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Prana Biotechnology Limited Message Board

goutah3006 52 posts  |  Last Activity: 8 hours ago Member since: Nov 29, 2004
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  • Reply to

    Management and the Board of Directors - Failing

    by gettrading Dec 26, 2014 8:46 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 8 hours ago Flag

    Yes, it boils down to the science. Kempler has done a poor job thus far of utilizing the science. But if the science is good and if they can prove it to be good by producing compelling clinical results, then we will do well.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Comparisons

    by goutah3006 Dec 26, 2014 1:37 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 13 hours ago Flag

    I agree that there's way too much crony capitalism going on in America, though I prefer the original term "corporate socialism" coined by Murray Rothbard in the 1970s. Fortunately, however, there's still enough real capitalism going on to keep the country operating, though not with anything close to the level of economic robustness that we ought to be having.

    The investments cited above produced good results this year because they are real companies providing real products and services that real people are willing to pay for. And their shares were undervalued at the beginning of the year. Their share prices have, since that time, either come closer to the real values of those companies or in some cases may have slightly exceeded the real value. Again, regardless of what the Federal Reserve is doing or not doing, there are at any given time going to be stocks that, for whatever reason, are undervalued. If you buy such stocks when such opportunities present themselves, and you then hang onto them for a while, good things are likely to happen for you.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    It's more than science

    by gettrading Dec 4, 2014 7:02 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 16 hours ago Flag

    Kempler is indeed a bumbling and mediocre manager. However, Prana may have one more shot at staying alive: If they can design an HD trial that they can afford to carry out, and if that trial demonstrates efficacy. If this happens, Prana may eventually be able to resume its clinical-trial program for AD. An optimistic scenario would be a Phase III for HD that produces a good enough result to facilitate FDA approval of PBT2 for HD by, say, early 2018. This would probably drive the share price up plus give Prana some cash flow from sales of PBT2. At that point, Prana could afford to commence some high-powered trials for AD. Perhaps we'll have results from a Phase III AD trial sometime around 2020 or 2021.

    Of course, the above optimistic scenario hinges on getting good results from the next HD trial. And PBT2 isn't really optimized for HD. So we need to keep our fingers crossed.

    many years ago I owned an early-stage biotech called Geron, which at the time was led by Dr. Thomas Okarma. Dr. Okarma did a magnificent job of public relations and managed to raise enormous amounts of capital. Unlike Mr. Kempler, Dr. Okarma is a scientist. Also, unlike Mr. Kempler, Dr. Okarma was really good at public relations and raised huge amounts of money from the investor community in the 1990s and early 2000s. Geron's science, based on pre-clinical studies, appeared to hold great promise in treating multiple diseases. As it turned out, Geron's science didn't pan out in human trials. We don't yet know whether Prana's science will pan out in human trials, but it would be nice to know. If we had a more competent CEO, we could have raised more money years ago and could have completed some higher-powered clinical trials by now.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Comparisons

    by goutah3006 Dec 26, 2014 1:37 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 26, 2014 4:53 PM Flag

    Thanks, jhs. Right back at ya. I noticed that kadaicher has posted something in this thread, but he's on my ignore list so I don't know what he's saying. Anyway, if you follow my posts since I first started posting here and if you follow kadaicher's posts since he first started posting here, you'll probably find that my view of Prana has been much closer to reality than his has been (unless he's changed his tune big-time since I put him on ignore, which I doubt based on the few times my ignore filter has briefly been disabled). But, alas, many people here prefer fantasy over reality. That's human nature.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Management and the Board of Directors - Failing

    by gettrading Dec 26, 2014 8:46 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 26, 2014 3:09 PM Flag

    Some people here view Kempler as totally inept. Others view him as a top-notch CEO. Reality, as is usually the case, is more boring than either of these propositions. I think Kempler is a bumbling mediocre CEO. I don't think he's particularly good, but he's probably adequate for the job at hand. We could certainly do better, but we're stuck with Kempler. If Prana can verify the clinical value of its science (which it has yet to do), then shareholders will do well even with a bumbling mediocre hack like Kempler at the helm. If Prana's science turns out to be clinically useless (which it might), having the greatest CEO in the world wouldn't help us. So it all really boils down to the science.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Comparisons

    by goutah3006 Dec 26, 2014 1:37 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 26, 2014 1:41 PM Flag

