Manhattan Scientifics and Senior Scientific
In a previous article, we highlighted Manhattan Scientific (OTCMKTS:MHTX), a technology incubator that seeks to acquire, develop and commercialize life-enhancing technologies in various fields, with emphasis in the areas of nanotechnology. The Company has two focuses: a nanostructured metals technology (Metallicum), and a nanoparticle-based technology that provides highly sensitive cancer detection (Senior Scientific). We already covered Metallicum in a previous article. Now let’s take a look at Senior Scientific.
Senior Scientific was acquired by Manhattan in February 2010 when they “acquired all commercial rights to the body of work of Edward R. Flynn, Ph.D. and his company, Senior Scientific LLC”. No mention was made as to what consideration was paid to Dr. Flynn, if any. Senior Scientific’s technology uses iron oxide nanoparticles and biomarkers to target specific cancer cell receptors. About a year ago they announced an agreement to collaborate with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to test their cancer measurement instrument. Press releases such as this “follow up report” published in October 8, 2014, don’t provide much color around what tangible progress is being made towards commercialization.
Today, the current CEO of Senior Scientific is Emmanuel (Manny) Tsoupanarias, who was previously named as the CEO of Manhattan Scientifics on November 1, 2007. Mr.Tsoupanarias has more than 15 years of executive experience in the power generation manufacturing sector and is also the founder and editor of FuelCellWorks.com. This was back when Manhattan stated, “we are focused on ‘green’, environmentally friendly industries as well as alternative energy.” So what progress did Manhattan make as a result of their focus on fuel cells?
Many press releases sounded very promising for fuel cell investors at the time. Manhattan delivered a fuel cell to the U.S. Army. They licensed fuel cell patents to Ballard. They unveiled two fuel cell concept cars. They announced a patent issued for fuel cells in portable electronics. They demonstrated a significantly improved fuel cell mobile phone charger. And the list of promising press releases goes on. So whatever happened to the promises of this new fuel cell technology? In 2008 Manhattan announced they would stop focusing on fuel cells. So why hire a CEO with fuel cell experience and then one year later switch focus to nanometals and nanoparticles?
Nonetheless, Senior Scientific led by Mr. Tsoupanarias has been looking to round out their executive team with individuals who seem to have more experience in the biotech industry. Last week they announced that Robert R. Proulx would take the position of President and COO. Mr. Proulx is an executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience for both private and public companies in the life science and diagnostic device markets. Mr. Proulx used to run his own firm called TurningTheCrank through which he “provided consulting and advisory services to companies needing senior management bandwidth in Business Development, Marketing, and Sales“.
But other press releases are less compelling. For example, they announced that Spencer Falk would be leading the commercialization of their technology. Mr. Falk is described in the press release as someone “whose marketing expertise was mission-critical to the blockbuster success of Viagra and Celebrex”. Mr. Falk’s LinkedIn profile lists him as being CEO of his own biotech PR firm called “The Falk Group“. Is hiring a PR firm really what they need to do in order to commercialize this technology? Manhattan also hired another media relations firm recently to promote “company awareness”. They even announced that an “independent research firm” called SeeThruEquity had initiated coverage on Manhattan. SeeThruEquity is a firm that allows any company to pay $11,000 for their “premier package” which includes a “complimentary and unbiased initiation report” and 5 complimentary updates on the company per year”. How can this be independent?
The biggest problem here is that if you look at all the warning signs we elaborated upon in our article titled “The Dangers of Over-The-Counter (OTC) Stocks“, this Company ticks every box. In fact, the only checkbox that isn’t ticked yet, is to be accused of being short the stock for publishing this article. With a failed past in their efforts to commercialize their fuel cell technology, and a propensity to issue promising press releases with no follow-through, Manhattan Scientific (OTCMKTS:MHTX) does not seem likely to deliver on their next endeavor with any degree of success for long term investors.
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