antiviral nucleoside analog; a prodrug) to reduce the incidence of PHN in patients compared to, let's say, "standard-of-care" therapies—although I don't know that there really is a standard of care. Most patients get Valtrex (valacyclovir; GlaxoSmithKline [GSK]). ContraVir is getting ready to initiate a Phase 3 study. It will be double-blind and placebo-controlled, with 825 patients, and FV-100 will go head-to-head versus Valtrex. The endpoint is incidence of PHN following treatment with two dose regimens of FV-100. Efficacy is the primary endpoint.
TLSR: ContraVir has a market cap of about $115M, and will need a partner or acquirer of some type. Who do you imagine the potential partners would be for FV-100? Also, how much could this drug be worth each year?
JN: I'll take the second question first. How much could the drug be worth? I'll preface here with some background. From the clinical data, we're expecting about 20% of Valtrex patients to develop PHN. ContraVir is enrolling three arms—two different doses of FV-100 and then a standard dose of Valtrex. Of the 275 patients or so who will go on to the Valtrex arm, we're expecting 50–55 patients, or about 20%, to develop PHN. If ContraVir can show in this Phase 3 trial that it can cut that number in half, that would be considered clinically meaningful. If you asked neurologists about a clinically meaningful reduction in incidence of PHN that would warrant prescribing a new drug at new drug prices versus generic Valtrex, I think they would agree that a 50% reduction is meaningful. If the drug works, you're looking at a fairly sizable market, maybe even in the $750M/year range. Of course, the adverse event profile has to match up well—equal or better than Valtrex.
Getting to the partnership question, I think a large pharma company would be very interested in FV-100. A company like Pfizer or Eli Lilly, which already make a lot of money treating PHN patients, might be very interested. If ContraVir could take 50% of the people out of the market, that could be a meaningful hit to a drug like Lyrica or Cymbalta. It might behoove a company to acquire the asset and try to protect market share within the category.
TLSR: FV-100 is obviously the value driver right now, but the ContraVir pipeline does have another interesting compound. Did you want to mention that?
JN: Yes. ContraVir has an earlier-stage compound, an improved version of tenofovir (Viread; Gilead Sciences), which it is developing for hepatitis B. CMX157 (a lipid acrylic nucleoside phosphonate) is still in the proof-of-concept stage, and is ready for Phase 2.
CMX157 is a powerful analog of tenofovir, a multibillion-dollar blockbuster, and ContraVir would like to demonstrate in an early-stage trial that its drug is superior to tenofovir. I should mention that tenofovir is also a major component of Gilead's HIV franchise, which includes Truvada (emtricitabine + tenofovir) and Atripla (efavirenz + emtricitabine + tenofovir). If ContraVir can show that it has an improved version of tenofovir, with meaningful potential, then Gilead may be very interested, since it has the biggest stake in the race as of today.
TLSR: Could you go to the next name, please?
JN: Sure. On June 23, Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc. (CYNA) (CTH:CA) (CYNAF) announced it had completed a public offering and raised $72.5M. The company also just recently uplisted to NASDAQ. This was a tiny Canadian company that was listed on the TSX Venture Exchange just two years ago; I began following Cynapsus when it had a market cap of $15M. Today its market valuation is just above $200M, at about $17/share. In my initiation report, I called it an "undiscovered gem."
TLSR: Jason, you know Cynapsus quite well. The company has a product, APL-130277 (sublingual apomorphine strips), in late-stage development for Parkinson's disease "off episodes" or hypomobility. Give a bit of background and describe the value proposition from the patient perspective.
JN: APL-130277 is currently in Phase 3. It is a thin film strip formulation of apomorphine (branded originally as Apokyn or Apo-Go [apomorphine hydrochloride injection]), which is a rescue medication used by Parkinson's patients to return them from akinetic, or "off," to "on."
There are various reasons why Parkinson's patients become unable to move. These patients have experienced destruction of the dopaminergic neurons in the brain, which causes a lack of dopamine, which renders the patient unable to control his or her muscles/motor function. The treatment for Parkinson's disease is levodopa, a dopamine replacement therapy. For whatever reason, it is a rather inconsistent and unpredictable drug. Sometimes, when Parkinson's patients are in between levadopa doses, they have adequate motor control. If they give themselves too much drug, they may have what's known as dyskinesia, which is an inability to control their movements. If they don't get enough of the drug, or the drug fails, then they have akinesia, the "off" time. Apomorphine is a rescue medication that a Parkinson's patient would take when "off" in order to move and to control movement.
Apomorphine has long been approved and is on the market in the U.S, but unfortunately it is a subcutaneous injection. If you are either a dyskinetic or an akinetic Parkinson's patient, how do you give yourself an injection? Now you get a sense of why apomorphine is not a very large seller. It is extremely difficult for the Parkinson's patient to self-administer, and requires either a skilled nurse or skilled family member or caregiver to give. It is a highly effective drug with a rather poor delivery system.
