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Centuries of Poverty: Life Extension & Rejuvenation

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There is a flood of people worldwide that are researching Life Extension. The idea of Life Extension (or its more robust sister – rejuvenation) is for a lot of people still a comparably outlandish idea, but the basic idea of making people live a lot longer is no longer regarded as a scientific or medical absurdity. The possibility (and affordability) of giving large parts of the human species an indefinite lifespan “somewhere before the year 2100” is now being widely debated by the medical community and popular media.

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Of course this notion is in itself completely revolutionary. Revolutionary ideas of this caliber are extremely threatening to the status quo. In other cultures people might be a bit more blase about the prospect of radically extending human lifespan. In many developing nations, people have more recent memories of respective life spans “suddenly going up a few decades”. We in the “developed” world may be living under a cloud of distorted perceptions and expectations, and as a result we may be taking certain things for granted.

Utopian Fantasy?

Perceptions about life extension are often relegated to the realm of Utopian fantasy. The very idea that people alive today (for instance, people who are reading this article) might live to experience a 150th birthday is regarded as such wishful thinking it would be seen as some form of wishful thinking. Not even biogerontological luminaries such as Aubrey de Grey are making many predictions on the practical realization of rejuvenative (regenerative) therapies, other than that

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the first iterations of these treatments are likely to be invasive, expensive and uncomfortable

medecinesThe problem is that nature itself handles the production of youthful people relatively effortlessly. It isn’t very difficult for a low education, low income person living in Bangladesh slums to mass produce a dozen or so children. Procreation is by default a low tech affair that does not require any invasive, expensive, comfortable technologies.  So we might conclude that the extension and generation of youth will eventually become a rather routine treatment. If we assume that “in a couple of decades” we might see modest advances in bio-gerontologically extending lives (with out people experiencing youthfulness), it won’t be centuries before new iterative treatments become available. If the progress of information and medical sciences throughout the 20th century is any indication we might conclude similar advances in turning decrepit and sick human physiologies in to healthier, more comfortable, more youthful versions well before the middle of the 21st century.

We once lived in a world where the idea of flying through the air in a machine was an absurd idea. Progress in recent history is absurd by any standard, and we in the developed world are pretty delusional and conceited about it.  In a few decades no doubt there will be people that will take “being young for 150 years” annoyingly for granted.

A World With Rejuvenative Therapies

womanA world with rejuvenative therapies will quickly become a world with socialized life extension treatments. That may seem like a fairly bold statement, especially for people from the United States, until you think about it for a while. Being young is a pretty desirable state of affairs.  I am in my late 40s, dating a girl age 25 and the way she’s pretty and unspeakably healthy freaks me out on a near daily basis. Just being around her, the attention she gets from pretty men and women is maddening and drives me livid with envy. I am pretty certain as soon as there will be clinics offering treatments that are proven to actually turn you in to a credible facsimile of “young” people will be lining up around the block with a semi riotous demeanor to get a few years of that good stuff. I might even make the claim that even during decades of severe economic downturns the most rich of nations will still be forced by popular vote to sacrifice an enormous percentage of the respective national products on giving a demanding electorate whatever is necessary to keep them young.

Rejuvenation & Basic Income

I might even go further –  I might conceivably predict that in a few decades voters in relatively affluent (Greece and above) social democracies world wide might give their citizens two things, to stop people from rioting – rejuvenation treatments and basic income. People will decide they need money to eat in world that no longer offers people a means to ascertain another income. Voters in  any democracy will wreck the economy using their vote to make damn sure to get what they perceive to be absolutely necessary. Once youth becomes a commodity (no matter how expensive) it will be insanely in demand, and people will either sell their McMansion and live in a one room council flat to get it. Or they will take to the streets and put the electoral knife to respectively politicians throats and demand it now. I predict that by 2100 life extension treatments will have long since been added to a long list of “human rights”.

The world we are in is depleting in numerous ways. We are not collectively getting any more affluent, as was the case since the 1970s. We are experiencing world wide decrease in affluence. It still perplexes me people still find this decrease in living standards acceptable, but politicians have become remarkably adept at selling curiously ridiculous narrative to explain why we should all accept this turn of events. The world is now no longer growing, and our moral and social betters are demanding we are all going to have to consent to a downwards turn in expectations. He’s probably right (and Guillotines never went out of style as far as I am concerned) and indeed future generations in Japan, the United States, Europe, Australia, Canada (et.al.) will probably be less affluent and less free). There are numerous reasons for this, of which the main three are resource depletion, pollution, climate change and ever increasing populations. And let’s not forget developing nations quickly catching up to previously developed nations. There are now many parts of Africa that do better in every measure than the worst parts of the United States, and this trend will continue.

