Well, isn’t this interesting…

As pointed out by Dale in the comments over at Orac’s post on Duesberg and aneuploidy, Duesberg and fellow HIV “dissident” David Rasnick are marketing a new cancer detection system, AnuCyte Cancer detection system, based upon his aneuploidy-basis-of-cancer ideas. And guess who else is on the company’s Board of Advisors? Our old friend, Harvey Bialy, also a HIV “dissident” and author of a biography on Duesberg: Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS. Very interesting….

Now, I don’t besmirch anyone’s ability to make a profit from their research if that’s their angle. Certainly other biomedical researchers patent their ideas and make money from new diagnostics they’ve developed. But it certainly smacks of hypocrisy to me, given all the time the HIV “dissidents” spend criticizing mainstream researchers and pharmaceutical companies for profiting off of HIV (and suggesting therefore that their research conclusions are financially, rather than scientifically, motivated). Think this will make any of them change their tune?

Yeah, me either.

Edited to add: oh, it gets better. They’re doing all their testing in the Bahamas to get around “bureaucratic interference”:

Relocating to Freeport, Grand Bahama allows us to offer our services free of bureaucratic interference and to “leapfrog” countries that continue to use entrenched, antiquated screening techniques for detecting common cancers.

Comments

  1. #1 Orac
    April 26, 2007

    Is Andrew Maniotis involved somehow? He just showed up in the comments of my post. He didn’t mention his HIV/AIDS denialism and didn’t really defend Duesberg, but rather cited a whole bunch of his own papers.

  2. #2 Tara C. Smith
    April 26, 2007

    Don’t know if he’s involved or not; I have to do some more digging into this.

  3. #3 Jeanne
    April 26, 2007

    Duesberg’s ideas about cancer and his HIV denialism are materially connected: Duesberg’s conference on cancer and aneuploidy in San Francisco in 2004 was underwritten by Robert Leppo, a right wing Republican venture capitalist and denialist who was also the executive producer of the film “The Other Side of AIDS,” made by Robin Scovill and featuring his wife, HIV+ Christine Maggiore: Scovill and Maggiore allowed their 3 year old daughter to die, untested and untreated, of AIDS in 2005. Leppo also bought the building used by the AIDS denialist fringe group ACT UP/SF, and was a member of South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki’s notorious AIDS panel. )

    As you noted, Deusberg and his long-time sidekick, David Rasnick PhD, are in business together with a test they claim will detect all kinds of cancers. Rasnick, of course, who was also influential in shaping South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki’s views about AIDS and thus Mbeki’s deadly policy of refusing to provide South Africans with AIDS access to antiretroviral drugs, and until recently worked for Mathias Rath, the vitamin quack/magnate/denialist (see the recent article by Michael Specter in The New Yorker for more on Rath and Rasnick). Their company was called Boveran, and the test was called “iCyte” until they ran into some trademark issues.

    In October 2006, Rasnick and Duesberg sold Boveran to Modern Technology Corp, a shady little biotech umbrella company (and alpaca farm) in Mississippi trading as a penny stock under the symbol MODC–and steadily losing shocking amounts of its investors’ money. The CEO Anthony Welch seems to be hiding offshore somewhere–possibly Jamaica, possibly the Bahamas. The corporation is registered in Nevada, which boasts that it offers the strongest protections from lawsuits of any state. (For some interesting background to MODC by a technology writer named Julie Jacobson see http://www.cepro.com/news/editorial/7779.html.) Boveran was renamed Insight Medical Group, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of MODC; Duesberg and Rasnick are still the primaries. Insight Medical Group is establishing its cancer diagnostics lab in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island (!). This way they can avoid the bureaucracy of clinical trials and FDA approval.

    Just last month (on March 29, 2007), Modern Technology Corp announced that Mexico-based ex-scientist Harvey Bialy, an exceptionally bizarre and floridly homophobic member of the denialist cadre, had joined Insight Medical Group’s medical advisory board for the cancer test, now renamed “Anucyte.” Bialy wrote a hagiographic biography of Duesberg and was recently “retired” from his last academic affiliation at UNAM in Mexico. (For more on Bialy, go to http://www.AIDStruth.org and look for “homophobic” on the menu on the upper left.)