    Thanks, yk. Of course, I didn't include my losers in the list (aside from Prana). Just the best performers for the year. But even my losing investments did a lot better than Prana. My point was to illustrate the difference between investing and speculating. I continue to hold my remaining Prana shares simply to satisfy my innate need to do a bit of speculating on the side.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • goutah3006 by goutah3006 Dec 26, 2014 1:37 AM Flag

    It's fun to compare stock price fluctuations during 2014. As of Christmas Day, here is the percentage price change since January 1st, 2014 for several stocks I own:

    Prana Biotechnology: -75%
    Union Pacific Railroad: +43%
    Intel Corporation: +44%
    Apple: +40%
    Hurco Companies: +37%
    Cisco Systems: +26%
    Myriad Genetics: +74%

    Recall the excitement we felt a year ago about the then-imminent IMAGINE results? We were excited, particularly in light of the Kelvin Lawler video. Who among us would have guessed that the share price would decline 75% in 2014?

    By contrast, boring old Intel is up 44%. Union Pacific is up 43%. Myriad Genetics, a biotech company, is up 74%. Etc.

    The big difference between Prana on January 1st, 2014 and these other companies on January 1st, 2014 is that Prana was purely speculative (because its fundamental value as a business was indeterminate at the time) while the others were investments (i.e. their fundamental values were reasonably calculable, and their shares were priced cheaply at the time relative to their fundamental values).

    This is why most of my portfolio is tied up in investments. Prana is the only speculative stock that I own. Speculation is fun, but you'll almost always lose money at it over the long run. Investing, by contrast, is highly profitable over the long run.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    What Dr. Katz was talking about -

    by copper725 Dec 22, 2014 9:35 PM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 24, 2014 1:42 AM Flag

    The U.S. National AD plan, like most other such government plans, is pretty much a waste of time and taxpayers' money. A government that can't reliably deliver the mail on time is unlikely to orchestrate the development of effective treatments for Alzheimer's. I'm reminded of the U.S. federal government's war on cancer in the late 1960s, which was supposed to produce a cure within a decade. It turns out that cancer is so incredibly complex that scientists are still nowhere close to fully understanding how it works.

    Nobody knows whether there will be a big breakthrough in Alzheimer's treatment. If there is going to be a breakthrough, we don't know where it will come from. For all we know, PBT2 may be the big breakthrough and we just haven't detected it yet because Prana has been unable to afford to conduct trials that are powered to detect whatever it is that needs to be detected. Or PBT2 may turn out to be useless. Or maybe it will be incrementally better than existing treatments. Part of the excitement of owning Prana is that we have no idea what the next clinical results will be like.

    The biggest service the federal government could perform is to dramatically reform the FDA, which has become far too risk-averse in recent decades.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Science Matters Here

    by tb00tb00a Oct 9, 2014 10:22 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 20, 2014 1:38 PM Flag

    I view Prana as a sort of inverse roulette wheel, where the odds are tilted slightly in the gambler's favor as opposed to the standard roulette wheel, where the odds are tilted slightly in the house's favor. Prana is a sort of intelligent gamble where the science seems to indicate that there may be something of value here, with the emphasis on "may". But the elephant in the room is clinical results. No matter how compelling the non-clinical research may be, it can't substitute for clinical results. And the clinical results thus far have been few and weak and far between. I'm excited to see the IMAGINE extension results, even though they won't count for much from a clinical standpoint because it's an open-label study. The best possible scenario would be that the extension results cause enough excitement to raise the share price high enough that Prana can use its ATM facility to raise $50 million without excessive dilution, thereby enabling them to finance a new AD clinical trial. Whether such a scenario will pan out is, needless to say, completely unpredictable. But If the extension results push the share price above $3, I'll start selling off my remaining shares.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 19, 2014 4:37 PM Flag