In 2100 we are looking at a contradictory world – a world where on the one hand there are people born halfway the 20th century and they are still alive in some form – and a world where average global standards of living have fallen sharply lower than we have grown accustomed to in most of the 20th century. There might not be a middle class at all – we might all be living in a dystopian cyberproletariat.

But imagine such a world going on for centuries – absurd and near-magical technological progress, amazingly intricate electronic devices, most people you’d encounter on the street looking not a year over 25.

Such a world is a contradictory world of dormitories full of pretty young people. I might find certain types of satisfaction in such a world, but a whole lot of more consumerist inclined people in the country I live, might not be so happy having their hopes of a prosperous middle class standard of living squashed. Such a vision also tells us that world rarely turn out universally Utopian or universally Dystopian. There’s always a little of both mixed in, and your attitudes and general sense of optimism (or pessimism) towards the future will dictate how much you, my reader, might look forward to living in such a world.

What does it mean to be a successful human specimen? Many people will prefer affluence over a long life. I don’t. I’d rather live on a few centuries in my current (relatively meager) standards of living, rather than die a bloated fat western style cookie cutter middle class consumer – in my 70s. If we live to see quota established on life extension in various countries, we’ll see people having to choose one of either – live in a Cuba style dirt poor nation that offers all of its citizenry access to socialized youth, or live in a high-octane competitive society where only a few obscenely rich perceived “meritocrats” get to enjoy living to 200 and everyone else subsists on a range of brightly colored soylent products.

Pick your poison.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Libertarianul

    January 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    This has to be one of the most retarded article I have ever read.

  2. Gear Mentation

    January 31, 2015 at 1:57 am

    This is a good article. However, you deeply and basically misunderstand the future of resources.

    Anyone with the knowledge of what life extension may become will have an open enough mind to apply the same prescience to other technologies.

    Others have done a much better job explaining it than I can, so I won’t go into the reasons why we will be able to produce much more than plenty for everyone without depleting our environment.

    The only way the future will not be abundant is for purely social/political reasons. It can only be less than abundant if resources are purposely and forcefully withheld from people, resources which could easily be in plentiful supply for everyone.

    So there is actually a contradiction in your article:

    You say that people will be able, through electoral or other means, to demand life extension.

    There will be plenty of resources to produce abundance.

    But

    People will not be able to demand that they partake in the abundance.

    You might be right, but I think if people can demand life extension and a basic income, they will be able to demand that the means of production work just a little harder so everyone will have their goodies.

    After all, how many trillions of people do you expect will be around? How many basic resources exist in the crust of the earth, in the asteroid belt, on Mars, and in the first few kilometers of the moon’s crust?

    Or do you really think we can’t, for some reason, get at these resources when we can keep people alive for centuries?

    • KhanneaSuntzu

      January 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

      I agree with the thesis that a hyper abundant world a la Diamandis might be possible. The problem is that it isn’t possible with CURRENT technologies. 🙂

      • Gear Mentation

        February 2, 2015 at 5:47 am

        That’s true about current technologies. Or, at least, the technologies currently in use. Production of food, water, and material could be improved drastically by actually using currently known technologies, or very moderate extensions, like figuring out how to make really nice soy meat.

        But, you have to make a choice: either the people have the leverage to get life extension… or they don’t. If they can get life extension, they can also get basic income, and they can partake in abundance.

        My reference to the rest of the solar system was largely rhetorical. For, say 20 billion people I think we could house them very comfortably on Earth, with easily foreseeable technology.

        So as you say, it’s all about politics, and/or elite use of technology to create totalitarianism.

        But I can’t foresee any future where the people have enough leverage to get themselves a basic income and life extension, but not enough to get themselves a nice lifestyle. After all, it’s not about resources now, and it won’t be in the future. It’s all about how those resources are used.

  3. Dr Johnty

    January 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Great article and lots to ponder. Personally I think it is hard for most people to grasp how the war on aging will ultimately be won and most people I find are in a trance and basically have a mental block to the potential benefits of life extension and even more importantly extending peoples healthspan.