    Another recent addition to Modern Technology Corp’s cadre of experts is an eye doctor named Marc Rose, who was expanded his interests from sight preservation to male menopause and “life extension”: he is active with the Cancer Control Society, which among other things organizes bus tours of alternative cancer clinics in Tijuana, Mexico. He will work on the further development and marketing of the Anucyte test.

    The CEO of Modern Technology Corp is Anthony K Welch, who studied Electrical Engineering for 2 years (1986-88, no degree awarded as far as I can tell) at University of Mississippi, and now claims to be a law student at Concord School of Law. (Concord School of Law is an on-line school that told me that they do not accept students without degrees; it’s not clear how Welch finessed that in his application to Concord’s JD program.) Despite extraordinary financial losses and many complaints to the SEC from angry investors (search “MODC” on such bulletin boards as Ragingbull.com and allstocks.com for investor opinions of Welch as a scammer and a fraud), Welch has been
    paying himself a very hefty salary–almost $300,000 in for the last fiscal year. His CFO, Robert Church, resigned from the company last June, and Welch took over that function.

    Insight Medical Group promises “to provide ongoing financial support to Peter Duesberg’s lab … [which] …agrees to work closely with Insight Medical Group to improve products and technology” (www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=111522). That is to say, Duesberg is a principle of a subsidiary that has as its sole asset an offshore lab (which may or may not exist) for a cancer diagnosis technology that has not been clinically tested or approved by the FDA or any other objective institution. The CEO is regarded by investors as unreliable, the company that is at best poorly managed. Perhaps Duesberg, Bialy, Rasnick and Welch thought that Duesberg’s article in Scientific American would at least temporarily inflate the value of the stock of the company that would then provide funds to Duesberg’s Berkeley lab. But the SciAm article has not helped Modern Technology Corp’s stock price at all–it’s down to $.012 a share from almost 6 cents a share a year ago.

  4. #4 y'ello
    April 26, 2007

    “Scovill and Maggiore allowed their 3 year old daughter to die, untested and untreated, of AIDS in 2005.”

    Ah, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office finally released their daughter’s HIV test results?That should torpedo the countersuit the Maggiore/Scovill couple are levying against the involved parties.

  5. #5 Adele
    April 27, 2007

    No, the HIV test results were released with the autopsy report. The CDC says HIV infection can be diagnosed if HIV is found in tissue not just blood samples. There was HIV in the girl’s tissue. That’s antigen, not antibody, for you people who love to hate antibody detection tests. So Jeanne is absolutely right.

    PS, y’ello? Now that’s an interesting new name for you, guy. You really do love your right-wing talk radio, don’t you?

  6. #6 y'ello
    April 27, 2007

    “No, the HIV test results were released with the autopsy report. The CDC says HIV infection can be diagnosed if HIV is found in tissue not just blood samples. There was HIV in the girl’s tissue. That’s antigen, not antibody, for you people who love to hate antibody detection tests. So Jeanne is absolutely right.”

    Oh, so it wasn’t just some indeterminate proteins harvested from her brain?

  7. #7 Adele
    April 28, 2007

    The protein wasn’t harvested; it was found in situ.
    Control tissue showed it wasn’t a non-specific reaction.
    It’s unequivocal: this poor girl was infected with HIV. She progressed to AIDS, and nobody did a damn thing to help her because no one close to her believed in AIDS.

  8. #8 y'ello
    April 28, 2007

    “The protein wasn’t harvested; it was found in situ.
    Control tissue showed it wasn’t a non-specific reaction.
    It’s unequivocal: this poor girl was infected with HIV. She progressed to AIDS, and nobody did a damn thing to help her because no one close to her believed in AIDS.”

