In my ongoing quest for short-term trading opportunities, I have come across some services that specialize in "reverse merger" opportunities. A reverse merger stock is a stock that becomes public by buying a "shell" public company which is essentially going or already out of business. It is a quick and dirty way for a start-up to go public.
Not surprisingly, this back-door way around traditional IPO's attracts some "substance-challenged" companies. But sometimes it attracts a gem that is just in too big a hurry to get their story out and get funding to go the traditional IPO route. At least two newsletters I've seen recommend reverse merger stocks, as a way of getting in early on unknown, very small cap stocks with potentially great upside. Coincidentally, while looking for biotech stocks that could benefit from bird flu, I found a company NANOVIRICIDES INC (NNVC.pk) which looks like a great candidate for testing out the reverse merger theory. Additionally, if this company gets some publicity, it should trend up every time there's a bird flu media-scare. (The term "nano" has probably exhausted its hype-potential, so we're not counting on any additional value from the nano-name.)
One of my trading partners, Ilene, who has a degree in Pathology, has done some preliminary research on NNVC and has found the science to have some significant potential and has been very impressed with the background of the people joining the advisory board (see links below), as they not only seem highly qualified but in some cases are among the leading scientists in the field. This does not seem to be the typical penny stock, nor the typical reverse merger company.
We are buying a little bit of this stock for long-term holding, even though it is clear that an eleven-cent pink sheet stock is highly speculative and there's no guarantee that any biotech, much less this one, is ever going to appreciate in value or become profitable.
In the spirit of "do your own due diligence," I am providing the the following information on NNVC and highly recommend a visit to their web site before jumping into the ring with this one. The bet here is risking a total loss of your investment against a return of thousands of percent. Worth a roll of the dice? You decide.
Vietnam Invites NanoViricides to Play Role in Battle against Bird Flu
Monday August 22, 11:01 am ET
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 22, 2005--NanoViricides, Inc. (Pink Sheets:NNVC - News), announced today that the Government of Vietnam's National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology ("NIHE"), Vietnam's leading institute for the surveillance, control and prevention of infectious diseases, extended an invitation to the Company to help in the battle against bird flu.
The Company will meet with the key scientific persons in this governmental agency as part of the Country's effort to prepare adequately for potential outbreaks of this highly contagious and fatal disease. "NanoViricides has an approach that appears capable of making true viricides...you appear to have a unique technology...the potential for this approach is immense and important, as any outbreaks can be curtailed before they reach epidemic proportions," noted Dr. Nguyen Tran Hien, Director of NIHE. "We are interested in discussing further the potential of developing NanoViricides against the bird flu virus strains."
Dr. Anil Diwan, President of NanoViricides, added, "Our technology has elicited the notice of the senior science community in Vietnam, a country facing an uphill battle against this deadly epidemic. They are proactive in seeking out solutions, and have the support of the world to find ways to ensure that this does not become a pandemic issue. We are honored to join them in this fight."
"The Company is excited to field these commercial opportunities," noted Leo Ehrlich, CFO. "Joint venture work offers a potential for revenues and goal oriented research that advances the Company's core business and operational purpose against specific viral enemies. We will begin a relationship with Vietnam and the surrounding nations that will allow us to advance our technology and address specific issues facing the nations of the world."
NanoViricides, Inc. is a development stage company that is creating special purpose nanomaterials for viral therapy. NanoViricides, Inc. has exclusive license in perpetuity for technologies developed by Theracour Pharma for the five virus types: HIV, HCV, Herpes, Asian (bird) flu and Influenza. A NanoViricide(TM) is a nanoparticle that contains an encapsulated active pharmaceutical ingredient and targets it to a specific type of virus. When a NanoViricide(TM) drug particle enters the patient's blood stream, it attacks and immobilizes circulating virus particles. Once this is done, the active pharmaceutical ingredient is injected into the virus by the NanoViricide(TM) particle, destroying it. The company plans to develop novel NanoViricide(TM) drugs first against HIV, and anticipates that it will license the products to major pharmaceutical companies.
This press release contains forward-looking statements which reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially and substantially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including the success of the Company's research and development strategy, the availability of adequate financing, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies and the uncertainties related to the regulatory process.
Dr. John Rossi, Holder of 14 Key Patents, and Author of over 275 Scientific Articles, Joins NanoViricides, Inc. Scientific Advisory Board
Thursday July 14, 9:33 am ET
"Widely Regarded as a World Leader in Clinical Research for the Treatment of HIV/AIDS and in the Development of Therapeutic Applications of RNA Interference"
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 14, 2005-- NanoViricides, Inc. (Pink Sheets:NNVC - News), announced today that Dr. John Rossi, Chairman and Professor, Division of Molecular Biology, Beckman Research Institute and Dean, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA - http://www.cityofhope.org/gradschool/faculty/jrossi.asp - has joined the NanoViricides, Inc. Scientific Advisory Board.