Cynapsus has taken this drug and put it into a very simple and very easy-to-use delivery system, where the patient can self-rescue by letting the strip dissolve under the tongue. The compound is now in Phase 3, and because the apomorphine molecule is already approved in another form—by injection—the company is able to utilize the FDA's 505(b)(2) accelerated pathway to approval. Cynapsus has had two successful Phase 1 programs and a successful Phase 2 program. It recently met with the FDA and confirmed the 505(b)(2) pathway, which basically says the FDA will bless all the preclinical pharmacologic and toxicology data from previous work with apomorphine. Cynapsus doesn't have to go back and do that. It can move right into a Phase 3 trial, then do an extension safety trial, and then it can file a new drug application (NDA). It is in the efficacy Phase 3 trial now. We assume we'll have data in a little less than a year.
TLSR: Is this formulation still on track to be filed in mid- to late-2016?
JN: By the time Cynapsus gets the Phase 3 safety data and packages it with the efficacy data, we're assuming review in the second half of 2016. I believe the shares are extremely attractive because there have been a number of deals in this space that not only validate the market, but also show that big pharma is interested, and would likely want to acquire either in late 2016 or 2017 at multiples of what Cynapsus is trading for today.
TLSR: Do you think of this program as derisked?
JN: I think of it as low risk. The company is now well funded, NASDAQ-listed and liquid. There is a clear exit strategy that is 18–24 months away, and the stock is worth roughly three to four times what it's trading for right now. Cynapsus is definitely among my better ideas as of today.
TLSR: Jason, Cynapsus seems to be slightly ahead of a potential competitor, Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (ACOR), which has a rescue product for the same indication that could be filed by the end of 2016. Can you comment on Acorda's program, as it might relate to Cynapsus?
JN: Yes. In September 2014, Acorda acquired Civitas Therapeutics to obtain worldwide rights to CVT-301 (levadopa for inhalation) for Parkinson's "off" episodes. It's an inhalation treatment. The deal was for $525M in cash, which is more than two times what Cynapsus is trading for now.
The Acorda Phase 3 trial began in December 2014, ahead of Cynapsus' Phase 3 trial, but I believe it is a longer and larger trial simply because the company is not following the expedited 505(b)(2) pathway that Cynapsus is following. CVT-301 is an inhaled formulation of levodopa, and I understand the impetus behind an inhaled delivery. It's rapidly acting and a lot easier to administer than an injected drug. Yes, you want a rescue medication that is going to work quickly and is going to be effective, but what I don't like is that the patients already on levodopa will be getting more levodopa. This can lead to serious side effects, including levodopa-induced dyskinesia and overdosing, which in turn could create a sensitivity that would produce a less effective response to levodopa over time.
One more thing: If there's one thing we have learned over the course of the past decade or so, it's that the FDA generally does not like inhaled drugs for nonpulmonary indications. The FDA generally has been very stringent on the approvability of these drugs.
TLSR: Can you mention another name?
JN: InVivo Therapeutics Corp. (NVIV) is among my favorite names right now. It has a bioresorbable polymer device for complete traumatic spinal cord injury called the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold (PLGA poly-L-lysine). This complete injury is classified as the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale-A, or AIS-A, where no sensory or motor function is preserved in the lower spinal segments.
The company has had an interesting path. It came out of the gates in 2012 like a lion, and then had some management turnover. But InVivo is now in the clinic with its scaffold, and has treated three patients in its initial pilot study. We've only seen results from two of the three patients, but those results have been incredibly encouraging. These patients are paraplegic, with no motor sensation or control below the level of the injury. The scaffold is applied directly into the spinal cord, creating a bridge and support at the site for the damaged neurons, so those neurons can engraft and survive the injury. Hopefully, if the neurons survive the injury, then the body can heal itself and reconnect the circuitry below the site of the injury to circuitry above the site of the injury—and you have recovery in motor sensation and control.
The statistics will tell you that only 5% of patients who have this exact type of injury ever regain sensation, which is the first step; control, or motor activity, is the second step. Control would show advanced recovery over sensation.
TLSR: I realize that a pilot study is basically for safety, but with so few patients being treated, do we actually know anything, or have any results yet?
JN: Well, the first patient regained not only sensation, but also the more difficult motor function—gaining some control 90 days post-implant. The second patient had a more severe injury, and we only have a 90-day update on Patient 2. But so far this patient is able to demonstrate significant improvement in both trunk stability and sensation. Patient 2 doesn't quite have the control that Patient 1 has been able to demonstrate, but again, we have six months of data on the first patient versus only three months of data on the second patient. We have no data yet on the third patient.
I know the number of patients in the study is small, but if you look at the 5% odds of this kind of improvement occurring at the end of 12 months versus Patient 1, who was able to demonstrate improvement after 90 days, you can assume that either the patient and neurosurgeon got extremely lucky, or this thing is actually working.
