AMA 97 – Patrick Cox Future of Medical Technology

 

Patrick Cox produces unbiased and independent research in the field of transformational technology. He has worked closely with Nobel Prize-winning scientists and economists along with having over 200 of his editorials appear on the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and more. Patrick shares some insider science to Jason and his audience today and also talks about some very interesting medical advancements the media fails to report on.

 

Key Takeaways:
4:35 – Conviction and convenience do not live together, so you have to separate yourself from convenience.
7:10 – If you have plans to do great things, you are bound to find some resistance from your friends and family.
10:00 – You can’t get more in life until you are grateful for what you have today.
14:00 – Birmingham property tour is coming up and Meet the Masters event is coming up in January.
18:00 – There’s a lot of exciting things going on in science, but you wouldn’t know that because the media is very poor at reporting science.
20:10 – Social security is under estimating our life spans. In reality, people will be living a lot longer.
24:30 – The government is obsessed with not putting out a drug that may have side effects, which Patrick believes is absurd when so many lives are at stake. A possible cure with side effects is better than no cure when people are dying.
27:00 – The FDA has not adapted to the new model of how personalized medicine works.
30:10 – Scientists did tests on a chemical compound called anatabine and found it be the most effective anti-inflammatory agent ever discovered.
34:00 – There are a number of ways you can rejuvenate the heart muscles when they’ve been damaged. We thought for a long time that these could not be repaired at all.
39:00 – The Japanese are leading in rejuvenation medicine because they understand their citizens are getting older and fewer Japanese are being born.
42:15 – We have the tech crowd pushing against the roadblocks that cutting-edge medicine is facing.

 

Tweetables:

Whatever your goals are, you are bound to encounter some resistance from the people in your life as you are on your path.

It was thought that damage to the heart caused by cardiac events could never be repaired, but we know now that is not the case.

 

Mentioned In This Episode:
http://www.jasonhartman.com/
http://www.patrickcoxdna.com/
https://www.mauldineconomics.com/

 

Transcript

Jason:

It’s my pleasure to welcome Patrick Cox to the show. He’s editor of the transformational technology alert at Mauldin Economics and we’ve had John Mauldin on the show before. It’s great to be talking to Patrick about some interesting stuff today. We’re going to be talking about Apple’s new smart watch. We’re going to talk about longevity and what’s going on in that field and, you know, how this all interplays with the economy. Patrick, welcome, how are you?

Patrick Cox:
I’m fine, thank you, Jason.

Jason:
Good, good. It’s good to have you. Just give our listeners a sense of geography and tell us where you’re located.

Patrick:
I’m on Marco Island or maybe in Marco Island, which is about the same latitude as Miami. I’m on the west side of the state off the coast from Naples, if you know the area.

Jason:
Okay, fantastic. What are you covering mostly in the transformational technology alert newsletter.

Patrick:
Bio-technologies, disruptive bio-technologies for the most part.

Jason:
And what’s the hot topic of the day? There’s so much going on out there and it’s really just an exciting time to be alive. I mean, there’s a lot of exciting stuff that’s going on.

Patrick:
It is. It’s actually overwhelming. It is my job to keep track of it and I’m not sure that I do frankly. There’s so much going on. The point I try and get across to people is that everybody knows Moore’s law. Everybody knows that microcircuits double in power at a given cost every 18 months to 2 years. Well, bio-technology is actually making faster advances. The cost of a genome is falling at twice of the rate of, genome sequencing, is falling at twice the rate as the cost of a chip.

We’re seeing this across the board and all kinds of tools in bio-technology, but we’re not hearing about the results for a variety of reasons. One is that the FDA won’t let companies involved in the research say anything, really. So, you really have to dig to find out what’s going on, but it’s worth it because it’s going to have a pro-found impact on everybody’s lives.

Jason:
Is the FDA is saying that would be like a forward looking statement, because it’s kind of like a public company in a quiet period, is that why they’re not letting people talk?

Patrick:
Yes. That’s part of it. It’s a big part of it. The FCC and FDA are both very restrictive. My wife is a nutritional biologist and she call this phenomenon information hoarding and just about everybody in the profession hates it, but if you’re apart of a business, you’re really restrictive in what you can say, what kind of forecasts you can make.

