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Nativis Returns

Well, since it’s Friday, I thought I’d quickly revisit one of the favorite companies I’ve written about here: Nativis. You’ll recall that this is the outfit that claimed “photonic signatures” of drugs were as effective as the physical molecules themselves. My comments (and those of the readership here) led to some public exchanges with the company’s chief financial officer, but last I heard of them they had moved out of San Diego and back to Seattle. Readers mentioned that the company was developing some sort of cancer-treatment device based on their ideas.
A couple of alert readers have now sent along links to the latest news. Nativis has produced a device they’re calling the “Voyager”, which is being tested in veterinary applications. Here is a YouTube video from a clinic that’s trying it out. I have no reason to think that the doctor being interviewed is anything but sincere, but I also tend to think that he may not realize just what the opinion of many observers is about the Nativis technology. The veterinarian says things in the clip about how “the healing energy is then emitted to the tumor from this coil” and “The radiofrequency signal is stored on this device and then played, if you will, through this coil, to the tumor itself”.
He does not appear to be misrepresenting Nativis’ claims. I believe that this is the relevant patent application. The first claim reads:

“1. An aqueous anti-tumor composition produced by treating an aqueous medium free of paclitaxel, a paclitaxel analog, or other cancer-cell inhibitory compound with a low-frequency, time-domain signal derived from paclitaxel or an analog thereof, until the aqueous medium acquires a detectable paclitaxel activity, as evidenced by the ability of the composition (i) to inhibit growth of human glioblastoma cells when the composition is added to the cells in culture, over a 24 hour culture period, under standard culture conditions, and/or (ii), to inhibit growth of a paclitaxel-responsive tumor when administered to a subject having such a tumor.”

So yes, we’re apparently still talking about turning a sample of water into a drug by playing some sort of radio frequency into it. And no, I still have no idea how this is physically possible, and to the extent that I understand the company’s explanations, I do not find them convincing. Here’s some more language out of the patent application:

[0151] In one exemplary method, paclitaxel time-domain signals were obtained by recording low-frequency signals from a sample of paclitaxel suspended in CremophorEL™ 529 ml and anhydrous ethanol 69.74 mi to a final concentration of 8 mg/rrtl. The signals were recorded with injected DC offset, at noise level settings between 10 and 241 mV and in increments of 1 mV. A total of 241 time-domain signals over this injected-noise level range were obtained, and these were analyzed by an enhanced autocorrelation algorithm detailed above, yielding 8 time-domain paclitaxel-derived signals for further in vitro testing. One of these, designated signal M2{3), was selected as an exemplary paclitaxel signal effective in producing taxol-specific effects in biological response systems (described below), and when used for producing paclriaxei-specific aqueous compositions in accordance with the invention, also as described below.
[0152] Figs. 9A-9C show frequency-domain spectra of two paclitaxel signals with noise removed by Fourier subtraction (Figs. 9A and 98), and a cross-correlation of the two signals (Fig. 9C), showing agent-specific spectral features over a portion of the frequency spectrum from 3510 to 3650 Hz. As can be seen from Fig. 9C, when a noise threshold corresponding to an ordinate value of about 3 is imposed, the paclitaxel signal in this region is characterized by 7 peaks. The spectra shown in Figs. 9A-9C, but expanded to show spectral features over the entire region between 0-20kHz, illustrate how optimal time-domain signals can be selected, by examining the frequency spectrum of the signal for unique, agent-specific peaks, and selecting a time-domain signal that contains a number of such peaks.
[0153] The time-domain signals recorded, processed, and selected as above may be stored on a compact disc or any other suitable storage media for analog or digital signals and supplied to the transduction system during a signal transduction operation The signal carried on the compact disc is representative, more generally, of a tangible data storage medium having stored thereon, a low-frequency time domain signal effective to produce a magnetic field capable of transducing a chemical or biological system, or in producing an agent-specific aqueous composition in accordance with the invention, when the signal is supplied to electromagnetic transduction coil(s) at a signal current calculated to produce a magnetic field strength in the range between 1 G and 10″8 G, Although the specific signal tested was derived from a paclitaxel sample, it will be appreciated that any taxane-iike compound should generate a signal having the same mechanism of action in transduced form.

I just fail to see how recording “signals” from a drug preparation can then be used to turn water (or water/bubble mixtures, etc., as the patent goes on to claim) into something that acts like the original drug. All the objections I raised in my first post on this company are still in force as far as I’m concerned, and my suggestions for more convincing experimental data are still out there waiting to be fulfilled. Despite various mentions of publications and IND filings when I interacted with Nativis back in 2010, I am unaware of any evidence that has been divulged past their patent filings.
And no, I do not regard patent filings as sufficient evidence that anything actually works – here’s one for a process of reincarnation leading to immortality, for example. Even issued patents have proven insufficient in the past: here’s one for a faster-than-light radio antenna. If Nativis wants to end up in a different bin than those people, they are, in my opinion, taking an odd path to doing so.

96 comments on “Nativis Returns”

  1. Puff the Mutant Dragon says:

    Maybe it’s still too early in the morning for me (7:40 out here), but I really don’t understand the motivations of the vets who are participating in this little high-class swindle. Are they just gullible? dumb? or are they profiting off this too in some way?

  2. spaceman says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    The wavelength of 3510 Hz sound in water is 40.9 cm [(wavelength = velocity/frequency) and the velocity of sound in water is 1435 m/s].
    Fundamentally, Nativis are claiming that 41 cm pressure fluctuations in a fluid (sound waves) are somehow selectively coupling with a molecule whose longest unit cell dimension is 23.8 Angstroms [Ref 1].
    Obviously non-sense.
    [Ref 1]: PNAS 92 (1995) 6920.

  4. Hap says:

    Bunsen’s comment in the Nativis-threatening-Derek-badly post (this) would be relevant here.
    There would have to be unambiguous (and probably copious) data to make me believe that what they have is real, and the way they are going about their work does not enhance their credibility.

