NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --I sat through investor presentations by Cell Therapeutics ( CTIC - Get Report), Rexahn Pharmaceuticals ( RNN), Oculus Innovative Sciences ( OCLS) and Hemispherx Biopharma ( HEB) all before lunch Tuesday. Surely, torture like that is deserving of a workers' compensation claim.

The forum for this circus of biotech ineptitude was the Rodman & Renshaw Annual Global Investment Conference. Rodman makes a good living as the go-to banker for the bottom of biotech barrel (heck, someone has to do it), so the firm's investor confab presents a unique opportunity to gawk at companies which most of Wall Street has written off.

Cell Therapeutics' CEO Jim Bianco told assembled investors that he's not begging for his company's survival, a reference to the headline of my column Monday which discussed the company's looming bankruptcy unless shareholders approve a plan Thursday to increase authorized shares by 400 million to 1.2 billion.

Bianco spent no time at all during his 20-minute presentation discussing the company's financial woes. (No surprise there.) During a brief Q&A session, Bianco did say the company was working harder to get Italian shareholders who control about 40% of the company's shares to vote in Thursday's shareholder meeting.

If Cell Therapeutics cannot get a quorum, the company won't be able to add authorized shares, and therefore will not be able to sell stock to raise much-needed cash. If that happens, Bianco said the company may sell preferred shares, take on more debt or look to sell assets in order to raise money. Of course, those alternative transactions depend on finding a willing counterparty -- certainly not a sure bet.

Bianco also commented on the company's decision to appeal the FDA's rejection of its lymphoma drug pixantrone. "It's the American thing to do," he said.

The FDA's cancer drug division savaged pixantrone in its review in March, which was followed by a unanimous 9-0 vote against the drug by the FDA's outside advisory panel and then a formal rejection of the drug by the agency.

Calling Cell Therapeutics' appeal of this resoundingly negative decision a Hail Mary would be too optimistic. FDA should rule on the pixantrone appeal before the end of the year. The answer, once again, is very likely to be no.

Cell Therapeutics shares dropped two cents, closing Tuesday at 37 cents a share, despite Bianco's attempt to cheer investors with news of the pixantrone appeal.

Rexahn CEO Chang Ahn didn't show up at the Rodman conference. Instead, he sent President Rick Soni, whose halting performance didn't instill much confidence in the company's future.

Penny stock promoters were pushing rumors this past spring that Rexahn was going to sign a big partnership for its depression drug Serdaxin. Of course, no deal happened, and Tuesday, Soni said Rexahn wasn't considering partnerships until Serdaxin was ready for phase III studies. The company is stuck in phase II purgatory because the previously disclosed Serdaxin data in depression is so poor.

At one point in his presentation, Soni described Rexahn's cancer drug Archexin as a "first in class" molecule. When asked by an investor to explain exactly what made Archexin "first in class" when many other companies are way ahead developing similar drugs, Soni had no answer. That's typical Rexahn.

Rexahn shares spiked to nearly $4 in April but now trade for around $1.25.

My mood didn't improve when I switched rooms to listen to Oculus Innovative Sciences CEO Hoji Alimi tout the company's growth potential from the sale of the wound cleanser Microcyn, which is really just common diluted bleach (Ph balanced) poured into a bottle with a nice label.

Alimi didn't spend any time during his investor talk discussing the fact that Microycyn's active ingredients are greatly diluted quantities of sodium hypochlorite (0.0036%) -- the same stuff used to keep swimming pools clean -- and hypochlorous acid (0.0025%) -- otherwise known as common household bleach.

What Alimi did do, however, was to once again make dubious and unfounded medical claims about Microcyn's wound-healing properties. At one point, Alimi flashed on the screen a gruesome photo of a gaping diabetic foot wound. The patient was saved from having the foot amputated by treatment with Microcyn, Alimi alleged, even though Oculus has no data nor FDA approval to make such a claim.

Microcyn quarterly sales remain flat over the past two quarters, despite all the efforts by Oculus to push the diluted bleach wound cleanser/disinfectant into the veterinary, over-the-counter, and international markets. Meantime, Oculus' losses and cash burn continue and the stock is trading near its low for year.

By the time of Hemispherx's presentation, I was really cranky and in no mood for more biotech B.S. My outlook didn't improve after I walked into the Hemispherx room and saw that CEO Bill Carter was A.W.O.L; the company instead sent its "dealmaker" Wayne Pambianchi to handle the presentation.

I lasted about five minutes, leaving soon after Pambianchi start to discuss seeking approval for Hemispherx's worn-out-and-tired chronic fatigue syndrome drug Ampligen in Argentina.


I walked out of the room, hoping the wave of nausea would pass before lunch.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.