    Clearly enhanced longevity means the implications for work and retirement are profound and this will require considerable thought and planning. No doubt the concept of retirement will need a total rethink because it obviously cannot continue as it does now even in the short term because lets assume someone started work at 20 and retired at 60 you would have worked for 40 years so if you live to 150 or more you will be retired for 90+ years, would the savings last? Clearly not. Common sense tells you that being retired for significantly more years than you worked will just not be realistic in the age of radical life extension. The crucial thing to understand is that we are not going to find a treatment all that offers a miracle cure, frankly I feel a true cure for aging is probably 100+ years away, this is because there are essentially two problems, firstly we do not understand how the damage which accumulates over the years is actually laid down and secondly we have very limited knowledge of metabolism and a comprehensive understanding in both areas is a prerequisite for finding a cure. In my mind Dr Aubrey de Grey’s theory of SENS which deals with the repair of the damage without actually interfering with the rate at which it is laid down offers us a shortcut to extreme life extension without the need to cure the underlying aging process itself but in the last few years Aubrey seems to have got his point across and others are pursuing paths to healthy life extension as well. My gut instinct is that aging will be under a decisive level of clinical control within 20 years but I think we will see significant progress within 10 to 15 years and the turning point could arrive anytime from around 2025 onwards. As far as the effect on retirement (or its elimination) I feel that the key is for people to remain engaged and productive, clearly the 9-5 grind is not inevitable and older people are ideally suited to working in some areas where a healthy rejuvenated body combined with decades of experience could be put to great use.

    I recommend a great read called the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris is gives a lot of pointers impacting a much longer potential lifespan. I have implemented a lot of the book to improve my own life and I haven’t even hit retirement age but as a researcher on the subject of aging I can see where we are heading and I think radical life extension will be a huge benefit if appropriate changes are made in lifestyle and outlook. Not only that but 100.000 lives will be saved each day if we can save people from the simple misfortune of being born many years ago and suffeing the inevitable frailty and chronic conditions that currently accompany old age.

    • KhanneaSuntzu

      January 31, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      I anticipate sort of an “imagination singularity” happening in the none too distant future where people start thinking “what if” ? Once more people wake up to potentials, we might see some very sudden shifts.

    • Gear Mentation

      February 2, 2015 at 5:55 am

      Yes. You *almost* fall into the trap of extrapolating out the advancement of one technology (life extension) but not doing so with other technologies. In a future where we apply indefinite life extension, other technologies should make “savings” and most “work” a thing of the past. I doubt there’s any possible future where we use life extension but mysteriously still have the kinds of scarcity we do today, with the attendant need for savings and the very idea of “retirement.” Retirement from what, if you don’t have to “work for a living?”

      • ozlanthos

        February 26, 2015 at 11:25 am

        You are correct in assuming (as your tone suggests) that our current “scarcity” issue on this planet is the product of an almost (if not totally) managed effort to restrict food supply. We have plenty of healthy rivers with dams that with minor modifications can be made to allow for “human-free” (meaning Salmon, Steelhead and other anadromous species can get into our lakes and spawn) passage through to even larger spawning habitats than they have ever had (meaning that in their “natural” state, the rivers in question didn’t have enough water to produce the kinds of runs our lakes can. Before beavers built the dams, and Salmon and Steelhead would mature in the pools behind the dams until the dams would collapse in the fall) because beavers don’t build dams as big as we build them. Lots of production capacity lost because a few bureaucrats can’t see beyond the initial investment.

        -Oz

        • Gear Mentation

          March 2, 2015 at 3:01 am

          That’s an interesting perspective on rivers I haven’t encountered before.

          • ozlanthos

            March 2, 2015 at 6:25 am

            The Upper Willamette system in particular. Although I am not a structural engineer, I do see plenty of room behind the dams. I imagine it this way. There are two ways to get the runs back. One is the right way, the other is the wrong way. Some have suggested that complete removal of the dams is necessary… As I see it, this is the WRONG way to address the issue. It would eliminate the “flood-preventative” measure of the dams, and reducing the spawning aresa to a level no better than before the introduction of the dams.

            The right way (as I see it) is to cut a channel through the sections of the dams that are natural, starting at roughly 40 feet below full pool. The channel would have a series of floating locks that would rise and fall with the lake level, ensuring passive fish-passage throughout the entirety of the year. This would not only produce large runs of salmon and steelhead (because the lakes provide bigger spawning pools/smolting ponds than beaver ponds do) but we would have the capability to have SEVERAL runs per year, as well as a year-round warm-water fishery.