  5. DLIB says:

    Not physical…water can not be recorded onto with EM radiation with the intent of replicating the action of a drug in solution. It’s diamagnetic ( magnetic permeability and susceptibility less than 1). So the idea that it could hold a recorded state through a magnetic field is nonsense. RF energy won’t somehow freeze the water into a the shape of the first – third hydration shells…Not physical.

  6. Wile E. Coyote, Genius says:

    Unfortunately, there are occasional quacks among the veterinarians as there are the occasional quacks among the physicians. Sincerely believing this claptrap or having more nefarious motivations doesn’t matter. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, quack, quack, quack…

  7. Pig Farmer says:

    People actually part with real money for this?
    Can I have some too please?

  8. Ben Zene says:

    I believe the AZ in-licensing team are already thinking about making an acquisition. And it’s just a big pharma conspiracy which is keeping the immortality one from being developed too.

  9. My 0.02 says:

    @ Pig farmer,
    It once again proves that there is a sucker born every minute.

  10. bboooooya says:

    Did you ever hear back from the CFO after your (excellent) reply?

  11. Scull says:

    Veterinary medicine seems like the perfect place for Nativis to expand.
    No pesky clinical trials or pharmacists, and who wouldn’t spend themselves near to bankruptcy if their precious little snookums was sick?

  12. DLIB says:

    Ahhh, I hear the voice over for the video has a British accent. That changes everything – It’s physical now 😉

  13. Am I Lloyd peptide says:

    You know what would give credibility to these people? Publishing a paper in Nature on water’s memory. Just like Benveniste who did this and blew away the competition.

  14. Dr. Oz says:

    Tune in to my show tomorrow for a new drug-free therapy the pharmaceutical companies DON’T want you to know about!

  15. Anonymous says:

    One might wish to read the Written Opinion on this application from the EPO. They refused to even examine the claims because, “meaningful assessment of novelty and inventive step cannot be carried out, because the claimed invention contradicts the established laws of physics”. The Examiner even cites Albert Einstein’s Nobel Prize winning paper of 1905 on Brownian motion. He argued, “water molecules of an aqueous medium are in permanent Brownian motion. They do form clusters,” which was one of the allegations made in this POF. Well done Jorg Wilhelm.

  16. Bunsen says:

    #15: It’s great to see people doing their jobs right, but I can’t shake the feeling that a patent examiner referring to Einstein is one of those intra-lab vanity citations.

  17. David Borhani says:

    Why waste time posting on such silliness?

  18. daze39 says:

    This makes some of the claims of apparent “cold fusion” look credible by comparison.

  19. Rube? says:

    To answer Dr. Borhani’s question: “Why waste time posting”, one could argue it is to perform a public service. Nativis has raised millions of dollars despite having founders with no scientific credentials. They are all related to each other and none appears to be a college graduate, unless you count “Chiropractic University” or their “CFO” who is a small town accountant! This all appears to be based on the “Work” of a discredited french researcher. The discussion on this blog in 2010 probably caused many investors to get cold feet or reconsider further backing, so they relocated and came out with a product without a mention of their original “drug” which was coming out in 2010! What happened with that? Those studies? The pending clinical trials? Every “executive” at this “company” and all of their investors are both aware of and reading this blog. I would also imagine it is safe to assume that the family members will use the results of this “study” to raise even more money. So, if you feel this is “hogwash” and are a scientist, why not explain to those of us who are not (in plain English) why this is nonsensical. There is no need to be condescending. Investors and potential patients with no scientific background need your help. I would greatly appreciate someone explaining why this “study” is not valid. The “vet” more or less makes the exact same endorsement of every other drug he is “testing”, including one that claims the Herpes Virus is a cancer cure (after a fashion). Also, is he being paid for this? There are people and dogs out there who are desperate and being introduced to this “Voyager”. They are being given hope and if this is a scam, that is reprehensible. But what if it’s not? Is there any chance this could work? I appreciate whatever input is provided and thank Dr. Lowe for creating this forum.

  20. Joe Loughry says:

    That’s some transduction coil they have in paragraph [0153]. 10 to the 8th gauss is approaching the flux density in the vicinity of a neutron star.

  21. Derek Lowe says:

    #17, David B. –
    It’s true that if I went after every piece of craziness like this that the task would be never-ending. There really is one born every minute, and there’s someone ready to take their money every thirty seconds. But once in a while I like to take something like this on.
    It’s really amazing, for those of us who do real research, how much people are willing to believe. Someone sees some circuit diagrams, some talk of photonics and “low-frequency spectra”, and they figure, hey, sounds good to me, why not? This is what we’re up against when people complain that our drugs are all toxic, that we don’t discover anything anyway (it’s all from the universities), and that we’ve suppressing cancer cures and so on. All these things sound equally plausible to many people. I think it’s worth taking the occasional whack at such stuff and (at the same time) reminding all of us about how far off things can get.

  22. David Borhani says:

    Thanks, Derek. I see your point, and yours as well, Rube? (#19). So, in the spirit of “public service,” I’ll bite!
    @3, the ~3,600 Hz refers to electromagnetic radiation. In other words, low-field NMR. Given the proton’s gyromagnetic ratio, the resonance frequency is 4,258 Hz at their stated highest magnetic field of 1 Gauss.
    3,600 Hz corresponds to a wavelength of ~83 kilometers, i.e. “Longwave radio”, which is useful for long-range communication.
    One obvious issue with the Nativis device (overlooked by all us geeks?) is that radio waves of such a long wavelength require a correspondingly long antenna for efficient detection (hence the US Navy laying out hundreds of miles of cable on the sea floor to communicate with submarines). Yet, the Nativis device fits in the palm of your hand…
    Another issue is that these waves are useful for low-bandwidth data transfer precisely because they are hardly absorbed by water or earth…or people…
    And the last issue is that the energy packed by these longwaves is miniscule: ~2.4E-30 joules/photon, or ~3.4E-7 cal/mol. I don’t see much chemistry happening at these energies.
    So, have real people put money into this company, or is it some kind of tax dodge?

