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About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline

« Eribulin Gets Reviewed, Finally | Main | OCD Linked to the Immune System? »

June 4, 2010

Nativis: Waiting and Seeing

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Posted by Derek

I've been hearing a lot about Nativis since my post the other day, much of it from their CEO, who's sent along quite a bit of information. Two themes that reoccur are that the company is planning to publish on their technologies within the next few months, and that they're planning to file for an IND on their taxane-derived work.

Rather than continue to speculate on what the heck is going on with them, then, I'm going to wait until one or both these events happen. Either of them will provide a lot more data to work with, and either one will require convincing other observers that there's something worthwhile going on. Based on what I've seen, I remain skeptical, but there are always things that I haven't seen. We'll take up the topic again.

Comments (114) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Snake Oil


COMMENTS

1. alig on June 4, 2010 7:50 AM writes...

If any IRB approves this clinical trial, they should all be fired. It is unethical to treat cancer patients with a placebo when real treatments exist.

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2. jasonb on June 4, 2010 8:16 AM writes...

This seems to be the modus operandi of the kooks though. Throw out incredible claims, then when its questioned say that "the real data will be published soon." and we will never hear of it again. Still waiting on LaClaire to publish something supporting his claim to hexacyclinol too, which he said years ago would be out "soon". If a followup to this with any "data" gets written Ill be very surprised.

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3. Han Solo chemist on June 4, 2010 8:38 AM writes...

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's a "photonic field" that will take the place of real drugs. The data is always "forthcoming". Seems like the new cold fusion to me.

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4. John on June 4, 2010 9:35 AM writes...

Derek, this seems much too generous. I'd really appreciate it if you or someone else would call up their science advisors and see whether they read the claims before signing on.

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5. CB on June 4, 2010 9:53 AM writes...

No it is much worse than cold fusion or Beneveniste's junk science.

Both cold fusion and Beneviniste's claims at least had a protocol with scientific experiments and a hypothesis that could be tested and scrutinized by other scientists.

Nothing in any of the patents presents any data that lends credence to any of the claims on the Nativis website.

It appears that John T. Butters also ran wavbank, prior nativis, the same type of nonsensical patents are associated with the name. I wonder how that company worked out?

I have found that many companies are selling stock and raising funds based on completely bogus ideas, many of them trade on the pink sheets.

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6. EC on June 4, 2010 10:58 AM writes...

It would be great if it worked

or

If it works so well, then it shouldn't be hard to demonstrate

either way let's see the data

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7. EC on June 4, 2010 11:08 AM writes...

It would be great if it worked

or

If it works so well, then it shouldn't be hard to demonstrate

either way let's see the data

Permalink to Comment

8. EC on June 4, 2010 11:08 AM writes...

It would be great if it worked

or

If it works so well, then it shouldn't be hard to demonstrate

either way let's see the data

Permalink to Comment

9. liam ondnes on June 4, 2010 12:24 PM writes...

alig nailed it here... these people are, in essence, leveraging the fear and uncertainty associated with serious diseases to extort money from 'investors.' but the investors are not really the concern: hopefully the regulatory agencies crack down on these quacks before they get around to killing people with their useless 'technology' who might otherwise have a chance in a legitimate clinical trial. the investors should demand to see RAW data from double-blind experiments before allowing another dollar of their money to be wasted on this nonsense. that money could actually be put to good use funding legitimate research efforts.

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10. geezer on June 4, 2010 12:31 PM writes...

It would be great if you could

just

hit the Post button once

thanks

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11. SRC on June 4, 2010 12:34 PM writes...

You are charitable, Derek.

I'll revisit this issue if and when further data become available, but for now, I'll have to go with the text of the patents. And they're impenetrable gobbledy-gook.

So I put this one in the AGW bin unless and until they put up or shut up.

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12. liam ondnes on June 4, 2010 1:14 PM writes...

alig nailed it here... these people are, in essence, leveraging the fear and uncertainty associated with serious diseases to extort money from 'investors.' but the investors are not really the concern: hopefully the regulatory agencies crack down on these quacks before they get around to killing people with their useless 'technology' who might otherwise have a chance in a legitimate clinical trial. the investors should demand to see RAW data from double-blind experiments before allowing another dollar of their money to be wasted on this nonsense. that money could actually be put to good use funding legitimate research efforts.

