ChromaDex announced yesterday at an earnings report call that the long awaited University of Colorado human study of NR will be published very “soon.” We don’t know if “soon” means sometime before the Tokyo Summer Olympics or within a few weeks.
Safety & Efficacy of Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation for Improving Physiological Function in Middle-Aged and Older Adults studied the effects of taking 250 mg, 500 mg, and 1000 mg of NR on liver enzymes and kidney function along with artery flow dilation, aortic pulse wave velocity, cognitive and motor function. 30 people participated in the 6-week trial last fall and the results were discussed in a closed forum this past summer.
I read a couple of days ago that ChromaDex has recently sued Elysium for $200 million dollars as Dave reminded in the comments section. I didn’t intend to post much on the lawsuits until more seemed clearer, possibly from early next year.
According to the Right to Assembly blog:
The plan, according to ChromaDex’s complaint, ran something like this: The goal was to acquire ChromaDex. So Elysium,
1. Negotiated an exclusivity arrangement that limited ChromaDex’s ability to sell to other customers
2. Stole two key ChromaDex employees
3. Placed a $3M order that it did not intend to pay for, and
4. Disseminated false information to investors
I don’t think ChromaDex has a good chance of winning $200 million as it tries to show each of the above points. This will depend in great part if Elysium is found violating ChromaDex’s patents on the manufacturing process of NR. I assume this lawsuit is also an attempt of at least winning a much lower settlement at some point in the future.
When the first round of lawsuits started early this year, I had a feeling that Eysium was going for a takeover of ChromaDex since that company seemed to have other problems not related to Elysium. From this summer, however, I began to think there will be two major players, Elysium and ChromaDex, with possibly others going Elysium’s route and buying NR that is not protected by a patent if that is possible. I’ve assumed the source has been from a company in China.
Unfortunately, there is incentive for both companies to not put the detailed results of their 120 and 140 person trials of NR/pterostilbine (Elysium) and just NR (ChromaDex) up on its websites any time soon. Eventually, the results of other human trials will come out but until then how effective NR is with blood pressure, blood sugar level, etc will remain unknown.
For anyone interested in the continuing NR (nicotinamide riboside = version of vitamin B3) saga:
Researchers from the University of Colorado along with ChromaDex, the erstwhile monopoly supplier of NR, now shifting to a retailer of NR, held a conference on the results of people taking 1000 mg of NR a day versus those taking a placebo but will not release the results to the public yet.
Elysium, with its six Nobel laureates on its science advisory board, found a new source of NR after ChromaDex blocked their supply (ChromaDex have sued Elysium for non-payment), and I assume it is from somewhere like China where the manufacturing patent for NR does not hold. Elysium has also filed a complaint against the existence of ChromaDex’s NR manufacturing patents.
The co-founder of Elysium, Leondard Guarente, an MIT longevity microbiologist, said recently that six more trials of their BASIS (NR with pterostilbine) are about to start testing health endpoints at more levels of each molecule. They also haven’t released the detailed data of their 120 person (ages 60 to 79) study that was completed last July.
So more trial results delays, but it looks promising that Elysium is setting up six more trials and also trials for other compounds. NR has already been shown to be helpful in improving heart failure in mice and Guarente is optimistic that Elysium / NR will “disrupt the neutraceutical industry and maybe have ripples that affect the drug industry”, and I’m guessing one major area will be heart health.
Leonard Guarente speaking for 15 minutes at MIT:
Today’s NR news, mentioned by Dave in the comments:
ChromaDex added Rudolph Tanzi, the Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. He gave a TEDx Talk early this year where he predicted that Alzheimer’s Disease will be beaten by 2025.
* * * * *
I’d like to know why ChromaDex’s stock is still only $3.90 a share* given that the CEO says it will release its impressive human trial results this summer. No detailed results from Elysium either despite having its 120 human trial data for about a year.
* I don’t own Chromadex stock – just enjoying the show.
Dave in comments pointed to this, which has been discussed in terms of the science but now the business partnership is official:
“Felding’s patented discoveries [at Scripps] include the enhancement of NAD+ metabolism through treatment with NAD+ precursors to potentiate the effects of endocrine therapy in breast cancer, inhibit resistance of breast cancer cells to endocrine therapy, and re-instate sensitivity in breast cancer cells that are unresponsive to endocrine treatments such as Tamoxifen.
“Our research indicates that normalizing tumor cell metabolism could very efficiently enhance cancer therapy,” said Felding. “The planned studies may identify a novel way to enhance treatment responses and improve the quality of life for cancer patients.”
Princeton economist Alan Blinder explained on Diane Rhem’s NPR podcast that the U.S. population is growing at just 0.3% when explaining why the Trump budget projections of 3% GDP growth are way off. Actually, it it is his numbers that are way off as the population has been growing at 0.8% since 2009.
Blinder on why historical 3% growth is impossible (16:20):
“Let me give you one reason and that is arithmetic, which he should understand, which is that our population growth is a lot lower than it was back then. If you go back to the 3% growth period, population growth was on the order of 1.2%, or something like that. Now we’re down to .3% per annum. That takes a whole point off the growth rate – nine tenths of a point. It’s just arithmetic! You don’t have a country with negligible population growth as the same country with when it has *high* population growth. You don’t need to study economics to understand that.”
But this is wrong in both directions.
Population growth was about 1.0% in the 70s, 0.9% in the 80s, 1.1% in the 90s, 0.9% from 2000 to 2008 and .8% from 2009 to 2015.
So the actual drop is from 1.0% to 0.8%, a 0.2% point drop, not the 0.9% drop Blinder claims.
ChromaDex announced at its recent shareholders meeting that they are in the process of marketing NR/Niagen on their own and are cutting off sales of NR (Nicotinamide Riboside) to vendors like Elysium as well as the 40 or so others as they are
“clearing the playing field for us to set the stage for us to make an investment in our own consumer product brand is a priority for us. The short answer is that we are clearing the playing field right now, and we expect it to be substantially cleared as this year progresses, and we expect a lot of it to be cleared by the end of the year…
….Most of them will eventually run out of inventory, but there is also the possibility that we may be able to clear it by potentially just taking some of that inventory on our own and removing it so that we can clear a path in a more efficient way. and we’re evaluating several different ways. I don’t foresee that it will go out for a long period of time that you’ll see a lot of inventory out there.”
ChromaDex added that they are “open to [selling NR to some vendors] but that’s all that we can say right now.”
To which I say “highly unlikely.” Why would ChromaDex spend millions of dollars transitioning to becoming a retailer of NR and still keep selling NR to a few large vendors?
Elysium has a large stock of NR from its unusually large purchase from ChromaDex last June, a month after its 120 person trial of NR at 250 mg and 500 mg started. To keep selling BASIS (NR with pterostilbine), Elysium could buy up other vendor’s stock that are willing to sell at a small marked up price. Then they could announced a new product that does not rely on NR or ptersotilbine later this year or early next year.
Also, ChromaDex has lost its [corrected: first round of the] court case against Elysium but Elysium’s complaints will still be heard. From The Right of Assembly that has been reporting on this case:
“The federal district court dismissed both of ChromaDex’s tort claims — fraudulent deceit and trade secrets — although ChromaDex is entitled to amend its complaint and assert with more specificity why the thing that Elysium allegedly stole was a trade secret.
The federal district court refused to dismiss Elysium’s fraud and patent misuse claims, but did dismiss Elysium’s unfair trade practices claim.”