Jason:
Right, no question about it. What is going on? What are some of the exciting things? It’s interesting that you say, it’s more exciting than what we’re hearing. Most people would think probably that would be the opposite. You know, they’d think, there’s all these people out there promoting their wears and trying to get attention in the market place. It’s actually a little bit more quiet than the reality, I guess, huh?

Patrick:
Well, you know, part of our problem is the media, which has never been good at covering science, is disintegrating. The profits in big media have disappeared. I’m proud of say I actually played somewhat of a role in that. I was at Netscape when we destroyed the dominant paradigm and did away with monopoly and information dissemination that was keeping the old media in power and now that’s gone.

As a result of that, however, the number of journalist who are covering science, even badly, had diminished. You have to read the journals, you have to be attending the conferences, you have to be talking to scientists to know what’s going on, but it’s worth it because we’re seeing true revolution in human life.

The important thing to understand though it’s a continuation of a revolution that’s been going for 100 years, during which time average health spans, life spans, in North America have doubled, but that would accelerate.

Jason:
It’s interesting the distinction you just made. It maybe more important that the health span has increased so much more than the life span, because people are living health, active lives right up until the day the croak and now if we can increase that life span and health span, move that up even 20-30%, that would be pretty amazing. Big implications for the economy too. Both positive and negative, I’m not sure.

Patrick:
Absolutely. You’re right. It’s a two-edged sword, but the pain is largely politically. Right now the social security administration is underestimating our actuarial lifespans, because it would make the debt over hangings appear even worse than we think it is and it is much worse than we think it is. The only solution to that given a rapidly falling birth rate and a rapidly expanding older population is we invest longer, we work longer. All of that is possible with technologies that already exist.

I’m not speculating about what’s coming around the corner, by the way. I’m telling you right now, if we had the permission to roll out these technologies, we can increase lifespans by decades.

Jason:
Wow, that’s amazing. So, what’s stopping us?

Patrick:
Government.

Jason:
Is it something as simple as FDA approval or what?

Patrick:
That’s a big part of it. Forbes magazine estimates that for every approved drug, the pharmaceutical industry spends $4 billion dollars. Now, some people say that’s too high and it’s only $1.5 billion dollars either way, it’s crushing.

Fortunately, the Japanese who are farther along this road, they have a much larger older population and even lower birth rates in America and Canada has recently done away with phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials in the area of regenerative medicine, which may be, arguably, the most important area of medicine today, stem cell medicine. We’re seeing, out of necessity, governments begin to recognize the need to start looking for cures instead of trying to stop therapies to market, which is essentially what the FDA is doing today.

Jason:
Milton Friedman did some writings about the FDA years ago.

Patrick:
He was a friend of my, by the way.

Jason:
Oh, wow an incredible friend to have. Boy, wow. You must have had some conversations with him. Wow. I would have loved to talk to him if I could go back.

You know, he did some really good writings about the FDA and what you’re saying is very reminiscent of that. Why is the FDA getting in the way like this?

Patrick:
Well, this is the nature of bureaucracy. If you know Friedman, you know the iron triangle. Bureaucracy once created doesn’t want to go away. In fact it’s on impulses to self-interest. Bring up some other economists if you look at the public choice school, George Mason, bureaucrats and politicians act in their own self-interest and that essentially leads to the institutionalization of these organizations, which have enormous power over everything that we do.

So for instance let’s take viruses, there is a, there are several new technologies, brand new platform, completely new sciences that are off the radar. The average medical journalists are not hearing about them, DNA that seams, and then these contragate nanomole ligand structures that are in fact nano-tech machines, either one of these technologies, both of them have been proven in multiple animal models and because they work in fundamentally ways than the small molecule drugs, which we think of in terms of drug discovery and approval. I’ll just tell you they were working people. These companies can’t for legal reasons, but they were working people.

But, instead of rushing into market, instead of having these companies bring these new technologies to fight influenza, ebola, HIV, herpes, the government is obsessed with not being put in the position where they let something through that may have some side effect later on, which is an absurd position to take when so many lives are at stake.