            The benefits of this proposal are myriad. One in particular being that it would increase the temperature of the Willamette by roughly 15 degrees. Thus making it far more appealing to visit. As it is, the river is fed from 3 dams, all of which drain water from BELOW THEIR THERMOCLINES. This means that the water coming into the rivers is anywhere from 15 to 30 degrees colder than it should be. This has been very destructive to the natural balance of the flora/fauna in the river system, and I fear is the primary reason for the loss of the Bull trout fishery we were so revered for.

            I’ve discussed this with a multitude of state and federal employees who work with these lakes, and their answer is always the same “we don’t have that kind of money”. It is this failure to see the grander design I am proposing, and it’s monetary impact on the region that I consider to be indicative of another plan already in place. A plan that does not account for there being ANY salmon and steelhead in the future… As I said, the “scarcity” is PLANNED, and ORCHESTRATED to exist.

            -Oz

          • Gear Mentation

            March 2, 2015 at 7:14 am

            Interesting. Does it have anything to do with wanting to use the water for hydro electric? If so, the advent of solar energy over the next decade might make your suggestions more palatable to them?

          • ozlanthos

            March 2, 2015 at 8:12 am

            I do believe solar is going to be a kind of a leap-frog kind of thing here as panels lower in price. At least that is what I would like to see. I think they have an urban expansion plan that mimics other metropolitan developments. I could be wrong but it feels to me like the destiny of the region looks a lot like the LA River (which itself at one time had runs of over 40k fish). As far as hydro goes, I’ve been thinking about (and there are already projects like this) generators that run “in-line” with the river. Meaning that there is a side channel that is run through a hydro-electric facility. To be fair, I do not envision that the canals I am proposing would cost the lake enough pressure to make them unviable for future hydro-electric utility.

            The greater issue to me is the fact that I’ve seen the lakes serve as excellent smolting pools. I think the reason for this is that the fish have a greater number of areas to lay eggs and do their thing, In addition I feel (as a product of having fished these lakes for over 20 years) that contrary to popular belief, warm-water species are actually conducive to producing larger runs.

            This is because of the spawn patterns of both types of fish. Steelhead, and Salmon spawn in colder water, thus their smolt are several inches long by the time they make it down to the lake. By then, the spawn of the warm water species is just hatching, to going to fingerling. So essentially the smolt come into a wide area (low concentration of predators) that is full of .5 to 1 inch minnows…. You do the math…The only thing missing from this equation is a fully functional means of escapement, and return. 😉

            -Oz

          • Gear Mentation

            March 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm

            I hope you are publishing this somewhere else. You are informed enough about your local environment to really influence policy and public debate, perhaps even if you don’t have the degreez to go with it. It’s impressive and shouldn’t be wasted.

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Biotech

Biotech Dominates July Penny Stock Picks

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July brings new opportunities to trade penny stocks, according to the Investopedia top 10 penny stocks to watch. Biotechnology stocks in particular are poised for a breakout. Biotechnology funds broke out of the long-term basing pattern in June, forcing rotational buying pressure, which bodes well for the low-priced sub-sector, with many penny stocks ready to hit multi-year highs.

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At the same time, the tech sector is getting sold with equal force in a profit-taking exercise that could deliver a period of under-performance for the sector’s lower-priced issues.

June’s biotechnology picks drew strong buying interest, led by ImmunoGen, Inc.’s 48% advance to a 52-week high. Small China stocks also posted strength, as China Commercial Credit, Inc. gained close to 35%. China Commercial Credit and June’s three biotech picks return to the July top penny stock list, joined by six new penny stocks.

1. ImmunoGen Inc. (IMGN)

Source: Investopedia

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ImmunoGen, a provider of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer, jumped from number four in June to the top spot in July.

The stock posted a 12-year high at $20.25 in 2013 and sold off to $5.34 in December 2014. A recovery in 2015 stalled less than a point below the prior peak, creating a decline that continued into an 18-year low at $1.51 in November 2016.

Buyers took over in 2017, generating an uptick that reversed at the 2014 resistance approximately three weeks ago. In June, the stock broke out and made the top 10 list for the first time. It could end up in the $8.00 to $10.00 price zone.