  23. Rube? says:

    3 years ago the “company” claimed to be embarking on “clinical trials” for their “drug”, which apparently was a glass of water with a “signal” played to it. The whole thing seems to be based on the “research” of Jacques (rhymes with Quack) Benveniste. They were eviscerated on blogs such as this after going public and, despite claiming trials were in the works and papers would be released in a few weeks, nothing more was heard about it. Now they have this sort of backpack which they claim beams “healing energy” into the patient. As for being a tax dodge, that will only be the case if the “company” closes. The husband and wife team who run this (despite neither being a college graduate) with the help of their accountant are telling anyone who will listen that the “company” will make billions of dollars any day now. It is a straight greed play. It is amazing they have found people to invest but they must be pretty smooth. They will most likely use the clip of this “vet” to convince more people to part with their money. The shocking part is they are telling people human trials are about to start, apparently in a third world location. If this is true and it is, in fact, fanciful nonsense, one feels for the patients who will be hoping to extend their lives. Whether this is a fraud or not remains to be seen. It could well be that the founders have deluded themselves into believing this works and are just enjoying the ride on the investor dime while the story plays out. However, this doesn’t address the fact that this “vet” says it works. But does one dog being “cured” prove concept? For a layman its hard to tell if the people behind this will end up on “American Greed” or receiving a Nobel Prize.

  24. Mark says:

    I understand why people are skeptical. But I don’t see why people are so confident that it doesn’t work. What if it works?
    I know a couple of the board members. I trust them. They are getting confirmations that the product works.
    First it worked on rodents. Now, it has worked for over 40 dogs.
    What do these people want to see?
    I suppose if a million people were cured by this product, they would still be giving us technical jargon as to why the whole thing is a fraud.
    Did it occur to any critics that they may not have their facts straight?

  25. Mark says:

    Here is some info on Dr. Ogilvie from his website:
    Do you guys think Ogilvie is a fraud, not really a vet at all? Do you think he has been paid off to defraud the world that a false product works?
    Do you think he knows nothing about statistics or cancer?
    As I mentioned, I heard that over 40 dogs have shown remarkable and rapid improvement from the treatment. If he is for real, he surely knows the difference between a random healing and strong statistical evidence that a product works.
    It seems to me here that this has turned into something like the scientists who used to say that it is impossible for bumble bees to fly. They did their homework and proved conclusively that bumble bees cannot fly.

  26. leftscienceawhileago says:

    Not only does the reasoning presented by Natvis in this presentation (and its previous ones) seem to make *any* sense to people knowledge about this sort of thing, their interactions with this blog have clearly demonstrated that they are not proposing sound ideas.
    I don’t think any honest, (generally) consistent common sense reasoning person can believe your statement “worked for 40 dogs”…what is it that worked?

  27. will says:

    @25 – product soon to be approved for prevention and cure of large organ dessication.

  28. Rube? says:

    “Soon to be approved for prevention”. Imagine, the “healing energy” will cure the cancer before it even arrives! Sounds Compelling And Marvelous. “Mark”, I assume you are a Nativis investor (if so, great choice in “handle”). The bottom line is for this to go from “curing” a few rodents and dogs to being approved by the FDA (if it does, in fact, work) will take years and hundreds of millions of dollars (at least). 3 years ago the same claims were being made about the “Digitax” magic water curing brain cancer in humans “breaking the blood brain barrier”. Trials were about to start and papers were going to be released any day! Billions and billions were going to be paid in licensing fees momentarily. Perhaps “Mark” is a new investor and doesn’t remember this. Certainly the “company” doesn’t seem to, it was never mentioned again! Of course that could be because none of the founders have any scientific credentials or education and have never taken a college physics course, let alone had a drug approved by the FDA! Before his foray into pharma, the CEO was a realtor, his wife the COO in retail! They do have a very well respected patent attorney and a clever accountant. The good news for “Mark” and others is, if this does work, every Pharma company and VC will be lining up to get a piece of this, if the current investors just put up a little more cash, it should happen shortly…..

  29. phlogiston says:

    I think “Rube” raises a good point about investing in something when you don’t have the technical knowledge to evaluate the claims presented. I would just say that a good investor only puts money into what they know (like Buffet), or consults experts with no vested interest. This is a very good blog with plenty of unbiased experts. I would simply advise anyone interested in this company to listen to experts (one vet doesn’t count compared to thousands of scientists and the laws of physics).
    I think Nativis and its investors are a symptom of societies general dismissal and lack of trust in experts. People always seem drawn to promises of the fantastic and conspiracy theories to cover it up. It might just be human nature coupled with a serious lack of scientific understanding. I think Derek and other commentators have done a good job in previous posts explaining how Nativis’ claims violate the laws of thermodynamics and chemistry, so I won’t pile on more, except to say that if true, everything we know about science would have to be re-written, hence the severe skepticism by comments on this blog.

  30. razors says:

    Interesting debate? Hard to say. I noticed a new link on their site, to what appears is “their” presentation at the ACS national conference. A former “deep throat” scientist revealed they’re partnered with UCSD, University of Washington, Tristan Technologies in San Diego and Omnica in Irvine and the world organization “Special Care Foundation for Companion Animals”, the SCFCA site says they are one of four science partners, one of the other four is Merial (Sanofi). Looking at their patents, they appear to have many, I don’t think the one mentioned here regarding water is the pertinent one, here. It appears that there are a lot of scientists involved, besides a lot of vets. My source revealed this is MUCH larger than a small biotech company. Who knows!

  31. leftscienceawhileago says:

    Out come the Natvis shills (just like last time!), and make it ultimately clear that they aren’t interested in common sense reason and abundantly clear that they are trying to pull a quick one.
    25. No sane human (which includes all scientists) who understood the english language said that “bumblebees can’t fly” in the simple common interpretation of the phrase. Scientists learned a lot by trying to understand how they do fly, it turns out that there was a lot of very interesting things to learn.
    27. Perhaps I just don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘desiccation’ in the context of cancer in dogs, which usually means “to dry” (remove water). Are you suggesting that Nativis can cure the drying of lage organs in the body?
    30. I sincerely doubt any of that “deep throat” knowledge is at all accurate. Could you provide us with some links to some press releases?

