Tracking An Old And Mangy Stray Cat: Fred Hassan Has Joined Intrexon’s Board

It’s been a minute since we’ve run a Google News search on Fast Fred’s name. This turned up, as of June 30, 2016. I mark it almost solely to keep a complete record. I have no interest in following this company, or its struggles to find a profitable line of business. [It does look like Warburg Pincus — where Mr. Hassan still serves in some managing director role — has or had an investment in it, though. Its past apparently includes relationships with both Halozyme and Ziopharm. ‘Nuff said.]

From the IPO prospectus “Risk Factors” then, a bit:

. . . .Our technologies involve the use of synthetic biologically engineered products or synthetic biological technologies. Public perception about the safety and environmental hazards of, and ethical concerns over, genetically engineered products and processes could influence public acceptance of our technologies, products and processes. If we and our collaborators are not able to overcome the ethical, legal and social concerns relating to synthetic biological engineering, products and processes using our technologies may not be accepted. These concerns could result in increased expenses, regulatory scrutiny, delays or other impediments to our programs or the public acceptance and commercialization of products and processes dependent on our technologies or inventions. The ability of our collaborators to develop and commercialize products, or processes using our technologies could be limited by public attitudes and governmental regulation.

The subject of genetically modified organisms has received negative publicity, which has aroused public debate. This adverse publicity could lead to greater regulation and trade restrictions on imports of genetically altered products. Further, there is a risk that products produced using our technologies could cause adverse health effects or other adverse events, which could also lead to negative publicity.

The synthetic biological technologies that we develop may have significantly enhanced characteristics compared to those found in naturally occurring organisms, enzymes or microbes. While we produce our synthetic biological technologies only for use in a controlled laboratory and industrial environment, the release of such synthetic biological technologies into uncontrolled environments could have unintended consequences. Any adverse effect resulting from such a release could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition, and we may have exposure to liability for any resulting harm. . . .

Looks like this one is right up Fast Fred’s alley. Ethically ambiguous (at best) — and not particularly profitable. Indeed. Onward.

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