ImmunoGen creates targeted cancer therapeutics using its proprietary ADC technology. The company’s candidate, mirvetuximab soravtansine, is in a Phase 3 trial for an ovarian cancer, and is in Phase 1b/2 testing in combination regimens for earlier-stage disease.

The technology is used in Roche’s Kadcyla, in three other clinical-stage ImmunoGen product candidates, and in programs in development by Amgen, Bayer, Biotest, CytomX, Lilly, Novartis, Sanofi and Takeda.

2. China Commercial Credit, Inc. (CCCR)

Source: Investopedia

China Commercial Credit Inc. (CCCR), which provides business loans and loan guarantee services to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers and individuals in China’s Jiangsu Province, jumped from number five in June to second place in July.

The company went public on the U.S. exchanges at $6.50 in August 2013.

The stock experienced a downtrend that bottomed out at 25 cents in February 2016 and began an upward trend that stalled at $3.20 in September. The stock hit a higher low in March 2017 before recovering, testing the 2016 high. A breakout should bring broad buying interest that could support a continued upside that could double the price by year’s end.

The company was founded in 2008 and provides business loans and loan guarantee services to small-to-medium enterprises, farmers and individuals in China’s Jiangsu Province.

3. CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. (CBAY)

Source: Investopedia

CymaBay Therapeutics Inc. (CBAY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat specialty and orphan diseases, returns from the June list, where it ranked number 9. The stock rallied to an all-time high at $13.78 in February 2015, then suffered a steep downtrend that continued into the first quarter of 2016. The stock then dropped to an all-time low at 82 cents before bouncing to $3.04 in April, a yearly high, ahead of a pullback that continued into the November low at $1.15.

The stock broke above the 2016 high in February 2017, reaching a two-year high at $4.81.

Net loss for the 2017 first quarter was $5.4 million, or ($0.20) per diluted share, compared to $6.8 million, or ($0.29) per diluted share in the first quarter of 2016. Net loss in the 2017 first quarter was $1.4 million lower compared to the prior year period, primarily due to the recognition of collaboration revenue in 2017.

The rally has now reached a two-year high, attracting buying interest that could move into double digits.

4. Peiris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PIRS)

Source: Investopedia

Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc., a, clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to providing solutions for oncology, respiratory disease and other therapeutic areas, moved from June’s 7th spot to July’s 4th spot. The stock launched on the OTC market in 2014, trading between $2.00 and $4.25 before falling to $1.26 in January 2016. It ground sideways through November, then tested the first-quarter low ahead of a January 2017 breakaway gap that has drawn steady buying interest. The rally gathered momentum in early May after announcing a partnership with AstraZeneca PLC and is currently testing the 2015 high, the all-time high.

The company’s product includes immuno-oncology multi-specifics tailored for the tumor microenvironment, an inhaled Anticalin protein to treat uncontrolled asthma as well as a half-life-optimized Anticalin protein to treat anemia. Anticalin proteins, proprietary to Pieris, are a class of therapeutics validated in the clinic and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Anticalin is a registered trademark of Pieris.

5. 22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII)

Source: Investopedia

22nd Century Group, Inc. (XXII), a plant biotechnology company that is a provider of tobacco harm reduction and development of proprietary hemp/cannabis strains, broke out above multi-year resistance near $1.50 in 2013, rallying to a record high a few months later at $6.36. The stock then began a persistent decline through August 2015 before finding support at 56 cents, followed by a bounce to $1.75.

The stock has traded within those boundaries for 22-months, bouncing at support three times and reversing at resistance in equal measure. The price returned to that level a fourth time, improving odds for a breakout that could double the price in the year’s second half.

22nd Century Group is a plant biotechnology company focused on genetic engineering and plant breeding that allows the increase or decrease of the level of nicotine in tobacco plants and the level of cannabinoids in cannabis plants. The company’s main goal in tobacco is to reduce the harm caused by smoking. The main goal in cannabis is to develop proprietary hemp/cannabis strains for new medicines and agricultural crops.

The stock last month joined the Russell Microcap Index, when FTSE Russell reconstituted its U.S. and global equity indexes. Membership in the Russell Microcap Index means automatic inclusion in the appropriate growth and value style indexes. FTSE Russell determines membership for its Russell indexes primarily by objective, market-capitalization rankings and style attributes.

6. Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. (CVRS)

Source: Investopedia

Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc. (CVRS), a developer of precision vascular robotics, returned to the national market in 2015 following a trading halt, topping out around $4.50 and starting a decline that continued to reach new lows in January 2017 when it bottomed at around 40 cents. Since that time, the price activity has been constructive, with high volume rally bursts moving the stock into 2016 resistance at $1.75. The bullish behavior has created a cup and handle basing pattern that points to an uptrend into the 2015 high following a breakout.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2017 was $0.8 million compared to $1.1 million for the same period in the prior year. The decrease is due mainly to the deferral of system revenue associated with a future obligation to upgrade multiple customer units from the company’s CorPath 200 System to the CorPath GRX System.

The company installed three new CorPath Systems in the first quarter of 2017, increasing its total installed base to 48 CorPath Systems.

Gross loss was $1.1 million for the 2017 first quarter, compared to a gross profit of $0.03 million for the 2016 first quarter. The cost of revenues for the first 2017 quarter continued to include the effect of under-utilization of production facilities and the cost of CorPath GRX System upgrades that installed pursuant to pre-existing contractual arrangements.

The company continues to expect the full year 2017 revenue to be in the range of $13.

7. RADA Electronic Industries, Ltd. (RADA)

Source: Investopedia

RADA Electronic Industries, Ltd. (RADA), a defense electronics system of advanced electronic systems for airborne and land applications, fell into a multi-decade decline after it joined the Nasdaq in the 1990s. The stock ground out a series of lower highs and lows through January 2016’s all-time 54-cent low.

The stock spent 16 months moving sideways in a narrow basing pattern before turning higher in May 2017 and rallying back to 2016 resistance at $1.78. The bullish activity completed a cup and handle breakout pattern that could point to a fast rally into the August 2015 gap between $3.70 and $2.50.

Revenues totaled $4.7 million in the 2017 first quarter, up 91% compared to revenues of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Gross profit totaled $1.7 million in the first 2017 quarter of 2017, a gross margin of 35.7%, compared to gross profit of $6,000 (gross margin of 0.2%) in the 2016 first quarter.

Operating income was $0.4 million in the first 2017 quarter compared to an operating loss of $1 million in the 2016 first quarter.

Net income attributable to RADA’s shareholders in the 2017 first quarter was $0.4 million, $0.02 per share, versus a net loss of $1.8 million, or $0.23 per share, in the 2016 first quarter.

8. ChromaDex, Corp. (CDXC)

Source: Investopedia

ChromaDex, Corp. (CDXC), a provider of proprietary health, wellness and nutritional ingredients, that creates science-based solutions to dietary supplement, food and beverage, skin care, sports nutrition and pharmaceutical products, went public in April 2016 at $4.70. The stock rallied to an all-time high at $6.18 in May, then fell one month later to $2.46 in a single session, eventually posting a lower December low. It tested that support level in April 2017, then turned sharply higher, now testing 2017 resistance at $3.80. A breakout could point to a significant upside, taking the stock back to last year’s high.

For the first quarter of 2017, ChromaDex reported net sales of $4.4 million, a decrease of 39% compared to the same period of 2016, due mainly to decreased sales in its ingredients business segment, as a result of dropping its largest customer for fiscal year 2016. The ingredients segment created net sales of $2.1 million for Q1 2017, a decline of 55%, compared to the same 2016 period.

The net loss attributable to common stock holders for Q1 2017 was $1.9 million or ($0.05) per share versus a net income of $0.3 million or $0.01 per share for Q1 2016.

In May, the company announced the closing of the $16.4 million second tranche of the strategic investment of up to $25 million led by Hong Kong business leader Li Ka-shing.

Li Ka-shing has invested in many innovative companies in the last decade, including Facebook, Spotify, DeepMind, Siri, Impossible Foods and Modern Meadow. The new investment will support future ChromaDex developments in the global marketplace.

The $16.4 million second tranche follows an initial $3.5 million tranche that closed on April 27, 2017.

9. Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB)

Source: Investopedia

Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB), a player in the hot and cold dry bulk shipping sector, topped out at $11.48 in March 2014, then entered a downtrend reaching an all-time low at 30 cents in January 2016. A recovery wave in November stalled at $2.38, followed by sideways action that has completed a small-scale cup and handle breakout pattern. A buying spike over $2.60 can be expected to set the upside into action, supporting a rally that could surpass $5.00.

The company declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share on its 8.00% Series B, Series C and Series D Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares for the period from April 30, 2017 to July 29, 2017.