  32. leftscienceawhileago says:

    This is extremely concerning, the ACS presentation site does indeed host a presentation from Nativis:
    The video makes no claims on cancer (AFAICT from a cursory viewing), but makes claims about their instrumentation along with analogies to the Hubble Space Telescope:
    “we have developed a device…[used for looking at the] electromagnetic environment surrounding a solvated chemistry in solution particularly a dipole solution”
    The url association alone detracts from the credibility of the ACS…someone please scream at them and make them aware of the fact that they are hosting and (effectively) endorsing very questionable content on their site.

  33. Jonadab says:

    I don’t see how it could work, but the history of science is full of weird surprises. If the company genuinely believes in their work, let them do some double-blind animal studies. I suspect I know what the results will be, but hey, it doesn’t really matter what I suspect, if I’m not being asked to fund the study. If they *do* get statistically significant results in animal trials, I’m sure they’ll be able to find volunteers for human clinical trials, and it can go from there. Even if they trial doesn’t get the results they were hoping for, the mere fact of conducting it would show them to be genuine. Science wouldn’t develop very quickly if nobody ever tried anything unusual. So yeah, I don’t think it’ll work, but hey, try it and see.
    Now, if they’re unwilling to do actual studies but start trying to sell the technique as if it were already verified, then that would be different. In that case we could regard them as shysters.

  34. emjeff says:

    #19, there are many scientists who would be more than happy to help. However, apart from the fact that this scientific help is probably expected to be provided gratis, what expectation do we have that you will listen?

  35. razors says:

    #31 Well, some basic searches confirm some of “Deep Throat’s” info, some, and found some more: Special Care (under science partners). It would appear their dog studies are spread over three hospitals and appears there are a lot of vets involved. UCSD Moores Cancer Center shows them as a partner on their newsletter. Their science board has some big names on it, PhD’s and MD’s. Their ACS presentation isn’t easy to understand, but I’m not a physicist. It appeared that they’re explaining how they acquire the radio frequency energy. I’m going to spend some time at the USPTO site reading their patents, there are many, too many for this one reader to review. IF, I say IF, these guys are right, it changes everything.

  36. will says:

    sorry i guess i was unsuccessfully trying to be funny – i meant that their product, water, could be useful for hydrating dried out things…

  37. leftscienceawhileago says:

    Their ACS presentation is clearly quackery 35.

  38. Rube? says:

    #35: I don’t think you need to be a physicist to understand the presentation. The author and presenter, “Mike Butters” is not a physicist either, he has no scientific credentials or degree. He is the latest member of this amazing family (and their accountant) who are “revolutionizing medicine” to appear on the scene.
    Scientific “advisors” aside, here is a brief summary of the team who founded this venture and are named on most of the patents, as well as their “credentials”. Forgive me if this is incomplete, I have no “deep throat” source.
    CEO: John Butters. Apparently a former realtor who never attended college and has no scientific credentials or degrees of any kind (perhaps an honorary PHD will be bestowed by one of the institutions they are “working with”).
    COO: Lisa Butters. Former retail sales person at Nordstrom. Wife of John. No college degree of any kind, no scientific credentials.
    CFO: John Kingma. CPA from “Oak Harbor” Washington. No scientific credentials, degree or background of any kind.
    “VP of Signal Tecnhology”. Mike Butters (apparently related to the others but not sure how). Trained as a paramedic. No scientific credentials or degrees of any kind but the closest any one of the “founders” comes to science or medicine. It could be that he is the one who met the person who is apparently the real brainchild for these concepts (perhaps at a Naturopathic convention):
    Jacques (rhymes with Quack) Bevenieste. Simply Google the name to learn all about him! Quite a story.
    These are the people who founded this “company” and created all of the “IP”. That is right, they are the named inventors of virtually all of the “core” patents!
    Truly a remarkable (apparently self taught) family (and their accountant). Changing science forever…

  39. razors says:

    No one here has mentioned this, so I guess I will, although it’s obviously on their website, their patents have been cited by Microsoft, Sumitomo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, UC Oakland, UC Las Alamos, Tektronix, institutes in Japan, etc… I also noted on their site that their citations have very high rankings. Not an easy feat. I don’t know kids, obviously these organizations have studied the Nativis patents.

  40. lt says:

    If their technology works wouldn’t it be the easiest thing in the world to show that is does so by, for example, getting some red cabbage juice and playing the “photonic signature” of some acid or base to it. Just a sealed glass vial inside their magical coil that changes color at the push of a button… Or if they claim that recreating the photonic signature of citric acid, for example, is beyond their technology – then they can do the experiment with an indicator solution of their choice.

  41. razors says:

    Yes Rube, you’re right, we all know this stuff, you’re just regurgatating. At this point I’m more interested in WHAT they’re doing. Seriously, time would be better spent reading their patents and understanding why their patents are being cited, and why the SCFCA, UW, UCSD and others are partnered with them. I don’t believe for a minute that they’ve duped all of these scientists, and the ACS, it just isn’t plausible to think that.

  42. leftscienceawhileago says:

    39 patents or patent citations are not indicators of legitimacy, There are many ridiculous patent claims, as has been pointed out on this blog.

  43. Mark says:

    Yes, we did invest in Nativis years ago. Before that, I had seen a number of people ripped off by investment scams, so I was pretty skeptical of these kinds of private fundraisers. I don’t know the Butters, but I know John Kingma. Not only is John brilliant (don’t let the “small town accountant” label fool you), but, more importantly, I would trust him with my life. I was not investing on theory, but on John’s observation that the product actually works. Regarding another board member who was added later, I would also trust him with my life.
    You haven’t spent your life with these people, so I don’t expect you to have the same level of faith in them.
    42. yes, patents do not prove anything works, that is not the purpose of a patent. But regarding proof and evidence, besides seeing something yourself, the best form of evidence is credible eye witnesses.

  44. Mark says:

    It is nice now that I don’t have to rely just on faith in friends anymore.
    Dr. Ogilvie is very credible, in my opinion. He is far more credible than an unknown group of anonymous skeptics (no disrespect intended).

