(Editor's note: Come see Adam Feuerstein at the Money Show in San Francisco. Adam will be speaking to attendees on Friday, Aug. 8, at 2:15 p.m. ("Biotech Investing for Individuals: How to Turn Geeky Science Into Fat Profits"); on a lunch panel on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 12:35 p.m. ("Tech and Biotech: Picks and Pans for 2008 and Beyond"); and on Sunday, Aug. 10, at 8 a.m. ("Biotech Investing for Individuals: How to Turn Geeky Science Into Fat Profits").The highlight for me from Thursday's conference call sponsored by Introgen Therapeutics ( INGN - Get Report) came when Canaccord Adams' analyst Joe Pantginis -- he's a table-thumping Introgen bull -- said the following about Advexin, Introgen's gene therapy drug for head and neck cancer:
"So, thanks again for being on the call and just a quick question -- as with all novel technologies, there continues to be some skeptics out there. I would really love to get the views of our experts regarding an existing comment that exists currently that Advexin just doesn't work."I was flattered, naturally, because the "existing comment" Pantginis referred to is mine, although he didn't capture its full flavor. What I wrote, back in a December Biotech-Stock Mailbag, was: "Introgen is a terrible company. Advexin is junk. The drug doesn't work. The data are manipulated and false. Management misleads." Much juicier, don't you think? The view of the experts assembled by Introgen for Thursday's call was unanimous in support for Advexin. The doctors, Jack Roth, John Nemunaitis, John Hamm and Jarrard Goodwin -- all either investigators in the Advexin phase III study or with hands-on experience using Advexin -- stated emphatically that Advexin works and that the drug will be approved. Is it possible that these well-credentialed experts -- all with more letters after their names than me -- can be wrong? In the face of such overwhelming support for Advexin, how can I continue to be so negative? Actually, it's quite easy. Here's another biotech investing lesson courtesy of Introgen: Don't let so-called experts intimidate you into believing you're wrong when you have the facts and common sense on your side of the ledger. I'll take facts and common sense over a fancy medical degree and unsubstantiated opinion for hire any day when it comes to spotting a biotech blowup in the making.