    Bullshit

    http://www.justiceforej.com/Al-BayatiReport.pdf

    “The neuropathology consultant called the non-specific microscopic lesions found in the
    brain an HIV disease. He based his assumption on finding non-specific lesions in the
    brain (microglial nodules and multinucleate giant cells) and the detection of p24 in the
    brain tissue using immunohistochemical reactions. I find his conclusion in this case
    scientifically invalid based on the following facts:
    1) He did not consider HPV B19 infection in his differential diagnosis in this case. HPV
    B19 infection has also been known to cause encephalitis in humans and to induce lesions
    in the brain consisting of multinucleated giant cells of macrophage/microglia lineage and
    Dr. Al-Bayati’s report, October 25, 2005
    Re: Eliza Jane Scovill
    38
    microglia cells. Eliza Jane also showed other clinical biomarkers for HPV B19 infection
    as described previously
    2). The presence of multinucleated giant cells and monocytes in the brain is not a
    pathognomonic lesion to a certain illness. Macrophages appear in the brain tissues in
    response to infectious and non-infectious agents and giant cells formation appears to be
    the incidental result of macrophages ingesting material in close apposition to other
    macrophages.
    3. Microglia are phagocytic elements of the central nervous system (CNS). They
    proliferate and show reactive changes in areas of injury from any cause. Two patterns are
    recognized, namely, focal microglial nodules and diffuse microgliosis.
    4) False positive reactions for HIV infection have been detected in tissues with
    inflammation obtained from HIV-negative individuals using the immunocytochemical
    approach. No control tissue sections were used in Verity’s study having similar
    conditions to the brain sections in Eliza Jane’s case. Three elements in this case should be
    considered when performing immunocytochemical assay: 1) an inflammation was
    observed in Eliza Jane’s brain; 2) she suffered from allergic reaction to amoxicillin which
    has been know to cause type I, II, III, and IV immune mediated reactions; 3) HPV B19
    infection has been reported to cause immune mediated reactions. These three elements
    acting individually or collectively may cause a false positive reaction for p24 using an
    immunocytochemical test.
    The autopsy on Eliza Jane’s body was performed on May 18, 2005 and the ME released
    her report on this case on September 15, 2005. The ME and Verity had approximately
    four months to investigate this case and to identify the cause of death. After careful
    analysis of the medical evidence in this case, I believe they reached the wrong conclusion
    about the causes of illness and death, and that their incorrect conclusion is due to an
    incomplete and unscientific investigation.”

  9. #9 y'ello
    April 28, 2007

    “Edited to add: oh, it gets better. They’re doing all their testing in the Bahamas to get around “bureaucratic interference”:”

    Relocating to Freeport, Grand Bahama allows us to offer our services free of bureaucratic interference and to “leapfrog” countries that continue to use entrenched, antiquated screening techniques for detecting common cancers.

    Oh really Tara, these folks aren’t allowed to profit from their findings?For what, because they need to follow your standard “proper dogmatic US(TM) approval”?

    I’m _so_ glad the esteemed “Dr” Robert Gallo followed _every_ aspect of the mainstream US normal with regards to his HIV test patent as this mainstream publishment so eloquently describes.

    http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/MV/Views/Exhibit/narrative/aids.html

  10. #10 Chris Noble
    April 29, 2007

    Y’ello, are you being deliberately obtuse or are you just stupid.

    Duesberg has made ad hominem attacks on a large number of scientists by arguing that people who own patents for test kits cannot be objective about the science behind the kits.

    DUESBERG: Not only back to zero, we would also be at a considerable deficit of time and money. That is a very real contributing factor – money. Scientists researching AIDS are much less inclined to ask scrutinizing questions about the etiology [cause] of AIDS when they have invested huge sums of money in companies that make money on the hypothesis that HIV is the AIDS virus. William Haseltine and Max Essex, for example, who are two of the top five AIDS researchers in the country, have millions in stocks in a company they founded that has developed and will sell AIDS kits that test for HIV. How could they be objective? Gallo stands to make a lot of money from patent rights on the virus. His entire reputation depends on this virus. If HIV is not the cause of AIDS, there’s nothing left for Gallo. If it’s not a retrovirus, Gallo would become irrelevant.

    Don’t you think Duesberg is being a tad hypocritical? Why doesn’t he apply the same criticism to himself?

