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The 'Mysterious' SAVA Whistleblower

Source of FUD: Citizen's Petition


A citizen’s petition (CP) was filed on August 18, 2021 by the law firm Labaton Sucharow (LS), citing inaccuracies and alleged data manipulation in some of Cassava Sciences (CS) data presentations in relation to its Alzheimer's drug in development, Simufilam. The CP claimed, in a letter to the FDA, that it was a whistleblower who was behind the petition, strongly implying that an employee of Cassava Sciences or of an affiliated lab, had some inside information of fraudulent activity. The next day, after SAVA stock dropped precipitously. The law firm, LS, admitted through an amendment that the filer of the petition held short positions in SAVA stock. Indeed, right before the filing of the petition, a very significant amount of shorts and puts were bought on the stock market. Within a few days, it is believed this made over $100 million for the unknown buyers of these shorts and put options .To date, there is no evidence of a whistleblower. In fact, everything mentioned in the petition was public information; no information in the CP should be considered proprietary or something that only an insider would know.

It appears the veteran tactical move was to maximize damage before submitting a correctional amendment, which would offer themselves legal protection from the original inaccuracy.

The writer of the petition is focused primarily on the Western Blots as possibly being manipulated in an attempt to divert all attention from the litany of positive results.

At the time of the writing of the CP, Jordan Thomas, a partner with Labaton Sucharow, had the following data available to him:

  1. Safety Data on 114 patients over >12 months. Safeguarding patients was the thesis of the CP, but this data was not reported.

  2. He had data from a Spatial reasoning test, Episodic memory test, 17 biomarkers tested twice over 28 days (this data was randomized, double blinded, and placebo controlled), 11 bio markers tested twice over 6 months.

  3. ADAS cog data (the most important type of data clinically to the FDA and patients) tested three times over 9 months. NPI Data tested three times over 9 months.

The positive data for Simufilam, mentioned above, is completely disregarded in the CP. Instead, LS focused on a couple examples of very specific data, that is quite old, that they believe has been manipulated. It’s likely that LS intentionally focused on only a fraction of the dataset available to them in order to fit their original thesis statement - that Cassava Sciences was manipulating their data. In general, one could argue that all the facts must be presented to prove a particular statement is true. In this example however, LS conveniently left out a substantial part of the dataset regarding Simufilam. It’s possible that LS left out the positive, and undisputed results, of Simufilam because it didn’t fit their claims that CS was manipulating their data.

Labaton Sucharow attempted to connect Cassava Sciences with Theranos in an effort to instill suspicion that Cassava Sciences executives were conspiring to commit financial and scientific fraud. Unlike Theranos, CS is a public company and is subject to rigorous reporting to their shareholders based on SEC guidelines. Theranos, being a private company, was exposed by an actual whistleblower inside the organization that had confidential information unavailable to the public. One could argue that the “whistleblower” in the case of Labaton Sucharow’s CP was driven purely by financial gain considering they held short positions in SAVA stock. Most importantly, Cassava Sciences has presented data to the scientific community and have published peer reviewed articles, unlike Theranos, which hid its science behind a shield of ‘proprietary information’.

In my next post, I will debunk the Citizen’s Petition and other claims made against Cassava’s science. Keep in mind this is for academic interest only, as the clinical data is the final word and we already have plenty of that.

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