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13. Iridium on June 4, 2010 1:48 PM writes...

When I commented to a co-worker about the first post Derek made about Nativis she had the following response, minus the obligatory 'what the heck?!?' type comments: "So if these people need to record photon field signals of APIs for their their 'drugs', what's going to happen when they run out of drugs to record? They're at the mercy of real drug companies to actually discover drugs, do all the development legwork, run the clinical trials, etc."

Granted, there are enough drugs out there to record signals for and re-hash as 'new treatments', but they're never going to develop anything to treat unmet medical needs (unless there whole 'Taxol with no side effects' business is true). All this company is peddling beyond apparent snake oil is extreme versions of 'Me Too' drugs.

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14. JasonP on June 4, 2010 1:55 PM writes...

I'm going down there to the site in a little bit to poke around. I'll report what I see.

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15. researchfella on June 4, 2010 2:15 PM writes...

@Alig "It is unethical to treat cancer patients with a placebo when real treatments exist."

That's pretty much the case for all oncology clinical studies with new therapies. Typically it's patients who don't respond or no longer respond to all established treatment options who are treated with potential new therapies.

But, anyway, it's sad to give these patients false hope with a supposed photon field treatment.

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16. MTK on June 4, 2010 2:16 PM writes...

Jason,

If we don't hear from you by 6 we'll send the hounds.

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17. Evorich on June 4, 2010 2:30 PM writes...

Not only do they exploit the need for new technologies, and new cures, they do it by exploiting the fundemental misunderstanding of science and the scientific process that the majority of people. They seem to want to exploit a perceived gray area that in fact does not exist.

Q: why would the relatively upstanding board members sign up? Money??

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18. Evorich on June 4, 2010 2:31 PM writes...

Not only do they exploit the need for new technologies, and new cures, they do it by exploiting the fundemental misunderstanding of science and the scientific process that the majority of people. They seem to want to exploit a perceived gray area that in fact does not exist.

Q: why would the relatively upstanding board members sign up? Money??

Permalink to Comment

19. JasonP on June 4, 2010 11:18 PM writes...

OK, would have posted earlier but my connectivity to this web site has been spotty today. No need to send the dogs!

I swung down there at lunch to have a look. I use to work in the area and yes indeed it is an expensive area. Usually only the big guys are here, with the small potato companies in the Sorrento Valley area a little inland.

I walked into the building and was immediately questioned by a Facebook reading security guard who wanted to know my business. Not use to security guards caring quite that much. I said that I was a reporter from 'In the Pipeline with Derek Lowe'...just kidding, I mentioned that I was impressed with Nativis' technology and was interested in getting information on the company and job opportunities. He was quick to answer, almost like he’s done this many times before. He knew about John and Lisa Butters and called into the office. Today only the secretary was there and said I would have to come back another time, where a little later on the second floor of the lobby a concerned woman came out and checked out the scene.

That was all the info I could get from him other than a card. Before I left I took a picture of the sign in front of the building. I also took a quick peek into their very tinted windows. Was not able to see much but it seemed like all I could see was office style tables and lamps, a little bare. Would be surprised if a bunch of research was going on in there.

Go to the link below for my cell phone pic of the front sign, and a scan of the business card the guard gave me.

http://s900.photobucket.com/albums/ac205/JasonP_2010/

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20. Sili on June 4, 2010 11:27 PM writes...

their CEO, who's sent along quite a bit of information.
Seriously? He sent their vaporware to a real scientist? So does he have chutzpah, or has he just deceived himself as well? Permalink to Comment

21. Sili on June 4, 2010 11:34 PM writes...

I said that I was a reporter from 'In the Pipeline with Derek Lowe
Derek, you should have business cards made for us to use in cases like this. Citizen reporting!
So I put this one in the AGW bin unless and until they put up or shut up.
Based on this I wouldn't trust you to recognise gobbledegook if it bit you on the nose. Permalink to Comment

22. cnbc on June 4, 2010 11:44 PM writes...

This appears to be an interview with nativis on CNBC. It starts about halfway through the clip. Anyone able to make anything of it from what they show of their lab space?

http://www.theecocapitalist.com/episode1-part3.html

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23. Evorich on June 5, 2010 12:42 AM writes...