  11. #11 DT
    April 29, 2007

    Tara:

    Now, I don’t besmirch anyone’s ability to make a profit from their research if that’s their angle. Certainly other biomedical researchers patent their ideas and make money from new diagnostics they’ve developed. But it certainly smacks of hypocrisy to me, given all the time the HIV “dissidents” spend criticizing mainstream researchers and pharmaceutical companies for profiting off of HIV (and suggesting therefore that their research conclusions are financially, rather than scientifically, motivated).

    I guess we have to conclude Duesberg, Rasnik and Bialy are nothing but “Pharma shills”, and for their own company no less.

  12. #12 DT
    April 29, 2007

    Y’ello,
    The histopathology changes found in the Maggiore child were characteristic of HIV encephalitis. There is only one single case of HPV B19 being associated with vaguely similar lesions, and this was a severe case of congenital HPV who died in the newborn period with severe microcephaly and a plethora of other abnormalities.

    If you have evidence or a citation that parvovirus is typically associated with the histology changes found (and with evidence of associated p24Ag) then let’s see it. Al Bayati obviously couldn’t find any literature to suggest this, so I doubt you will.

    Al-B also implied that no controls were used in the immunohistochemistry (something you seem to concur with). Verity specifically stated “appropriate controls were used”. This phrase that was deliberately excluded from the section when it was quoted by Al-B in his report (I wonder why that could be…? Perhaps because it totally undermines Al-B’s basis for criticising the histochemistry?)

  13. #13 pat
    April 29, 2007

    Bialy and Duesberg are cited as being on the advisory board. Does anyone have informationn as to their ownership of this venture?

  14. #14 Jeanne
    April 30, 2007

    Modern Technology Corp, the company that bought Bialy, Rasnick and Duesberg’s company that is now called “Insight Medical Group,” is a public company, which means it is owned by the stockholders and anyone can buy shares. “Control” is 51% of the shares. Presemably Duesberg and Rasnick were given shares as well as cash in the acquisition, but I don’t know how many.

  15. #15 Adele
    May 2, 2007

    Pat what do you have to say about Duesberg Rasnick and Bialy being such shameless capitalists? I wonder if they’re neoconservatives too? Duesberg and Rasnick took money from a big, rich neocon and Duesberg published his signature book in a neocon press. Ouch for your capitalism equals HIV theory, no?

  16. #16 Andrew Maniotis
    June 1, 2007

    Dear AIDS Denialists,

    So good to see you still discussing Eliza Jane and those irresponsible California Parents, Robin, and of course Christine, the devil herself. I see the Salem witch hunt is still on!!! Hoouray for you compassionate folks!

    Have anyone of you come up with an answer to my questions last year as to how AIDS is a disease of too many lymphocytes, since Eliza Jane had 10,800 lymphocytes/microliter upon emergency room admission according to the hospital report and the first coroners reports (before Ribe of course came in “to resolve the case” and is now being tried in Appellate court for fraud as I last heard)?

    Do you all now believe that AIDS is a disease where patients die of more than twice the normal quantity of lymphocytes in their blood? Or is an amoxicillin adverse reaction considered by your learned soldiers like the elusive Moore and others to be the 48th AIDS defining illness which should be exploited to get new drug damage grants to study how drugs damage people and have, like this drug, unacceptable adverse events to the extent that the even the WHO has it listed as a dangerous drug that should be giving first in homeopathic doses for allergin reactions before full doses are given, if possible.

    (From: Commentary on the death of Eliza Jane Scovill: Is an amoxicillin adverse reaction the 47th AIDS-indicator disease? By Andrew Maniotis, unpublished):