    Yet another person to add to my ignore list. This guy has no clue. First, if Big Pharma wanted to invest in Prana, they would have done so a long time ago. They haven't, however, because they're waiting to see some compelling clinical results from Prana. Such results have not yet been produced. Second, if Big Pharma were to invest in Prana, they'd most likely do so by way of a partnership at first rather than outright acquisition. If Prana finally produces good clinical results, a partnership with Big Pharma would probably be much more beneficial to shareholders than a buyout would be. Some people here have been predicting that a partnership or buyout is "just around the corner". They've been predicting this for seven years now.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    PPS

    by stevelee779 Dec 15, 2014 2:41 PM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 16, 2014 4:07 PM Flag

    In the long run, the only thing of importance to us is clinical trials and the outcomes of those trials. That's it. All of the price action on Prana is driven by the market's anticipation of how likely we are to have further clinical trials, and what the outcomes of those trials will be. Of course, nobody can predict the outcomes. But the long-term success of Prana will depend entirely on those outcomes. Period. Not on yeast experiments or petri-dish protocols or mouse studies, no matter how interesting those might be.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    So when Tanzi calls PBT2 the next statin...

    by interestingtome Oct 31, 2014 4:51 PM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 15, 2014 3:50 PM Flag

    Before PBT2 can start being used on a widespread basis as a statin, it will need to demonstrate efficacy in that regard. Meaning that a large and expensive Phase III trial will have to be done that's powered to measure PBT2's efficacy as a statin. Such a trial, if it ever takes place, is probably many years in the future. I suspect that many other trials will come first, such as a Phase III for HD, a Phase II for Alzheimer's, and a Phase III for Alzheimer's (i.e. as a treatment rather than a statin). The Phase III for HD must come before any of these others, because Prana needs to make progress on HD in order to finance further AD trials (unless, of course, the IMAGINE extension results are so mind-blowingly good that the share price jumps up a lot and stays high long enough for Prana to raise $50 million -- a scenario that's plausible, though we shouldn't count on it). So perhaps ten or fifteen years from now a trial will be undertaken to look into using PBT2 as a statin.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    2004

    by goutah3006 Dec 14, 2014 11:10 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 14, 2014 6:52 PM Flag

    I can say that the "development of PBT2 as an Alzheimer's drug is at a standstill" for one simple reason: It is. PBT2 has been in the clinical phase of development as an Alzheimer's drug for seven or eight years now, and it has not gotten beyond Phase IIa. Further development of PBT2 as a treatment for Alzheimer's will require additional clinical trials (at least one full Phase II followed by at least one Phase III). However, Prana has yet to announce another clinical trial of PBT2 for Alzheimer's because Prana does not have funding for any further Alzheimer's clinical trials. Management has made it clear that they intend to focus their PBT2 clinical program on Huntington's disease for the time being, which will probably consume the company's current cash and more. If at some point Prana obtains enough funding to do another Alzheimer's trial, I will jump for joy and declare that the development of PBT2 as an Alzheimer's drug is no longer at a standstill.

    It's worth noting that this is the second standstill in PBT2's history. The first occurred after the announcement of the results for the first Phase IIa trial in early 2008. Prana was unable to raise money for a full Phase II trial, and clinical development remained on hold for several years until the company devised a cheaper alternative (the IMAGINE Phase IIa trial) that they could afford.

    With regard to the comments in the Langbehn article regarding the Reach2HD results, those comments refer to the timespan between the announcement of the basic results last March and the peer-reviewed publication of the detailed analysis of the data. This was indeed a rapid and timely publication. By contrast, the excruciatingly long time lag between the end of dosing in the summer of 2013 and the announcement of the basic results in the spring of 2014 was anything but "timely".