This is the 16th consecutive cash dividend declared on the company’s Series B Preferred Shares, the 13th cash dividend declared on its Series C Preferred Shares and the 12th cash dividend declared on its Series D Preferred Shares since their respective commencement of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

10. Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP)

Source: Investopedia

Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP) is a provider of clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve challenges in their fuel cell programs. The stock reached an all-time high at $144.95 in 2000 before falling into a downtrend lasting more than 12 years, sending the stock to an all-time low at 56 cents. A 2013 upward trend continued through 2014, hitting an 8-year high at $8.38, followed by a correction that’s now returned to 2015 resistance at $3.10. A breakout could catch fire, pushing the stock to a test of its 2014 high.

Total revenue was $22.7 million in the quarter, an increase of 39% from growth in both power products and technology solutions.

Gross margin was 42% in the quarter, an improvement of 22 points due to a shift in product mix toward higher margin technology solutions and heavy duty motive for the China market, including the establishment of a production line in Yunfu, China for the manufacture and assembly of FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stacks.

Cash operating costs were $10 million in the quarter, a 6% increase due to higher research and product development expenditures as well as a stronger Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar, since a significant amount of cost is denominated in Canadian dollars.

Low-priced biotech stocks have risen following a long slumber, with steady buying interest likely to continue. This group should offer a variety of profitable penny stock plays during the quiet summer trading season, while low-priced stocks in other sectors move into narrow trading ranges.

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Last Week’s Top Cannabis Stock Winners And May’s Stocks To Watch

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Medicinal and recreational cannabis continues to spur investment in marijuana-based pharmaceuticals.

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Several publicly traded cannabis stocks gained more than 5% this past week, some of which have market capitalizations exceeding $50 million, according to Investopedia. The Solactive North American Medical Marijuana Index, which tracks the medical marijuana sector, gained 1.5% for the week.

Cannabis stocks also trade on other exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and over the counter.

Following are last week’s five top performers, followed by a list of four cannabis stocks to watch for the month of May.

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Insys Therapeutics Inc., Nasdaq: INSY

Insys Therapeutics, a Chandler, Arizona-based specialty pharmaceutical company, was one of the week’s top performers, gaining more than 11%. The stock was boosted by Wednesday’s announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Syndros product label. Syndros, the company’s lead product, is a liquid, oral dronabinol (synthetic THC) solution for treating nausea that is chemotherapy induced, and for treating anorexia related to AIDS. The approval means the company can now market the product commercially.

Insys Therapeutics, Inc. also markets Subsys, a sublingual fentanyl spray for cancer pain in opioid-tolerant cancer patients in the U.S.

The company is also developing Cannabidiol Oral Solution, a synthetic cannabidiol for catastrophic epilepsy syndromes in children. It is also developing other products, such as dronabinol line extensions and sublingual spray products.

Insys has posted flat revenues for the last three years, but its operating income fell at the end of 2016 as the company invested more in research. Gross profit has improved over the last three years.

Insys did not post the biggest gain in the past week, but it is the only one of this week’s top five winners that is also listed on Investopedia’s cannabis stocks to watch for March.

Marapharm Ventures Inc., OTC: MRPHF

Marapharm Ventures Inc., a Kelowna, Canada-based medical marijuana company, gained more than 40% this week after the company announced on Tuesday it will apply for a recreational marijuana license in Nevada. The following day, the company received approval for building permits for modular structures. On Thursday, the company announced that Nevada gave final approval to grow and sell cannabis.

Formerly known as Capital Auction Market Inc., the company serves the medical and recreational marijuana industry in Canada and the U.S.

Marapharm applied to Health Canada for a production and sales license three years ago and has passed the necessary security clearances, according to the Daily Marijuana Observer. The application is currently in the screening process. Health Canada advised the company in September it seeks to amend its application to allow for new regulations.

Marapharm’s common shares are traded in Canada under the MDM symbol and in the U.S. and on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol MRPHF on the OTC. In Europe, it trades under the symbol 2M0 on the FSE.

MMJ Phytotech Ltd., ASX: MMJ

MMJ Phytotech Ltd., trading on the Australian Stock Exchange, gained more than 5% for the week, closing at $0.365 AUD Friday. Australia is developing its own medical marijuana program after legalizing it in November of 2016. MMJ is one of several ASX listed cannabis companies.