    Eliza Jane Scovill was a 3 1/2 year-old child who died in a hospital emergency room 36 hours after imbibing the first of 4 doses of amoxicillin. She had never been exposed to amoxicillin or any other beta-lactams before. An autopsy was performed and “no cause of death” was found by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office where her case had been referred. Approximately one week after the autopsy, the coroner’s office learned of her parents’ unorthodox views on HIV and AIDS and the testing history of the mother (inconclusive, positive, inconclusive, positive, negative, and positive). Rather than ordering a second analysis, another medical examiner (James K. Ribe) not originally assigned to the case was “brought in to help resolve the case,” and revised autopsy findings were released claiming Eliza Jane died of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and “HIV encephalopathy.” Eliza Jane’s symptoms during her crisis period, the similarities of these symptoms to amoxicillin package inserts, her vascular issues, liver issues, weight gain the last 5 months of her life according to her pediatricians, and descriptions of delayed reactions in the medical literature, do not support an “AIDS” diagnosis. The fact that she had 10,800 lymphocytes/µl at the time of her death as measured by the hospital indicates that she had more than the normal numbers of lymphocytes, casting doubt on any diagnosis of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, “AIDS-related encephalopathy,” or any disease disease indisputably associated with immune suppression and a profound LOSS of lymphocytes.

    In this scenario, if Eliza Jane had AIDS, it would mean that A (“HIV”) may cause an increase in B (immune system increase), which leads to C (AIDS-indicator diseases). Despite Gallo’s, Montagnier’s, “HIV” test kit makers, vaccine makers, drug makers, and other AIDS denialist constructions and distortions of the correct “HIV=AIDS” hypothesis, this form of AIDS denialism is perhaps the most insidious and horrifying of all, not only because it threatens both the freedom and Human rights of those accused of being “HIV-positive,” but particularly, because it distorts the “HIV= AIDS paradigm completely in the wrong direction.

    In this scenario,

    A (“HIV”)———————10,800lymphocytes/microliter————PCP, “HIV”———–leads to
    PCP and encephalopathy.

    To address the issue of why absolute lymphocytes versus CD4/CD8 ratios weren’t measured before the coroners were made aware of Christine Maggiore’s (inconsistent) “HIV-positive status,” and before the coroners changed their initial “indeterminate” cause of death, and deemed Eliza Jane an “AIDS statistic,” it is clear that there was no reason for anyone to assume that in Eliza Jane’s case, they were dealing with an immune suppressed individual. Her acute symptoms during her 36-hour death appeared to be due to a hyper-immune reaction to a prescribed drug, and an earache. However, despite the coroner’s failure to provide a CD4+/CD8+ ratio in support of the “AIDS diagnosis,” it should be emphasized that the accuracy of total lymphocyte counts in predicting death due to “AIDS-associated indicator diseases” is considered equal or even superior to measuring the CD4/CD8 ratio (HIV Paediatric Prognostic Markers Collaborative Study. Use of total lymphocyte count for informing when to start antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected children: a meta-analysis of longitudinal data. Lancet. Nov 26;366(9500):1868-74, 2005). Therefore, and despite the fact that an “HIV” test or CD4/CD8 ratios were NOT obtained (by those attributing her death to AIDS after the revised autopsy report was filed some 4 months after the death), absolute lymphocyte numbers WERE obtained at the hospital, and according to “AIDS experts,” are just as predictive of AIDS-related death in children, if not more so. In a recent study of 3917 children, it was reported that:

    “For children older than 2 years, the 12-month risk of death and AIDS increased sharply at values less than 1500-2000 cells per microliter, with little trend at higher values.” (Eliza Jane’s count was 10,800 cells/microliter).

    “Mortality risk was substantially higher at thresholds of total lymphocyte count recommended by WHO than at corresponding thresholds of CD4-cell percentage. When the markers were compared at the threshold values at which mortality risks were about equal, total lymphocyte count was as effective as CD4-cell percentage for identifying children before death…”

    In the context of lymphocyte numbers, and despite occasional and minor discord in “AIDS science meetings amongst the very smartest “HIV=AIDS” leaders about the precise molecular mechanism that explains why low lymphocyte numbers are seen in end-stage “AIDS” patients (is it really “the Gut” stupid, how quickly does “HIV” cause heart disease, or infect neuronal macrophages, kidneys, liver, etc.), “HIV=AIDS” scientists are as certain today that low, rather than high lymphocyte numbers have something to do with full-blown “AIDS,” as they are about gravity being caused by those little graviton particles.