    Sentiment: Buy

  • goutah3006 by goutah3006 Dec 14, 2014 11:10 AM Flag

    On April 16, 2004, Prana,s ADR share price briefly went above $8 based on news related to PBT1. That was more than a decade ago. I bring this up to illustrate the risks associated with stock speculation. On April 16, 2004, I suspect that a lot of people were buying shares for $8 based on their expectation that PBT1 would be a big breakthrough in Alzheimer's treatment and would be on the market within a few years. Here we are ten and a half years later and the share price is less than a quarter of what it was on that day. PBT1 was abandoned long ago, and the clinical development of its successor, PBT2, as an Alzheimer's drug is at a standstill. I make this point to illustrate that irrational optimism is poison if your long-term goal is to make money in stocks.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    new timelines

    by jelchertjr Dec 12, 2014 11:18 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 12, 2014 4:04 PM Flag

    Well, I "actually hold shares". I've owned Prana for nearly a decade. Prana has a chronic tendency to either be late with delivering on promises (as in the case of the Reach2HD results, which were released five or six months later than promised) or totally fail to deliver on promises (as in the full Phase II trial of PBT2 for Alzheimer's which Prana promised would commence by the end of 2010 but which never commenced). I've learned to accept this as a fact of life. Yes, Prana has some interesting science. Yes, the MPAC theory could eventually result in marketable drugs. That's why I continue to hold the shares that I didn't sell during the run-up prior to the trial results. But I've learned not to put too much stock in Prana's announced timelines for most things.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    new timelines

    by jelchertjr Dec 12, 2014 11:18 AM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 12, 2014 12:15 PM Flag

    Anyone who has followed Prana for more than a year or two will undoubtedly chuckle at any attempt to predict timelines. Prana management has a poor track record when it comes to meeting its own announced schedule for events. Occasionally they achieve a given milestone within the published timeframe, but this is the exception rather than the rule. So when management announces its intention to initiate a Phase I for PBT434 (the Parkinson's drug) in the first half of calendar year 2015, my interpretation is that this trial might begin in the first half of 2015, or it might begin in the second half of 2015, or it might begin sometime in 2016, or it might never take place.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Sage advice

    by goutah3006 Dec 10, 2014 12:45 PM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 10, 2014 3:26 PM Flag

    Well, bgfalter claims that this is a $0.48 stock. I claim that it's a $3 stock. Perhaps the next year will determine who's right.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Sage advice

    by goutah3006 Dec 10, 2014 12:45 PM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 10, 2014 3:20 PM Flag

    Anyone who uses VectorVest to evaluate Prana stock, as bgfalter appears to have done, does not understand much about VectorVest. I used to use VectorVest a bit here and there, and concluded that it has its uses when analyzing companies that have actual products or services. But it's useless for analyzing a company such as Prana that has no products or services. Whatever value Prana may or may not have at this point is intangible and is not taken into account by VecorVest. Pranav's financial fundamentals are irrelevant in analyzing the company, other than to tell us whether the company has enough cash to proceed with another clinical trial for HD (which they probably do, but just barely).

    Sentiment: Buy

  • goutah3006 by goutah3006 Dec 10, 2014 12:45 PM Flag

    Ben Graham said that you should never buy a stock in the immediate aftermath of a large price increase, nor should you sell a stock in the immediate aftermath of a large price decline. Over the past two or three months the price of Prana declined gradually, getting down to about $1.50 a few days ago. That was a good time to be buying shares, while the price was declining for no good reason. I suspect there are people eagerly buying today, with the price having skyrocketed in the last couple of days. Those people should instead have been buying last week, or the week before, or the week before. FYI, my policy since the disastrous IMAGINE results were released has been to give Prana a "buy" rating when the price dips below $2, and switch to a "hold" rating when it gets above $2. If the price gets above $3, I'll probably switch to a "sell" rating unless there's some new development that causes me to change my mind.

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Advise needed

    by younesuladali Dec 9, 2014 4:17 PM
    goutah3006 goutah3006 Dec 10, 2014 10:13 AM Flag

    First, decide whether you want to be a trader or an investor. The two categories are mutually exclusive. If you want to be a trader, I have no advice because I know little or nothing about trading other than the fact that most traders lose money over the long run. If you want to be an investor, read "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham for starters. Another good one is "The Little Book that Beats the Market" by Joel Greenblatt. Bear in mind that Prana stock is not an investment. It's speculation and is therefore risky. But if you're going to speculate, the worst mistake you can make is to buy shares immediately after a big run-up in share price, or sell shares immediately after a big drop in share price. If you can overcome the natural instinct that makes you want to buy after the price has jumped up or sell after the price has plummeted, you should consider that a big achievement.

    Sentiment: Buy

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