  45. Bunsen says:

    No, Mark, the best form of evidence is data gathered through sound experimental technique by impartial observers, backed by well tested theory.
    Credible eye witnesses will tell you that Vegas has any number of people capable of slicing live, conscious humans in half and putting them back together. An elementary understanding of anatomy tells us otherwise.
    The principal difference there is that the magicians aren’t selling their shows as medicine, nor are they attempting to defraud investors into letting their money play the starring role in a disappearing act.

  46. PPedroso says:

    I think that Derek has made the best and most clear point of all. Please, show us (or the reg authorities) credible data that this indeed works.
    Posting a video of a Vet, despiste his credibility, is not enough. If you are indeed on to something, please conduct a Phase 2 randomized double-blind study in cancer patients. (you may ask FDA to waive the first time in man studies since I think that there will be no safety issues with your technology)…

  47. razors says:

    Mark and Bunsen are correct, patents don’t provide proof; but patent citations by respected companies and institutions provide credibility, like those listed on their site. Obviously, these companies and institutions have read and studied the subject patents and have used the background and claims to support their own new patents and claims. And, I will say again, I was surprised by the high rankings. Not many achieve that, in all fairness.

  48. leftscienceawhileago says:

    47 you ate wrong. The pupose of patents has very little to do with credibility. Citations are generally overly broad as to maximize patent applicability, the citations lend no credibility to Nativis….
    The fact that they have none is plainly visible to anyone with critical thinking skills.

  49. razors says:

    LOL! None of us are beyond reproach, even Derek Lowe.
    Reactions – Derek Lowe
    18 May 2007 | 04:05 GMT | Posted by Stuart Cantrill |
    “Derek Lowe is a research chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. Despite nearly twenty years of trying, he has yet to put anything on the market, so if you’re looking for a reason for high drug costs, look no further.”
    To funny, a little less time blogging and a little more time at the bench, might be in order. The craziness doesn’t stop.
    Speaking of the bench……………….

  50. Mark says:

    Bunsen 45,
    So, you are suggesting that Dr. Ogilvie is watching a magic show? Who is the magician?
    It is just Ogilvie and his team of veterinarians watching dogs get healed. I didn’t notice any magician in the picture.

  51. razors says:

    leftscienceawhileago; probably wasn’t a bad idea

  52. Anonymous says:

    What I mean is that the ACS team has been testing the product on dogs for many months, while the Nativis people are over 1,000 miles away. The magic show analogy doesn’t fit, at all.

  53. razors says:

    I just read (which I strongly recommend, it’s fun) that Dr. Ogilvie is a Professor at UCSD and is head of the Veterinary Oncology Department.

  54. Anonymous academic says:

    @46: “you may ask FDA to waive the first time in man studies since I think that there will be no safety issues with your technology”
    Perhaps I’m missing the point, but (assuming for the sake of argument that Nativis really has made entire swaths of physics and chemistry obsolete) if the “photonic signatures” of drugs have the same clinical efficacy as the actual drugs, why wouldn’t they have many of the same side effects and safety issues as the real thing? Sure, maybe liver toxicity wouldn’t be an issue, but that’s not the only thing that can go wrong, especially with cancer drugs.
    @49: Derek Lowe isn’t claiming to have overturned decades of well-established theory and experiment. That’s quite a big difference.

  55. PPedroso says:

    @54 I was trying to achieve some degree of irony, since I am not convinced of any therapeutic or toxic effect of this technology. But since english is not my maternal language it seems I failed considerably…

  56. Magic says:

    Don’t forget that ‘it works’ means different things to different people.
    My guess right now is that their device provides some localized heating and that this has some therapeutic benefit. It does not matter what particular element works, it will be something that does not violate physics and chemistry and not at all what they tout.
    All that is left is to propose an outrageous theory, to which all effects are attributed. Disproving that would be extremely difficult and time consuming. Meanwhile, a wonderful controversy has been stirred up (you can’t buy that kind of advertizing said Bill Murry in Scrooged). This will only make those who have already sunk cash in become all the more loyal and simply keep reciting ‘but it works!’.
    What they are trying to get away with, perhaps using Mark, is to use some real but simple effect as the ‘proof’ that their explanation is true.
    Brilliant, 95% scam 5% plausibility. Add loyal acolytes, animal ‘trials’ not human and the ‘inventors’ will laugh all the way to the bank.

  57. leftscienceawhileago says:

    But it isn’t plausible! The ACS hosted presentation is parseable but doesn’t compile as it is meaningless.

  58. Mark says:

    56 Magic,
    A few responses.
    One, I am on my own here, as a volunteer. I have no upside other than the stock I purchased years ago. I have not even talked about Nativis with any of the insiders for months.
    Two, if it really works, how it works is of much less importance.
    Three, if it does work because of photon radiation, this would not “violate physics and chemistry.” There is no law of physics which states that photon radiation has no effects.
    Four, Magic suggests that animal trials are irrelevant. Is that really the case he is making? That is nonsense.
    Five, “laughing all the way to the bank” is misleading. The money raised is used for operating expenses. It is not going into some stash. At best, if it doesn’t work out, the Butters receive a paycheck for a job for a while.
    Actually, the reason I visited this blog is because I was curious to see if anyone here was going to be ‘eating crow’ after seeing Dr. Ogilvie’s very credible testimony.
    Anyway, I guess Magic values his theories in his own mind above what it actually happening out there in the real world. Feel free Magic, it is a free country.

  59. razors says:

    Magic- please read their patents, you greatly discredit yourself by saying they’re heating. They clearly state levels of energy used in their patents; pico and nano Tesla, below heating levels. Does anyone on this site READ? You make yourselves look uninformed and assumptive. Please READ, it’s enjoyable and enlightening! Once you’ve read thoroughly, exhaustively, then make comments, otherwise you’re the pot calling the kettle black.

  60. Sisyphus says:

    Damn that prior art!!!