Jason - thank you so much for the reporting expedition - I'm glad you came back unscathed!

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24. Evorich on June 5, 2010 2:37 AM writes...

John - there was a comment by their ex-BMS advisor in one article - he basically just said no-one understood it. Their one phd scientist on their team has disappeared from LinkedIn. I don't think the investors did much dd. I tried contacting them to ask some questions like these. They forwarded my questions to Butters and he forwarded them to his lawyers and cc'd me.I got the feeling that this was a thinly veiled threat.

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25. Smitten on June 5, 2010 9:31 AM writes...

There should not be any waiting and seeing. These people should be in jail.

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26. John on June 5, 2010 11:10 AM writes...

JasonP: I'm afraid the card scan came out illegible, but we definitely appreciate your efforts.

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27. AR on June 5, 2010 12:51 PM writes...

Ha! I’ve enjoyed following the JasonP subterfuge. Sounds like a reality series to me.

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28. AR on June 5, 2010 12:52 PM writes...

Ha! I've enjoyed following the JasonP subterfuge. Sounds like a reality series to me.

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29. Chemjobber on June 5, 2010 1:03 PM writes...

Awesome, JasonP! Man, I miss that area.

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30. Watson on June 5, 2010 5:25 PM writes...

I went to google patents to see what all the hubbub was about. From what I can tell, they have developed a screening methodology where you use known drug ligands attached to micro/nano particles containing a fluorescent moiety and 1-several quantum dots (cadmium compounds) which rotate under an applied magnetic field.

In a sense this is akin to KIMS, just with the application of a magnetic field which induces a rotation by interacting with the quantum dots. One of their claims is that this can be used for screening unknowns based upon their ability to enhance or degrade the resultant measured fluorescence.

Another patent is where it gets hokey for me: namely, feeding the recorded signal back through an electromagnetic coil or series of coils which contains a properly placed patient. This radiation, not the visible fluorescent radiation from the recording experiment, is claimed to have therapeutic affect.

They aren't "magnetizing" water or manufacturing some sort of lasting "field" in water, although the ex-BMS scientist on the video claims that's what they're doing. It seems like they are taking a giant step here and claiming that the electromagnetic radiation observed from the interaction of macromolecules with their screening system is capable of inducing macromolecules to adjust their conformations in the absence of ligand.

I think this is why they chose taxol - they are trying to demonstrate that the influence of this electromagnetic field can either enhance or disrupt(?) tubulin aggregation.

I certainly hope that this is crap, otherwise some entrepreneur is going to patent electromagnetic drugs of abuse which can't be detected by established screening technologies. Then my work is going to get quite a bit more difficult. I'll wait and see, as well.

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31. 10kdays on June 5, 2010 7:37 PM writes...

Came across your blog article on Nativis.

JasonP you're retarded; if you want to see images of their bldg and lab just watch the freaking CNBC World show. What a dumbass. Do you think they had cameras watching you? You're photo is probably sitting on an FBI agents desk. What are you a stalker?

Now for a little intelligence, which seems to be lacking on this so very important blog: :/

I did a bit of checking myself, which took me all of 5 minutes; they've been incorporated for 8 years, changed their name from WavBank to Nativis. They've been members of BIO and SoCal BIOCOM for years.

Hey geniuses, another simple search reveals that Nasa Ames Research and Darpa have been trying to do exactly what Nativis is claiming.

Maybe it's all true, maybe not.

Are any of you scientists? Really, I'm serious.

Better yet, are any of you employed? Dork!

Hey Derek, if I was Vertex I would fire your ass and hire someone with half a brain.

I hear WalMart's hiring.

What a piece of shit blog.

Can one of you come over? I need my car washed.


Permalink to Comment

32. JasonP on June 5, 2010 8:39 PM writes...

Dude, 10kdays, can I come over and wash your car please? I always respect guys who make flaming forum posts. It shows a lot of character and bravery.

Your points about the CNBC article are so true. What could I have possibly gained from poking around the site and seeing no scientific equipment, or talking to one of the totally absent scientists there.

Dude I know: you should start your own blog! I'm so there.

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