This news has honestly created a heck of a run in the stock, but there are a number of catalysts on the horizon. Over the next six to 12 months, there will be a six-month update on Patient 2; a three-month update on Patient 3 will occur in about two months, and two more patients have yet to be enrolled.
TLSR: InVivo has a $410M market valuation, and the stock is up more than 200% over the past 12 months. Even with that kind of share price appreciation, it sounds like there is lots of room to advance if the therapy works. What does the market opportunity look like to you?
JN: It's really interesting. If, within a year, the company can say that three out of five, or four out of five, or even two out of five patients have been able to regain sensation and even control at six months, InVivo will be well ahead of that tiny 5% number of untreated patients who show some recovery. If paraplegic patients are able to regain bowel and bladder function, the market opportunity would be enormous. And please note—this is with the scaffolding alone.
TLSR: When you say this is with the scaffolding alone, you are obviously alluding to the transplantation of cells that could accompany the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold in the future. It's designed to have neural stem cells loaded, or seeded, into it to promote healing and bridging. That's an interesting concept, given the positive results seen so far. Talk about that briefly, if you would.
JN: On June 22, InVivo got a patent for use of the scaffolding with cells, called a Bioengineered Neural Tissue implant. Now the company is looking for neural stem cells, perhaps very similar to the ones Neuralstem is using. I don't want to make it seem like these two companies are going to partner. StemCells Inc. (STEM) has a similar neural stem cell product. My guess is that InVivo will find a private organization or an academic laboratory that it can partner with for stem cells.
InVivo is well capitalized. I think the company is one that investors should look at because the valuation is favorable, the opportunity is tremendous, and no one else is doing anything like this.
TLSR: An obvious exit strategy for InVivo would be to be acquired by a Medtronic Inc. (MDT) or a Stryker Corp. (SYK), companies with a foothold in the spinal surgery market, right?
JN: You would think so. This is a billion-dollar idea, so you would assume that the major players in spine would want to have something like this.
TLSR: Would you like to discuss one more company?
JN: Resverlogix Corp. (RVX:CA) is a name I think investors should put on the radar. The company will enroll the first patient in its all-important BETonMACE Phase 3 clinical trial with RVX-208 in the Q4/15. RVX-208 is a first-in-class selective bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) antagonist designed to reduce the incidence of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in high-risk patients with diabetes mellitus and low HDL cholesterol. Previous data with RVX-208 showed the drug reduced incidents of MACE in this high-risk population, as well as conferred a benefit to patients with chronic kidney disease and elevated c-reactive protein.
We are intrigued by Resverlogix because of the targeted nature of RVX-208, based on all the company has learned from previous Phase 2 clinical studies. Resverlogix is now well capitalized, and since it is going after an area where big pharma has clearly shown an interest, we think that if results from the BETonMACE Phase 3 program are positive, the stock could have a significant revaluation to much higher levels.
TLSR: Thank you, Jason.
Jason Napodano, CFA, currently works for Zacks Investment Research as the company's senior biotechnology analyst. In 2009, Napodano was promoted to managing director of research for Zacks' Small-Cap Research division, which focuses on writing high-quality institutional research on underfollowed or undervalued small-cap stocks. Prior to his tenure at Zacks, Napodano spent three years on the buyside with Eastover Capital in Charlotte, N.C., where he focused on large-cap equities and specialized in healthcare, energy and technology. Prior to joining Eastover, Napodano worked as a research scientist for TechLab Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing diagnostic kits and vaccines for infectious diseases. He also spent a year working in a lab at the Fralin Biotechnology Center, and a year working for a cancer researcher in Virginia. Napodano has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech, with an additional bachelor's degree in chemistry and a minor in math. He has a master's degree in business administration and finance, with a concentration in securities analysis, from Wake Forest University. Napodano is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Source: George S. Mack of The Life Sciences Report
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1) Dr. George S. Mack conducted this interview for Streetwise Reports LLC, publisher of The Gold Report, The Energy Report and The Life Sciences Report, and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor. He owns, or his family owns, shares of the following companies mentioned in this interview: None.
2) The following companies mentioned in the interview are sponsors of Streetwise Reports: BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc., StemCells Inc., Resverlogix Corp. The companies mentioned in this interview were not involved in any aspect of the interview preparation or post-interview editing so the expert could speak independently about the sector. Streetwise Reports does not accept stock in exchange for its services.
3) Jason Napodano: I own, or my family owns, shares of the following companies mentioned in this interview: None. I personally am, or my family is, paid by the following companies mentioned in this interview: None. My company has a financial relationship with the following companies mentioned in this interview: BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., Neuralstem Inc., ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc., Resverlogix Corp., InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. I was not paid by Streetwise Reports for participating in this interview. Comments and opinions expressed are my own comments and opinions. I determined and had final say over which companies would be included in the interview based on my research, understanding of the sector and interview theme. I had the opportunity to review the interview for accuracy as of the date of the interview and am responsible for the content of the interview.
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