  61. Mark says:

    I am not a scientist. Rather, I am an analyst. But the story I heard about Einstein is that he didn’t even have a scientific job when he came up with E=mc2. He worked at the patent office. Recent discoveries and proofs at that time paved the way to just using algebra to solve the equations and prove that E=mc2. It wasn’t particularly difficult to calculate, it just required a lot of audacity propose something so preposterous as E=mc2.
    Einstein had very little scientific credibility. He had done poorly in school. What he had was the audacity to believe something that the established scientific community would not even consider.
    Of course, people who excel in school can also make contributions and everyone who fails in school is not destined for greatness.
    My point is that people here assume that the Butters and the John Kingma categorically could not be part of something revolutionary, because they lack the credentials. I suggest to you, where did you get that idea? The more revolutionary an idea is, the MORE likely it is to come from someone outside the establishment.
    As an example, the Saxon math books have been revolutionary in teaching young people math. The school districts that start using the Saxon math books have seen their students’ SAT math scores jump up dramatically. But, so many school districts don’t care about that. They don’t accept the Saxon math books because it is a different approach from what they were taught.
    Saxon himself was never trained as an educator and was naturally bad at math. That is part of the reason his books are so revolutionary and so much more effective. He was never trained to believe that this new approach would not work. This is just one example of many we see. It is human nature.

  62. Derek Lowe says:

    Mark, I think you’ve bought into several common misconceptions about Einstein, and about “outsider” theories in general.
    It’s true that Einstein had no particular scientific standing when he published his first papers. But (for one thing) mass-energy equivalence was not the main thrust of Special Relativity. His biggest proposals were to postulate the invariance of the speed of light (already suggested by the Michaelson-Morely experiment, although opinions differ on how much Einstein was influenced by that result), and the lack of any privileged reference frame. Taken together, those two led to a range of surprising and counterintuitive effects (and I can assure you, it took more than just algebra to arrive at them).
    There are three very important things to realize about Einstein’s theories. For one, they overlaid the accepted physics of the time, rather that flat-out contradicting things. Newtonian physics gave the right answers, said Einstein, unless you got close to the speed of light (or unless, as came out later in General Relativity, you were in a powerful gravitational field). His theory showed how the results everyone got under ordinary conditions were fine, but also how they would start to diverge under more extreme ones. Newtonian mechanics is special relativity for slow-moving stuff.
    The second thing is that Einstein’s new framework directly dealt with some very puzzling things that physics was just coming to grip with (such as the apparent constant speed of light/lack of an “aether” background). And that leads to the third part: Einstein’s theories, led immediately to a wide range of startling but testable predictions. Time dilation and length contraction as you approach the speed of light seemed completely crazy to many people, but as particle accelerators were built, things worked out exactly as planned. General Relativity (eleven years after the 1905 paper) explained things like the odd orbital motion of Mercury, and made even more testable claims. One of these, the bending of light by a strong gravity field, was confirmed in 1919 during a solar eclipse. Many of the rest had to wait for modern instrumentation, in both physics and astronomy, but so far every single detail has held up, rock-solid.
    My point is that Einstein unified a number of seemingly different observations under one solid theoretical framework, explained a number of open puzzles, and (most importantly) made predictions. Einstein himself noted that his theory could be demolished in an instant should any of these experiments go the other way.
    Contrast this to Nativis. Although their proposed mechanism of action contradicts a number of established physical theories, they offer no framework of their own, simply pointing to a number of not-very-well-shored-up theories from others. But more importantly, they have not run the sorts of experiments that anyone should have run. I’ve detailed some of those, and so have commenters here. These are simple in vitro experiments, nowhere near as complicated as animal (or human!) trials. Having them actually work would shut up people like me (and my readers) faster than anything else. Publishing the results of such experiments and allowing others to duplicate these effects would create an absolute sensation. I (and people like me) would be left gasping for air. But it hasn’t happened. Years have gone by now, and it hasn’t happened.
    I admire people for being willing to believe things that others find unbelievable – but only if they’re willing to act on those beliefs and convince their doubters. I myself have not come down on Nativis nor its personnel for any lack of scientific credentials – I’ve come down on them because they’ve followed up difficult-to-believe assertions with nothing that makes me think that they have anything real.

  63. PPedroso says:

    I totally agree with the last 2 paragraphs of Derek’s response.
    But if Nativis intends to skip the in vitro easier/simpler step, since they already have a gadget to work with. Why don’t Nativis challenge Dr. Ogylve to conduct a randomized, double blind trial in dogs. Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria, Both arms receiving standard cancer care and also the new tech and then have Dr. Ogylve check if there are any differences between both arms. In the LA population I am sure that subjects will be by the dozens and if this is done correctly it could easily be published in some veterinary publication and pave the way (with investment) for pre-clinical tox package and then humans.
    The most difficult part is to have something that really works with no tox/pk issues. If you at Nativis Bubble of owners/investors/believers truly think this works it will be just a matter of time until you can prove it.
    However, if it indeed does not work, please say something also so that we may once again slump our shoulders and get back to real life in the bench or at the clinical site doing what we can to get something half as effective as your “technology”.

  64. NJBiologist says:

    @25 Mark–That’s interesting. Ogilvie’s bio on the California Veterinary Specialists web page does indeed list a UCSD connection. However, the Moores Cancer Center is a human treatment program; they do not have a veterinary division. And the faculty/physician directory does not list Dr. Ogilvie.

  65. Mark says:

    I appreciate your thoughts on Einstein. You seem to agree with my basic point about Einstein and Saxon.
    I think that Dr. Ogilvie’s testimony does constitute real evidence. I can understand you wanting to see the specifics, but that does not mean that there is no evidence at all.
    It is my understanding that Nativis has done all kinds of testing over the years that shows that the process works: in vitro, mice, and other kinds of tests. However, I don’t have the knowledge base to argue about it here. We can wait and see what happens.

