One of the things I found most peculiar working in the financial services was the culture of the workers themselves. Many of them are very intelligent people indeed. Lawyers, accountants, bankers, highly trained through Universities. Very privileged people. By and large, they hate their jobs. The jobs are boring, repetitive, stupid, but the money is fantastic. They know that the work they do is without worth. They don't create value in any economic sense of that term.Ms. Huber was a biochemist turned financial analyst who walked away from her financial job to use her science education to fight an evil she uncovered while analyzing the statistical analysis of Dendreon. She measured the measurements, something we see missing in the Cargo Cults of Biopharma. What she found was a concerted effort to hide possible harmful effects and spin the data to fit the narrative that originated this drug discovery project. The first rule we must have when working in medicine (even though we're not M.D.s) is "do no harm". The courage to question Dendreon and the FDA, give up a high paid job, and offer up a scientific argument for all to scrutinize was a breath of fresh air. Not everyone saw it that way.
The SEC, the agency who could not find much of any wrongdoing on Wall Street throughout the economic meltdown the nearly crippled the world economy, felt the Ms. Huber had crossed a line. Read their report here. They fined Ms. Huber $25,000 for her attempts at influencing a lower stock price for the purpose of profiting by shorting the stock.
We at the CCS are not concerned with matters in the trade of biotechnology stocks. Ms. Huber and Jess Jones maneuvers to turn a profit off of the bad science of Dendreon does not diminish the science behind Ms. Hubers analysis of Provenge. In her own words to Pharmalot:
The SEC has used up their time and effort to correct Ms. Huber. I'm sure this was easier than digging into Goldman Sachs misleading statements to investors whom they encouraged to go long on stocks they were shorting. Who influenced the SEC to take up this small time issue? Perhaps Ms. Huber did practice the art of deception in her financial occupation. This is possibly a fair decision and fine. If only the scientific community had the same"stick-to-it" attitude of the scorned investment community, perhaps we would revisit the effects of Provenge. Did Dendreon practice the art of deception in their scientific work? Most importantly, has the recent introduction of Provenge to the medical community altered the mortality rate of prostate cancer patients.