Jason:
Yeah, it really is. So we’ve heard a lot of talk about super bugs, the scary proposition becoming immune.

Patrick:
That’s more..yeah. Bacteria.

Jason:
Bacteria, sorry, I got the two mixed up. Bacteria obviously, viruses are..

Patrick:
They do adapt. Viruses also can adapt, but normally when we talk about super bugs it’s bacteria.

Jason:
So, it’s interesting what you said about the viral aspect. Of course, all we really had for virus, as far as I know, is interferon, which is, of course, massively expensive.

Patrick:
It doesn’t work.

Jason:
Yeah, questionable too. Give us maybe your top three, if you would, your top three technologies that would extend life, extend health, and any more thoughts, additional thoughts, on what’s stopping these things from getting to the market place. I would just assume that all the creators of these technologies would just be pushing, pushing, pushing the FDA to get it out there.

Patrick:
Yeah and it’s really dangerous. If you offend the FDA, there’s no telling what’s going to happen because, bureaucrats and the FDA are human, they’re no different than any of the rest of us, I don’t want to paint sort of conspiracy, but they are, many of them are really well meaning and dedicated to public health, but they are incentives to avoid any kind of risk and what that leads to institutionally is way too much caution, especially in these days of personalized medicine. In the old days, you know, if you took a drug and it only worked half of the people and 20% got sick, it was failed. It was not allowed on to the market.

Today, we can take, with a small test, you can check gene expression and find out whether or not this cancer drug will work for you or not and give the drug just to those people who need it and for whom it works, but the FDA has not adjusted to the new model of personalized medicine, so..and cancers, there’s half a dozen new technologies that right now are paying tens of millions of dollars and waiting slowly through this swamp like labyrinth of regulatory process to get them to market, but I predict when they make it, which is in the next 5-10 years, cancer will be come a minor irritation. It will be, essentially, solved.

Jason:
What an amazing thing. Wow.

Patrick:
Cancer is already solved. By the way, since you bought up super bugs, bacteria, I think we will see clinical trials in the next 6 months that prove that is beating, both in terms of systematic infections, but also in terms of hospital acquired infections, there are topicals that can be used in surgery that will do away with most of them. This is a non-problem that media loves to, big scare story, and they’re incapable of looking at the science and tracking the companies that have solutions. There is one in particular that I’ve been following for 5 years that’s just getting very close right now and I can’t wait.

Jason:
What’s the name of it?

Patrick:
That’s Cellcuetix.

Jason:
So, that’s one. Do you have two more sort of leading things in any of these categories that you want to share?

Patrick:
I’ll give you two more. People pay me a lot of money for this, so that’s all I’m going to give you. One, because I haven’t been able to actually include it in the portfolio, which is an Alkaloid, which is being researched and moved forward by the Roskamp Institute in Sarasota, Florida. Roskamp is the world’s leading neurological research group. It was founded by Robert Roskamp who made an enormous amount of money by providing assist living facilities to mostly to Alzheimer’s patients and when he retired, I dunno 10-15 years ago, he put 100s of millions of dollars into an institute, hired two of the scientists who were responsible for the most important discoveries in Alzheimer’s and gave them probably the best equip lab in the world. I don’t know how many PhDs there are now, close to 100.

The best tools that exist, the most modern equipment and they’ve been looking at various approaches to Alzheimer’s. Someone came to them with an accidental discovery, which is an Alkaloid related to nicotine called anatabine. Now, they were as skeptical as I was when they first heard this, but they did the tests and what they found was it was the most effective anti-inflammatory agent ever discovered. Nothing comes close. Nothing comes close. It knocks down CRPs and because it’s a national product, it’s available for hundreds of thousands of people to use, but we know that it knocks down your C-reactive protein panels to useful levels.

So, for me it did away with my arthritis almost immediately. Changed my life. So, for four years this was available, expanding rapidly through word of mouth for the most part. A friend of mine here on the island went out about a week ago, he was using it; one of the effects of using it was to control really serious super (30:32-30:35) and within days of running out, because the FDA decided it was going to have to go through an approval process about 3 months ago, he had a stroke.