  66. razors says:

    Be careful Derek, you’re beginning to look like the reigning king of assumptions. By the way, is this what you do all day?LOL! I read and I dig, for information. My source is a former scientist there, a credible source. The source says they spent 10 years performing in vitro tissue studies and in vivo mouse studies at 3 CRO’s, and have now moved to canine clinical trials. Go to Also discovered, they’ve spent millions and millions and millions filing their patents in 34 countries. My source said this is much, much bigger than a small biotech company.

  67. Paul says:

    My background is in microfluidics and I’m admittedly lacking in biology and receptor theory, etc. But I do know something about surface charge at the molecular interface and the dynamics of hydrated materials. There has been some evidence that oscillating, low frequency, extremely weak magnetic fields can drive charge above tunneling thresholds in hydrated protein, which I suppose could theoretically result in a biologic response. I would assume the field vectors would be anything but linear, and the complexity of driving such a charge would be daunting. And then, how would you apply a field in such a way to make it specific only to a single pathway.
    (Now, the real reason I’m writing:) As to the question of cell based or cell free in vitro work, a former colleague worked in the same building where the Nativis lab was located in La Jolla. It’s been 3 or 4 years since I talked with her, but she did mention the company and knew a couple of their biologists. It sounded like a typical wet lab. My impression (as inaccurate as it might be) it was all in vitro. I don’t recall her saying anything about a vivarium or animal work. I’ve looked at a couple of the Nativis filings and found this one; US20100244818 A1 Title: APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TRANSDUCING AN IN VITRO OR MAMMALIAN SYSTEM WITH A LOW-FREQUENCY SIGNAL. It shows several in vitro (?) setups and appears to show some results (poor quality copies). So, it looks like they are doing or have done pre-animal work.
    The last thing I’d like to add regards skepticism versus cynicism, especially when something sounds so impossibly radical. Good science depends on rational skepticism and the synthesis it leads to. I would simply caution against crossing into cynicism, which leads to nothing. Aside from our well-reasoned doubt, we don’t have enough information to characterize the company or its science. I hope, for all our sakes, Nativis gets something into the journals soon. This is driving us nuts!

  68. Derek Lowe says:

    #66 razors:
    And my source, John Butters, CEO of Nativis, told me back in the summer of 2010 that the company planned an IND in the fall of that year, and submissions to peer-reviewed journals by the end of the year. He said that he was looking forward to “shortly” starting human trials with two major West Coast oncology centers. ( and Hasn’t happened.

  69. Paul says:

    NJBiologist.. Greg Ogilvie shows up on Moores Cancer Center’s own website.
    You just need to read past the front page.

  70. leftscienceawhileago says:

    Indeed no one has really commented on the fact that an (apparently) legitimate veterinarian (affiliated with a reputable institution) is associated with this scam.
    It seems clear that he fully endorsing the Nativis. Very scary and confusing for patients…I hope he gets called out for it at UCSD; perhaps a student paper might pick up the story.

  71. leftscienceawhileago says:

    It might just be poor interpretation, but I can find multiple links where Ogilvie seems to be pushing the common misinterpretation of the Warburg hypothesis (“cancer loves sugar”), e.g:
    I’d hate to punish him for someone else’s interpretation, but I can find multiple links saying the same thing. His role with Nativis might be consistent with this sort of thinking.

  72. razors says:

    Dear Leftscienceawhileago, We can all see why. Stop the cynacism and read. Anyone who can read can see that Dr. Ogilivie is a highly respected veterinary oncologist.

  73. NJBiologist says:

    @69 Paul: OK, I stand corrected (although I’m still not sure why they’d set him up as a division head but leave him out of the directory at http ://

  74. leftscienceawhileago says:

    72, between the nativis video and the link I posted it is becoming clearer to me that he is not widely respected.

  75. razors says:

    Are you people for real?? Greg Ogilvie DVM, PhD; Division Director, Division of Veterinary Oncology, UCSD. Look it up nitwit! You say he’s not respected; get offline and go back to sucking your thumb, while you contemplate the vast empty spaces in your head.

  76. Anonymous says:

    @ razors
    Wow, Lisa (Nativis) your tone lacks class, intelligence and integrity. Calm down.

  77. razors says:

    Well, last time I checked, I’m not a woman, nor at Nativis. Are you drinking heavily?
    Paul- thank you for bringing some intelligence to this blog.

  78. VC Attorney says:

    They laughed at Einstein.
    They laughed at the Wright Brothers.
    They also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
    Speaking of laughing, I’ll bet the patent attorneys at Perkins Coie and King & Spalding who filed the patent applications things were laughing their asses off at Nativis (although probably not directly to their faces, because even companies with fake science can pay real money).

  79. TimGeithner says:

    @VC. I assume VC in your case is referring to very challenged?
    As facts would have it, one of the very firms you mention actually has invested in Nativis.
    The patent lawyers don’t strike me as the laughing type…but I can imagine they now have hundreds of thousands of reasons to smile!
    Bam! That just happened.

  80. VC Attorney says:

    It’s not uncommon for law firms to invest in their clients for the sake of ensuring they’ll stay in the client’s good graces and that the client will keep paying the firm’s fees … but remember, the firm is investing with YOUR money (that is, a portion of the fees you pay them – firms simply look at this as a cost of doing business to keep the income stream coming).
    That said, I’d be curious what VC firms have invested in your company – law firms are one thing because they’re investing with your money and are trying to keep you happy, but VC’s invest with their LPs’ money and have a a much more critical eye on the technology and management, so it would be a much better gauge of your legitimacy. Is there a single reputable VC fund that has invested in your company? My guess is no because they would recognize this silliness for what it is. Considering you’ve already divulged that either Perkins or K&S is an investor (which I’m sure they’ll love to hear!), then if you won’t tell me then it’s not because of any confidentiality restrictions. On the other hand, if the answer is “no” because you don’t want VC financing right now, then I call BS because you’re clearly more than willing to take money from individuals like “Mark” in private placement financings (and it’s much easier for scammers to get money from people who “would trust them with their life” than it is from someone who has an objective view of the technology and the management team’s acumen).
    If the answer is yes then, well, I can’t wait to hear who it is so I can talk with them about this exciting “technology” of yours!