Shares of Australian companies involved in the production and research of medicinal marijuana have soared more than 130 percent on average in Sydney this year, exceeding the growth rate of peers in the U.S. and Canada by six times, according to Bloomberg. The surge was also sparked by the country easing restrictions on cannabis imports to treat illnesses from cancer to epilepsy.

MMJ Phytotech has focused on becoming a direct supplier to the growing Canadian recreational and medical and markets, which are estimated to have a combined value of C$8 to C$9 billion by 2024.

MMJ holds one of 41 licenses issued by Health Canada.

The company controls operations across the complete medicinal cannabis value chain through three business units.

Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc., OTC: TBPMF

Tetra Bio-Pharma saw shares jump more than 20% for the week. One factor was an agreement signed Wednesday with Panag Pharma to develop and commercialize a pair of cannabinoid based formulations for treating pain and inflammation.

The filing of a patent in ocular disease combined with the patents from Panag in the ocular space indicates strong revenue potential, according to the company.

Tetra Bio-Pharma will have exclusive access to sell the topical and ocular drug in North America with the right of first negotiation outside the U.S. and Canada. The company will also have the right of first negotiation for future cannabinoid-based products.

Tetra Bio-Pharma will work with Panag to ensure a successful development leading to marketing authorization. Panag will continue to focus on the development of new products for unmet medical needs while Tetra will take the lead in commercializing the products.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc., Nasdaq: ZYNE

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc., another player in the cannabinoid space, finished the week with about a 5% gain.

The company develops and markets synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics for transdermal delivery. The products address the symptoms of patients with fibromyalgia, epilepsy, peripheral neuropathic pain, osteoarthritis and Fragile X syndrome.

Zynerba is developing ZYN001 and ZYN002, the first being a THC pro-drug patch that provides transdermal THC delivery for fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathic pain, the second being a synthetic CBD gel that provides transdermal, non-psychoactive CBD delivery for osteoarthritis, epilepsy and Fragile X syndrome.

Top four cannabis stocks to watch in May.

1. AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)

AbbVIe is a pharmaceutical company that already has a cannabis-based drug on the market. The FDA approved Marinol, a drug that helps alleviate vomiting or nausea for chemotherapy patients. It also helps AIDS patients who have lost their desire to eat.

ABBV has increased revenues for the past four years. Its operating income has also steadily increased.

AbbVie concentrates almost exclusively on U.S. markets, which represents some degree of risk. Most pharmaceuticals market globally. Should the domestic market falter, ABBV could see a drop in value.

2. Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company, SMG

Known for its lawn and garden products, Scotts Miracle-Gro is developing products for cannabis growers, including pesticides for use on marijuana plants. The products can be used to grow medicinal marijuana.

The stock has experienced a sideways pattern since December 2016. Should the stock find support at its 200-day moving average, recovery is possible.

Revenues surged in the quarter ended April 1, 2017, as did the company’s income. But given the drop in price recently, this could be a stock to watch rather than buy for the time being.

3. Corbus Pharmaceuticals, CRBP

Corbus Pharmaceuticals stock has been up and down over the past year. The company’s marijuana-based drugs are in clinical trials. Resunab, designed to treat sclerosis, has shown promising trials.

The stock tends to dip right before trial results are announced, then rally when results are positive. The company is currently testing Resunab for treating cystic fibrosis. The pessimism/optimism pattern will continue as this drug is tested yet again.

The company has posted negative operating income, with revenues close to zero. It relies on the success of a single drug.

4. Insys Therapeutics Inc. Nasdaq, INSY

Insys Therapeutics is the only one of the cannabis stocks to watch that was listed among last week’s top gainers.

As investors sober up about the marijuana craze, the reality of using it in medicines will set in. Like other sources for drugs, cannabis offers positive prospects and some failures.

The drop in share price for some cannabis stocks indicates the companies have to deliver soon on the promise of medical cannabis.

Investors are advised not to act based on enthusiasm for marijuana, and to pay attention to drug trial results.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



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Biotech

Silicon Valley’s War on Disease: Zuckerberg, Microsoft, Google to End Cancer and Aging

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Silicon Valley is going to war against disease, cancer, aging, and perhaps even death, with advanced computing, AI and machine learning, genomics, DNA engineering, biotech and nanotech. Tech giants and mega-rich philanthropists are spending billions to permit hacking biology all the way down to DNA, and perhaps we could see breakthroughs in only a few years.

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