Other people are saying Crohn’s disease re-manifested itself, arthritis. This is a national product that everyone in your audience has eaten multiple times. It’s in tomatoes, eggplant, the nightshade family, the solanaceae plant family. This is a remarkable discovery, which I think is going to be worth many years of medicinal health stance, but the FDA decided based on a study that showed, beyond shadow of a doubt, that it prevents long-term brain injuries following a concussion, traumatic, TBI, brain injury, that it was obviously a drug, therefore had to be approved.

The company is in fact, the spin-off company, which is what Creek pharmaceuticals is in fact taking it through the drug approval process, but the FDA has apparently pressured the company to take the nutraceutical from the market in order to give them the IND, initial drug development, permission. So, now it’s off the market and it’s just a catastrophe. That’s one.

We’ll go now to the other end of the spectrum, which is stem cell medicine and that’s bio-time energy. If you’d like to see some of the stuff that they do, I have a web page called PatrickCoxDNA.com and if you go to that web page you’ll see pictures of my fiber glass skin cells taken from inside my left arms, which were engineered to become identical to the embryonic stem cells that I came from and then engineered into cardiomyocytes, heart muscles, heart muscle cells. I, in fact, have a video of my rejuvenated heart muscles cell beating in a dish in California.

Jason:
You really do like being the guinea pig. This is interesting that you do your own stuff. I love it.

Patrick:
I do. I could tell you more. There’s a lot more with this.

Jason:
I’m sure you could.

Patrick:
But those cells, rejuvenated, those are essentially zero year old heart muscle cells where as my heart muscle cells are 63 years old. So, we know animal studies and we know from experiments that if you introduce those cells into an aging animal, which I am, that they in-graphed and they express growth proteins that then repair the heart. So, until recently it was thought that damage to the heart caused by, you know, cardiac events, could never be repaired, but we know now that is not the case.

There are a number ways that English scientists have proven can be used to rejuvenate the heart, but these heart muscle cells and this video were just one of many that we can essentially, bio-time, take your cells, take them back in time to become immortalized embryonic light stem cells and then engineered them to become anything you need.

They have a subsidiary in Israel, which is working on retina fills to replace blindness caused by macular degeneration and we know that works. It’s only a matter in time before that goes into clinical trials. It could be knee joints, connective tissue, it could be liver, kidney, there really is no end to this. So, rejuvenate medicine is really the biggest breakthrough of our era.

There’s lots of more traditional kinds of medicine that I discussed before, cancers, I think Alzheimer’s we have a really good handle on. It won’t be one solution, it’ll be a number, because dementia is caused by a lot of different conditions of aging, but we’ll get that. So, that type 2 diabetes, obesity, all of these conditions are in fact solvable many of which with generative medicine, but that takes us to our cycle limit, which is a number of times our cells naturally can replicate. It’s about 120, which is the ultra centenarians that we read about live to be about 120, sometimes 122.

Jason:
So, is it replication only once a year? I thought they replicated every 90 days or something.

Patrick:
No, it really depends on the cell types. There are some tricks whereby the cell replicate once and that cell will split, but essentially you have 120 (35:56-35:57) in each of your cells. When you’re a kid, when your health, you have no inflammation, no fibrosis, you have perfect myocardial function, we’re on the solar cycle. As we get older, as we get sicker, inflammation, and all these other factors that start to affect where we age, then we will accelerate that process. Typically, then they will localize one organ, burn through all your (36:24-36:26) completely stop replication and you’re dying, but regenerative medicine can fix that. So really what we’re looking at, the end of the traditional 120 year limit.

Jason:
Amazing. This is really interesting stuff. When do you think we’ll see the dam-break at the FDA? And if it’s FDA that’s the problem, what other countries are doing this stuff and using these technologies?

Patrick:
Japan. Japan because they made a decision, and were criticized for it at the time, to not bring in immigrants, because they were afraid that these people would not assimilate. They were afraid that were going to bring people who were essentially hostiles for the Japanese tradition. At the time they were accused of being racist, etc. Now..

Jason:
They’d probably love some immigrants. They’ve got a huge demographic problem over there.

Patrick:
Well, it’s not clear that they would. I mean, they could, but they’re very selective. As a result of that, I don’t remember what their birth rate is, but I think it’s about 1.2. Their population..

