To all our Subscribers, Colleagues, & Friends:
In 1999, we launched something new in financial research and analysis: An organization committed to independence, transparency, and plain speaking. While "independence" and "transparency" are at least talking points 15 years later, back in 1999 they were new concepts.
People really didn't know what to make of us at first. To be honest, we're not completely sure people EVER knew what to think of us. Were we analysts or media? Wall Street insiders or outsiders? We admit one of our guility pleasures over the last 15 years was watching how management teams, reporters, and Wall Street types categorized us.
On December 31, 2013, we closed BSR. Alan continues to be a standard-bearer for independent research at BioWatchNews.com. David moved over to a venture capital/buy side startup.
The easy part of writing this letter is to know who to thank first: The thousands of Subscribers we've had over the past 15 years. You sent us money trusting that while we'd not always be right, we'd always be honest in our opinions. We cannot overstate how seriously we took the fact you trusted us to be, in fact, independent. We were offered large sums of money over the years to depart from our core values, but we always resisted. As we often joked as we tallied up our revenues each year, BSR was often more a crusade than a business. David's wife Donna has to be next, given she laid out every issue of Biotech Monthly on tight deadlines.
Figuring out who to thank after that is tougher, largely because there are so many to thank. In no particular order: Luke Timmerman for staying on the story long enough to produce "Selling Drug Secrets" with David Heath for the Seattle Times. Adam Feuerstein for being a consistent sounding board and for persuading us to join Twitter. Mike Huckman for putting us on CNBC multiple times, including unforgettable appearances just before Dendreon's 2007 FDA panel and again at AUA before the Provenge IMPACT data. Dr. David Urdal for teaching us about immunotherapy. Wendy Waldsachs Isett from AUA, who is the very definition or a PR pro. Todd Harrison from Minyanville.com for not only demonstrating nice guys can survive on Wall Street, but providing the confidence we did actually know what the hell we were talking about. William Meehan, who we lost on 9/11, for kind words exactly when we needed them and for proving the best approach to fame is to not take yourself too seriously.
We'd also like to thank the management teams from the companies we covered. We learned something from all of you and we appreciate the answers you provided to our sometimes left-field questions. We especially appreciate those management teams who reacted to our criticisms professionallly. Even more important than the management teams are the IR pros at these companies. Many have become personal friends over the years. We know full well the reason many management teams called us back when they really didn't want to was because of you.
With that, it's time for BSR to ride off into the sunset...
With Sincere Thanks and Everlasting Gratitude,
David Miller & Alan Leong
December 31, 2013