    By attributing Eliza Jane’s death to AIDS, Dr. Moore at the International AIDS conference in Toronto, as well as anyone else maintaining that this little girl died of AIDS, has in effect, “denied the cause of gravity,” because if Eliza Jane had “HIV” and 10,800 lymphocytes/microliter at the time of her death, then A (“HIV”) would have had to have to led to a massive stimulation or overproduction of B (immune cell numbers) (10,800 lymphocytes/microliter rather than 1000 or less), instead of a decrease in B (to a 1000 or less meeting the surveillance definition shown above), to induce C (the PC pneumonia and “HIV” encephalopathy that was missed by the first coroners but determined 4 months later by Dr. Ribe). To assume that “AIDS” is caused by too many lymphocytes, is taking “HIV=AIDS” completely in the wrong direction. AIDS is a disease showing too few lymphocytes, not too many, like cancer.

    Cheers,

    Andrew

  17. #17 Dale
    June 1, 2007

    Hi Andrew,
    I’m a researcher not a medical doctor. However, it seems pretty clear to me that most measurements of lymphocyte counts in children, HIVpositive or otherwise, are not made on those who are hours from death from pneumonia. I don’t think you can conclude much from them.

    I would also note that the PCP was diagnosed based on tests completely independent of lymphocyte counts as was the encephalopathy.

    I would further note that although her symptoms (which you presumably had described to you but didn’t see) sound to you (who are, I note, not a medical doctor) – those symptoms sounded to you like the symptoms described in amoxycillin package inserts. And yet based on the treatments she received as described in the hospital report posted online, the ER personel who actually witnessed those symptoms and who are trained to recognize anaphylatic shock didn’t think her symptoms were due to anaphylaxis.

  18. #18 Adele
    June 1, 2007

    Andrew,
    Someone who would give donations from his own father’s funeral to “Alive and Well Except for Eliza-Jane” is not someone who has anything objective to say on this issue.
    Were you a reputable scientist, i.e. someone who considers the evidence and arrives at a considered conclusion, you would realize that, as discussed on this and other threads, the juvenile immune system does not equate with the adult immune system. In fact, several reports in the scientific literature give examples of children who have died of PCP, as E-J did, with absolute WBC counts similar to hers.
    You are a pathetic shill for Alive and Well and would do best to focus on mountain biking.
    Respectfully,
    Adele
    PS: Just kidding: go to hell, you self-deluded fool.

  19. #19 Adele
    June 1, 2007

    For various reasons, I am not in a good mood or willing to suffer foolishness that risks the lives of other human beings, such as the foolishness of Andrew Manidiotis.
    Sorry, peoples.

  20. #20 David Crowe
    June 15, 2007

    Andrew Maniotis is actually a very serious scientist. Check pubmed to find out how much he’s published recently in the area of cancer, pathology and even virology.
    I find it interesting how high lymphocyte counts lose their value when they don’t support the argument that EJ was immune suppressed! And how the fact that Maniotis donated to Alive & Well disqualifies him from debate. Surely someone can come up with a better response to the high lymphocyte count problem?
    And what about the lack of an HIV test. Do I have to start citing research that shows that p24 antigen tests are very inaccurate? For people who are too lazy to go to:
    http://aras.ab.ca/test-antigen.html

  21. #21 Dale
    June 16, 2007

    Surely someone can come up with a better response to the high lymphocyte count problem? The child was dying. Not in months or weeks or even days, she was hours from death. With PCP in her lungs, HIV p24 in her brain and and HIV positive mother. Show me some literature that says a high lymphocyte count in those circumstances would preclude an AIDS related illness as a probable cause of death and I’ll reconsider my opinion.
    And what about the lack of an HIV test. Do I have to start citing research that shows that p24 antigen tests are very inaccurate? The majority of quotes you link to are to literature suggesting that p24 antigen tests aren’t very sensitive – that the lack of p24 doesn’t mean a patient isn’t HIV positive. I see no quotes indicating that the presence of p24 antigen in the brain (and particularly in a patient with PCP in her lungs) may be due to anything other than HIV