Jason:
They’re dying.

Patrick:
..is plummeting. At the same time, their older population is growing and getting old, so they know they can not keep the promises that they have made to their older population.

Jason:
Neither can we, but we have the reserve currency so we can just print it. *Laughter*.

Patrick:
Yeah.

Jason:
Yeah, that’s a discussion. I agree, I’m just joking.

Patrick:
But, they face their problem. That’s one of the reasons the Japanese have been so focused on robotics. They knew they don’t have the labor to take care of all of these older people, so they put a huge amount of money into robotics to help care for older people when they’re no longer capable of taking care of themselves. However, that’s not going to fix everything, so they have really begun to reform to their regulatory process and started to think about encouraging important technologies rather than just discouraging them, which is what we in essence are doing in America and also in Europe.

So, it’s beginning to change. The necessity is forcing government, even Great Britain for example, despite the fact; on the surface they have national health care program, they’re broke and the people hate the health care system in practice, but not in theory, so they’re beginning to de-regulate a lot of various different medicines that are strictly regulated in the United States.

So, your question, when will the FDA reform? I think it will be shamed into it when other countries start to take business away from American, will begin to fold.

Jason:
It makes me wonder, you know, if I should be flying over to Tokyo to get some kind of longevity treatment, you know?

Patrick:
Well, at some point, this is October 1st that these new rules kicked in, so it’s going to take a little while, but the first clinical trial for stem cell therapy is already scheduled in Japan.

Jason:
Well, before you go, just talk to us of the significance of the Apple watch. You know, this whole quantified self-movement is pretty interesting and I think we just got a huge new tool coming our way that’s going to make it even more interesting.

Patrick:
Right, my interest in..I’m really exciting about this, but it’s not specifically about the Apple watch, more it is about the entrance of Silicon Valley, the IT crowd, into health care, because, you know, I worked in Silicon Valley and I have friends still stay in contact with them, the IT world moves fast. When something is happening, people work long hours and they rush, they want to be the first to the market. So, we saw what happened when Google spinned off 23andMe, tried to push genomics, genetic sequencing, interpretation for health into the market, which is they just ran up against this wall of FDA which basically lend to disaster.

That was a good thing, because it signaled to the industry what they were up against. Now we’re seeing with Apple, they’ve already withdrawn their health app and it’s probably for regulatory reasons. I don’t think it’s actually a bug in the software.

Other people are also entering into this phase by-times in-health applications. This really interesting startup with Eric Schadt from Mount Sinai genomic center in conjunction with the Weizmann Institute in Tel Aviv, which is the master databank of all genomic knowledge. Rafael (41:56-41:57) is the CTO who built really the first search engine, Excite, and is also very well known in the Valley and is now on board with this project.

What this means is we’ve got tech folk now coming up against the roadblock of regulatory resistance and that’s a good thing, because these people don’t take no the way the medical industry does.

Jason:
That’s great. So it’s really like a new vibe, you know, it’s like the tech community is different than the AMA, which has wanted to preserve it’s monopoly, it’s business, and so forth. It’s just a whole different vibe, it’s a different mentality, right?

Patrick:
It is, Google has announced they have a new startup with one of the board members from Genentech, who says we want to cure aging. When Google wants something, they pull out the stops, which means for the first time in our lifetimes, the medical establishment has allies in this desperately important task of reforming our regulatory agencies.

Jason:
And it’s interesting because the tech companies really have something to bargain with when it comes to the government. Google can just agree to let the NSA run rampant through the servers. *Laughter*. They’ve got something to trade, unfortunately. Of course, I’m being massively sarcastic and I hate that idea, as I’m sure you do, but I just had to throw it in for morbid humor if nothing else, but yeah, it’s really interesting, it’s really interesting. Well, Patrick, give out your website, tell people where they can learn more about your newsletter.

Patrick:
Well, if you go to Mauldin Economics, there will be some link. You know, I actually don’t know the URL.

Jason:
Okay, so just the general website, Mauldin Economics. We’ve had John on the show a few times, so you guys do great work there and keep it up. This is an interesting conversation.

Patrick:
Thank you.

Jason:
Thank you.

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