It’s been slightly more than two and a half years since I reviewed the shameless rip-off that is Burzynski Research Institute stock, at that time traded as BZYR.OB, here: Should you invest in Burzynski stock?
Recently, I found I had to update the links for that stock, as it had switched from BZYR.OB to BZYR. Putting it down to the stock markets’ secret plan to drive us all bloody mad by doing complete revamps of its nomenclature on a regular basis, I thought no more of it at the time. As an aside, yes: the stock markets really do change that fast. If you work in one, you can come back after your summer break to find the jargon has evolved into something totally unrecognisable during your absence. Translating that shit for expat investors is hellish.
Then the news came: the FDA had cravenly given in to pressure. Exactly what sort of pressure, we do not know. Hysterical lobbying from woopologists and the desperate families of the dying? Political pressure from shady reps? Or did Burzynski himself apply pressure in the form of carefully applied banknotes to certain officials? It’s impossible to tell, although the more often this obvious fraud gets off more or less scot-free in situations where anyone else would be severely sanctioned does suggest there’s a huge corruption scandal poised to break some day.
This article, by Liz Szabo in USA Today, gives us the general drift: FDA gives controversial doc green light to restart work. I’m curious as to how the BRI will start Phase III trials, when to my knowledge they haven’t even completed – let alone published – a single Phase II trial yet. However, there are plenty of other, better qualified, folk to rip the FDA’s behaviour a new one, and equally able to denounce Burzynski’s mercenary tactics (described as a “bait and switch” scam by a doctor who found himself suckered into being the bag man). I’m having a shufti at the stock, since there seems to be a simultaneous push to offload sell it to unsuspecting innocents hoping to be in on the next Big Thing, as evidenced in this ill-spelt headline isolated by Orac: Burzynski Research Institute (BZYR) Reignites On FDA Approaval.
You can read that article if you wish, but be warned: it’s not the most readable presentation and the data is cherry-picked to make BZYR look like a rising star. I think I can do better than that, simply by providing a fuller and more honest presentation of that same info, lifted straight off the NASDAQ website. Oh, and I get the impression that losing the OB suffix was a form of downgrading. OTC stocks are considered high-risk investments at best, but even pond scum has a form of hierarchy, and OB (aka OTCBB) stocks are at least required to produce audited statements. Plain OTC, also known as the Pink Sheets, is where wild animals prowl.
Here are the stock price and sales volumes over the last 3 months as of a few hours ago:
My, my, what a lot of zeros in the transaction volume. If you’re puzzled as to how you can have a stock price variation without any transactions, some of the volumes were tiny. One was for only 120 shares. So, it would seem that practically any transaction volume at all could technically be construed as a “buzz”, because there’s been the inverse square root of fuck-all happening over the past 3 months. The volume and price spikes are interesting, not just for their abrupt appearance, but also for their almost equally abrupt decline. I’d make an educated guess that relatively few people bought in (the BRI has no institutional investors, which is telling) when the FDA announcement came out. I could speculate for hours about the suspiciously well-timed mass purchasing that went on that day, and that day only, but in the end it wouldn’t change my original diagnosis from September 2011, which was: this stock is basically a scam and any money invested in it is lost – unless and until you can offload it onto some poor unsuspecting punter.
Moving on, let’s look at that impressive price hike. It is impressive for a penny stock, isn’t it? I mean gosh: all of 17¢, nearly double the price over the past quarter. That’s a really encouraging sign, even if it does dip back down to 9¢ the next day, isn’t it?
Er, not as such. Looking at trends over the past 3 years, and not simply looking at the price on a specific date each year as that dishonest little puff piece did, we see this:
So, we can now see the general price trend is very firmly downward, not up. That volume spike is still huge, which is what makes me suspect some sort of concerted effort. All to 496,776 shares exchanged! At a price of 17¢! That’s slightly under the absolutely stunning amount of $84,500 in terms of actual cash! That’s… That’s bugger all, especially when you consider that the market capitalisation of the BRI reportedly stands at around $10.65 million, according to the various online market-watching sites. It’s certainly chicken feed to Burzynski.
Just for a laugh, I wandered over to the BRI accounts that were filed recently (BRI ends its financial year on 28 Feb.). Well, I see from the balance sheet that they haven’t bought any new furniture. The BRI is still debt-ridden and bereft of assets, so my comments from 2011 remain valid. The BRI still has zero (0) income, so the same goes for my remarks about the income statement and the value of the research being carried out, viz.: the BRI itself considers its “research” to be valueless, as it is all expensed immediately. However, what is interesting is this info from the cash flow statement:
FDA clinical trial expenses paid directly by S.R. Burzynski M.D., Ph. D.: $3,768,425 (2014) – $5,640,314 (2013)
Remember: unlike reputable operations where cheques are made out to the company doing the work, here all the income – whatever the source – goes straight into Burzynski’s pocket, out of which he then magnanimously pays the expenses relating to the work he took the money for.
You know, if I were a tax inspector, I would be extremely eager to audit Burzynski, his clinic and the BRI. This stinks of fraud running into millions of dollars a year.
- Burzynski to continue trials as FDA says ‘OK’ (doubtfulnews.com)
- The FDA really caves: Stanislaw Burzynski can do clinical trials again (scienceblogs.com)
- Dr. feels misled in cancer treatment costs (fosters.com)
- Burzynski and USA Today: his number 1 fan speaks (chapmancentral.co.uk)
- Skeptic Activists Fighting for Burzynski’s Cancer Patients (csicop.org)
- Stanislaw Burzynski publishes his antineoplaston results again. It’s no more convincing than last time. [Respectful Insolence] (scienceblogs.com)