  81. Anonymous says:

    I think it is not pedantic to remind everyone that there are enormous differences between and published patent application, which is what Nativis seems to have, and a patent. You can put pretty much anything into an application and can file the most outrageous claims. Other than blocking other people, theses claims gives one little in the way of legal rights. To paraphrase Bill Klem, “a claim ain’t nothing until a primary patent examiner allows it”.

  82. Sciguy says:

    @81, True enough, but even a brief search of Nativis and its previous names/incarnations shows multiple patents issued – not simply applied – by the USPTO and foreign patent offices. Are people piling on this comment stream without even the slightest personal due diligence? It seems so.
    I don’t understand what Nativis is doing, a trait I share with all of you. However, my skepticism does not exceed the threshold of outright anger, cynicism, and malice that many of you have long ago crossed. I don’t see well-intentioned skepticism here, of the variety that grounds our disciplines. After reading back across two years of blogs and comments I see something that comes uncomfortably close to simple hatred. These Nativis people have wronged you how?

  83. lt says:

    @82 “These Nativis people have wronged you how?”
    They are indirectly denying new treatment options to patients by directing funds and attention away from projects that actually have some hope of success. To but it bluntly: they are killing people and one of them might end up being me. Of course they might even actually not be capable of realizing that what they have does not work any better than a placebo, but I’m extremely sceptical about that…

  84. leftscienceawhileago says:

    It is easy enough to suffer at the hand of disease with all the knowledge in the world; no one should suffer at that hand while it is being supported by wilful ignorance, contemptuous deciet and unchecked greed.

  85. Anonymous says:

    @85 beautiful

  86. SkeptVet says:

    Just to offer a perspective on the subject of Dr. Ogilvie’s credentials, he is certainly a fully qualified and well-respected veterinary oncologist. Unfortunately, he is also quite sympathetic to implausible therapies. He has, for example, been a regular featured speaker at meetings of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, which promotes all manner of pseudoscientific nonsense. So while I respect Dr. Ogilvie and follow his guidance on many subjects, I fear he is a victim of something like the Nobel Disease, and the implicit argument from authority Nativis makes in recruiting him as a champion lends no real credibility to their claims for their product.

  87. leftscienceawhileago says:

    Thanks for your viewpoint here.
    I have to admit, I’m having trouble understanding why Ogilvie is respected. He seems to be repeating the common misinterpretation of Warburg regarding sugar.
    To my knowledge, no one has ever recommended lower sugar intakes (other than to cut weight) as effective cancer prevention or therapy. Am I misunderstanding something?

  88. Mark says:

    84 It,
    Your response makes no sense. If you agree with the critics who believe that Nativis has no science expertise and has deluded a gullible veterinarian with a bogus scheme, there is no way that these guys are being distracted from coming up with a real solution to cancer. The money is coming from their friends, who would not be investing in cancer research otherwise.
    If it doesn’t work, the downside is the loss of investors’ money. But, are these critics really that worried about it? I doubt it.
    The #82 question still stands: Why do these guys have an axe to grind?
    If Nativis does work, a lot of companies and people are going to lose a lot of money (that they used to get from people dying of cancer). I can only guess that these critics have some connection to these potential losers, or they just get some kind of pleasure from being a cynic.

  89. Mark says:

    84 It,
    Your response makes no sense. If you agree with the critics who believe that Nativis has no science expertise and has deluded a gullible veterinarian with a bogus scheme, there is no way that these guys are being distracted from coming up with a real solution to cancer. The money is coming from their friends, who would not be investing in cancer research otherwise.
    If it doesn’t work, the downside is the loss of investors’ money. But, are these critics really that worried about it? I doubt it.
    The #82 question still stands: Why do these guys have an axe to grind?
    If Nativis does work, a lot of companies and people are going to lose a lot of money (that they used to get from people dying of cancer). I can only guess that these critics have some connection to these potential losers, or they just get some kind of pleasure from being a cynic.

  90. Lisa says:

    Let me start by admitting I am no physicist, nor am I a veterinarian. I am a rescue for geriatric, special needs and hospice dogs. Dr. Ogilvie has treated one of my foster dogs and two of my mother’s dogs in the past through Angel Care and the Murrieta office of CVS. We currently have a dog (pug) who has had three Mast Cell tumors removed in the past, the last with “dirty” margins and has now grown a new tumor. We are applying to have this dog entered into the trial.
    I will be happy to keep you all updated as to any costs involved, whether our dog is accepted and if so, what outcome we have. I am in no way related to, invested in or know personally anyone with Nativis. The only way I became acquainted with CVS and Dr. Ogilvie was when we were referred to them by our primary veterinarian for specialized care.

  91. SciGuy says:

    @90, I think the answer to the question “Why do these guys have an axe to grind?” can be found in this simple observation:
    In the Pipeline has become the 4chan of the pharma blog community. It certainly didn’t start out there, but even a blind fool can see what has happened to this blog, and this community, over time. Derek himself seems to try to remain “above the fray” but he clearly caters to the lowest common denominator. Look at the unbridled cynicism, malice, spite, and mean-spirited elitism that dominates his posse of regular commenters. There’s a substantial difference between what In the Pipeline has become, and what In Vivo, PharmaGossip, and others still are.
    It’s sad, because Derek has a real talent for the kind of off-the-cuff blogging that makes commentary about this industry approachable.

  92. leftscienceawhileago says:

    are you sure you are reading the aame blog I am?

  93. Mrs. Anonymous BMS Researcher says:

    If any pet-guardian is bereaved through lack of Nativis efficacy, I hope Nativis decision makers dream of being hunted across glaciers by snow leopards.

  94. Nativiponsi says:

    Unfortunately for our community, the whimsical information passed on by the Nativis CFO, John E. Kingma, to garner dollars for funding will eventually be the grease that skids him out of town. For someone who claims a “strong faith”, high morals and credibility, he is really nothing more than the next snake oil con who lives under the motto his mama taught him….”people are basically stupid….”
    Someday you’ll be sitting at the breakfast table drinking your orange juice and you’ll moment will come. Which way you going John E. Kingma??

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