Cassava shorts should be worried

Yesterday, 1 November ’22, a blockbuster  article was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) written by its editor Elizabeth McNally — https://www.jci.org/articles/view/166176.

It is just over a year ago since the first of the articles attacking Cassava Sciences appeared.  The first was in the New Yorker which profiled Jordan Thomas as the second coming of Christ for exposing supposed fraudulent data published by Cassava principals —

Radden Keefe P. The Bounty Hunter. The New Yorker. Updated January 17, 2022. Accessed October 11, 2022. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/24/jordan-thomas-army-of-whistle-blowers.

Nowhere in the article was it mentioned that the ‘whistle-blowers’ stood to gain financially because they had shorted the stock.

 

Addendum 2 Nov— see comment by Elizabeth Bik at the end — this is incorrect.  It was mentioned that the whistleblowers had short positions in the stock.

There were similar articles in Science — 2022;377(6604):358–363

and the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/18/health/alzheimers-cassava-simufilam.html.

They relied on the same assertions given to the FDA asking that the clinical trials be stopped because of ‘danger’ to the patients.

In none of these articles was it mentioned that those claiming fraud by the Cassava investigators were short the stock.

Addendum 2 Nov— see comment by Elizabeth Bik at the end — this is incorrect.  It was mentioned that the whistleblowers had short positions in the stock.

It’s worth reading McNally’s article completely.  It isn’t very long.

A few highlights (“the Journal” refers to the JCI)

“Throughout 2022, the Journal has been repeatedly contacted to comment on the 2012 JCI paper. Although we cannot be certain, there now appear to be new “short and distorters.” A recent round of emails was sent simultaneously to multiple journals and editors, identifying 25 articles with potential problems and providing recommendations on how the journals should respond. Importantly, these accusatory emails do not identify any financial conflicts of interest on the part of the whistleblowers. The emails insist that an investigation begin within 24 hours and request that the journals update them on investigative progress. As an editor, I am expressing concern because this represents a new means of manipulating the scientific publishing industry.”

So journal editors are like docs. They talk to each other to find out what’s really going on.  It is likely that McNally called up other journal editors to find out if her experience was common.

Here is why those sending the eMails should not sleep well of a night.

“Last, if the Journal uncovers allegations made for the purposes of stock manipulation, with evidence of misinformation, the JCI may elect to express its concern to the US Securities and Exchange Commission or the Department of Justice.”

It’s about time.

Science, The New Yorker, and the New York Times are guilty of very sloppy reporting.

Whether the ‘whistle-blowers’ are guilty of anything will be determined by the suits (from investors losing money on Cassava, or perhaps Cassava itself) which are almost sure to follow.

As some of you know, I think Cassava’s data is even better than they realize. Be warned the following link is long, detailed and will require your concentration  —

Cassava Sciences 9 month data is probably better than they realize

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Comments

  • Don  On November 2, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Thank you for this update. I have been following this sordid mess since you first commented on Cassava. I have no stock, but don’t people who short. Lastly, why are you surprised at the sloppy reprting in Science, The new Yorker and the NYT. Is that comment tongue in cheek.

  • eliesbik  On November 2, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Your statement “In none of these articles was it mentioned that those claiming fraud by the Cassava investigators were short the stock” appears incorrect.

    The January 2022 New Yorker article states “His clients already had a major incentive to blow the whistle on the company: they had taken a short position on sava. They had made a financial bet against its stock.”

    The April 2022 NYT article states “Both scientists held a short position in Cassava’s stock and profited from its decline, which undercut the credibility of their petition.”

    So perhaps your sentence “Science, The New Yorker, and the New York Times are guilty of very sloppy reporting” should be changed – your reporting appears sloppy as well. It is easy to make false accusations, but you might want to reconsider issuing a correction for this blog post.

    • luysii  On November 2, 2022 at 2:31 pm

      eliesbik — you are correct about the New Yorker article, and probably correct about the NYT article, but I couldn’t get to it because it was behind a paywall and I don’t subscribe. The blog has been updated. Apologies. I’ve written you in the past about the post linked to at the end and have never received a response. I’m interested in what you have to say about it.

  • George Orwell  On November 2, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    The term “whistleblower” is highly misleading, which spreads much more fear than it should. The short sellers, specifically Jordan Thomas, intentionally used this term to mislead.

    I think many people think of a Cassava employee or insider when thinking of “whistleblower”. Brook Jackson is a good example of a real whistleblower. She worked on and revealed inside information from Pfizer’s trial.

    But the short sellers were not referring to any Cassava employer or insider. They were simply referring to outside critics of Cassava.

    If this is the case, then anyone can be referred to as a whistleblower if he/she criticizes Cassava. Short sellers such as Michael Burry, Carson Block and Jim Chanos can be referred to as whistleblowers, because they are criticizing many companies. But nobody would really think of them as “whistleblowers”. Stock analysts can be referred to as “whistleblowers” anytime they say anything negative about a company. But nobody would really think of them as “whistleblowers”. Every host and guest on CNBC can be referred to as “whistleblowers”. But nobody would really think of them as “whistleblowers”. Any Cassava competitor can criticize Cassava and be referred to by short sellers as “whistleblowers”. But they’re not whistleblowers. They are critics or competitors. That’s it.

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