City of Hope is a Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.
"Dr. Rossi is a wonderful addition to our Scientific Advisory Board. He brings almost twenty five years of basic HIV research experience to our company. He is on the editorial boards of numerous science journals including Antisense Research and Development, Gene Therapy and Molecular Biology and Molecular Therapy, and has extensive experience in many critical areas that will help us develop true HIV killing nanomachines," said Eugene Seymour, MD, Chief Executive Officer of NanoViricides, Inc.
"Dr. Rossi has great expertise in the clinical aspects as well as in the HIV genome silencing aspects which are areas of special interest to NanoViricides. His active involvement as our scientific advisor will accelerate our development programs particularly for our second generation anti-HIV drugs and other nanoviricides," said Dr. Diwan, President of NanoViricides, Inc. and inventor of the underlying technology.
In addition to his responsibilities at the City of Hope, he is also Adjunct Professor, Division of Biomedical Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA, as well as Adjunct Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Loma Linda University, CA.
Dr. Rossi received his PhD in microbial genetics from the University of Connecticut. His post-doctoral fellowship was at Brown University in Providence, RI.
THE NANOTECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION IN BIOPHARMACEUTICS
A New Era in Targeted Anti-Viral Therapeutics
Imagine having a nano-scale molecularly engineered "guided missile", about the size of a few billionth of a meter, that courses through the blood-stream, seeks its target e.g. a virus particle, attaches itself to the target, and then destroys the target completely.
We believe that nanoviricides are the next great advance in medicine. It is possible that some HIV patients may be "cured" by the drugs developed at NanoViricides Inc. We hope that with further knowledge and new advancements in medicine, many viral diseases will be curable. We hope to spearhead these efforts.
Our President, Dr. Anil Diwan, is a 'Business of Technology' editor to Pi-Tech, the magazine launched at the Global Indian Institute of Technology Alumni Conference in 2005 (Pan - IIT 2005).
Featured articles written and edited by Dr. Diwan
Indian Institute of Technology is one of the premier schools in the world and has been featured on CBS.
NanoViricides Retains Auditor in Preparation of Filing Form 10-SB
Thursday August 4, 11:14 am ET
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 2005--NanoViricides, Inc. (Pink Sheets:NNVC - News; the "Company"), announced today that it had retained Bloom & Co., LLP of Hempstead, New York as its independent auditors, in anticipation of filing Form 10-SB and being quoted on the OTC bulletin board quotation system.
Commenting upon the retention, Leo Ehrlich, NanoViricides' Chief Financial Officer stated, "this is a very exciting time for NanoViricides. Retaining PCAOB registered auditors such as Bloom & Company will enable the Company to complete its first ever audit, an important step in our goal of becoming a reporting company. Upon completion of the Company's audited financial statements, we anticipate immediately filing a Form 10-SB to commence reporting obligations with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Becoming a reporting company with the objective of having our stock quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board is a positive step for the company and for our shareholders."
Dr. Cy Stein, Renowned Inventor, Holder of key Patents, Expert in Antisense and RNA, Joins Nanoviricides, Inc.
Monday July 11, 12:11 pm ET
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 11, 2005--Nanoviricides, Inc. (Pink Sheets:NNVC - News), announced today that Professor Cy Stein, MD, Head of Medical Genitourinary Oncology and Professor of Medicine, Urology and Molecular Pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York and a recognized innovator in the development of drugs based on antisense and RNA interference, has joined NanoViricides' Scientific Advisory Board.
"We are delighted to have Dr. Stein join as a member of NanoViricides' Scientific Advisory Board. We look forward to working closely with him to fully develop the potential of our nanoviricide technology," said Dr. Diwan, President of NanoViricides.
Professor Stein is a pioneer in the anti-sense DNA field and holds a number of key patents. He was a co-developer of Genta Inc.'s Genasense antisense drug that showed efficacy but needs further work. Prof. Stein is co-editor of the journal Oligonucleotides (formerly Antisense and Nucleic Acid Drug Development) and has published over 150 papers in the field.
Prof. Stein is a medical doctor and has a PhD in chemistry. He is an oncologist and was trained at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. He was a professor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University for 13 years prior to taking up the chair at the Albert Einstein College.
Prof. Stein explained, "The possibility exists that Dr. Diwan has developed the 'elusive chemical virus' that scientists have been talking about, that is, a chemical nanomaterial, that attacks a virus specifically just like a virus attacks a cell. A virus attacks cells specifically. A nanoviricide, built strictly at the chemical level, does the same, but attacks a virus. It is inspired by how viruses work, and therefore shows a great promise."
"Dr. Stein has strong expertise in the anti-sense approach against the HIV genome. This is of great interest to NanoViricides. His active involvement as our scientific advisor will accelerate our development programs especially for our second generation anti-HIV drugs and other nanoviricides," said Dr. Diwan, President of NanoViricides, Inc. and inventor of the underlying technology.