How Did Vivek Ramaswamy Get Rich?

Portfolio Armor's Photo
by Portfolio Armor
Friday, Aug 11, 2023 - 1:37
Vivek Ramaswamy
Vivek Ramaswamy making his pitch to Jim Cramer. 

Submitted via Portfolio Armor: 

Meet The New Number Two 

In our previous post (Tim Scott's Shady Campaign Spending), we looked at some anomalous spending on shell companies by the GOP candidate currently in 3rd place in Iowa and New Hampshire, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. 

As we wrote there, Scott is worth paying attention to because he has been mooted as a possible Trump running mate. The same is true of rising star Vivek Ramaswamy, who just climbed past Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to become the second most popular GOP Presidential candidate after Donald Trump.

Unlike DeSantis, Ramaswamy has proved to be an excellent campaigner, and apparently, the more GOP voters see of him, the more they like him. But a recent analysis of his pharma career raises some questions about him. 

Making Money Marketing A Failed Alzheimer's Drug 

The video below, by Kevin Paffrath, details how Vivek Ramaswamy made money off of a failed Alzheimer's drug. In a nutshell: 

  1. Ramaswamy's parent company (Roivant) spent $5 million (a tiny amount, by biotech standards) buying the rights to a drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease from GSK, plc (the former GlaxoSmithKline) that had failed four out of four clinical trials, and formed a subsidiary company around it called Axovant.  
  2. Ramaswamy's mother (a physician) took one of the failed clinical trials and reinterpreted it, by eliminating patients who didn't stay with the trial (because of side effects, the drug not working, or whatever), claiming there was some statistical benefit to the drug. 
  3. Ramaswamy brought Axovant public, raising $362 million in its IPO, for a drug Paffrath claims Ramaswamy knew would fail its stage three clinical trial. 
  4. The drug failed, and Axovant (now called Sio Gene Therapies) is down 99.75% from its IPO. 

Ramaswamy's Team Responds

On X (Twitter), Ramaswamy's deputy communications director Stefan Mychajliw responded to Kevin Paffrath's video with the post below. 

Kevin Paffrath Strikes Back

In response to Vivek's staffer's tweet, Paffrath posted another video, 

But the gist of it is this slide, pointing out that Vivek's deputy comms director didn't respond to any of Paffrath's substantive claims, and instead just made ad hominem attacks on Paffrath. 

It will be interesting if an increasingly desperate DeSantis brings this up at the first GOP debate, but given the incompetence of DeSantis's campaign team so far, I doubt they even know about this. 

In Case You Missed It

On our trading Substack, we placed an options trade on another under-the-radar energy company, after our recent success with Evolution Petroleum (EPM). 

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