Viet Ly // Ep 53 // Taking a Biotech Company to IPO and Developing Gene Therapies for Cancer & Diabetes
Welcome to Episode 53 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Viet Ly on this week's episode.
We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
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Graduate of the University of Washington Foster Business School in 2000, with a Business Administration degree in finance and marketing. Viet has over twenty years of experience in investing/trading, venture capital, market forecasting, and business development. Viet helped build a gene therapy biotech company Genprex and take it to IPO on Nasdaq in 2018. Viet is passionate about the global markets, building businesses, marketing, emerging technology and biotechnology. He loves spending time with his family with three young children, having a beer with friends, watching movies, and playing contact flag football.
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Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan.
And my name is Maggie
And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals.
We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
Maggie: (00:00:23) Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Asian hustle network pod trust today. A very special guest. His name is VLE via is a graduate of the university of Washington foster. That’s a school in 2000 with a business administration degree in finance and marketing. Viet has over 20 years of experience in investing, trading, venture capital market forecasting and business development. Viet helped build a gene therapy, biotech company, gen products. And take it to IPO on NASDAQ in 2018 via his passionate about global markets, building businesses, marketing, emerging technology, and biotechnology. He loves spending time with his family with three young children, having a beer with friends, watching movies and playing contact black football. Viet. Welcome to the show.
Viet: (00:01:06) Thank you. Thanks for having me guys. I’m excited. I love Ahn. So this is great.
Maggie: (00:01:13) Awesome. So let’s jump right into it via. Tell us about your upbringing, where you came from, what or who has shaped your into the person that you are today.
Viet: (00:01:21) All right. Uh, my name is Viet Ly and I’m a second generation Vietnamese American. I’m a venture capitalist and investor from Seattle. My father was new in the lead, the top gun and captain of the South Vietnamese air force during the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam war. He flew over 700 missions and never was shot down or lost a wing man. And was the number one fighter pilots supporting South Vietnamese troops and us troops. He was trained by the us air force in America and was so talented that military asked him to. Stay in the U S but he declined. And instead to chose, uh, back, uh, chose to go back to Vietnam, to fight for his country. Uh, my mom was from Saigon and both left Vietnam for America during the end of the war. Um, our family was born from war, but, uh, we always say that we are now. All peacemakers. Uh, we raised in buckle, Tia, Washington, a suburb of Seattle in a mostly white affluent neighborhood. Uh, my mother was a total tiger mom, very strict disciplinarian, and basically taught us all the mathematics through algebra before kindergarten. So school was very easy for us. Um, my father was always supportive of my business ideas and investing and really helping fund my, uh, investing start. Uh, my parents owned an Asian food Mark. Uh, market. Uh, so I got to learn about business growing up. I graduated from the university of Washington business school with a finance and marketing concentration and started trading stocks and options at, at 18. And this is like late mid nineties, you know, uh, early twenties, two thousands. And that did extremely well. How was up 2000% back to back years in 2004, 2005, almost winning the $1 million, uh, CNBC stock portfolio challenge twice. Let’s go both times turning 1 million to 3 million in two months. Um, and then our focus area was on cancer biotech, uh, with my biotech analyst brother, um, uh, who was a big part of my success too. Uh, so we saw the rise of Avastin Tarceva Erbitux Nexavar uh, so when I was 16, my best friend’s mom passed away from ovarian cancer. And that shook me up big time. You know, I made a promise to myself to destroy cancer if I could, as ridiculous as that may sound and ultimately found that investing in biotech and developing cancer therapies was that outlet, which ultimately led to, uh, ultimate led me to gen pracs. So around 2010, we started focusing on, uh, investing in the private markets. And we started investing in brand named private companies, uh, which we project to go to IPO. So we started investing in Facebook, starting at like $30 a share Twitter. Uh, we invest in Airbnb starting in 2009, uh, 2013 at around $5 share and a space X in 2015 at around 11 billion valuation. And now it’s. Near 50 billion. Wow. But my greatest accomplishment to date, uh, though, is helping build, invest and take public via NASDAQ IPO with gen pracs, our gene therapy company, based in Austin, in Texas. You know, I helped the CEO, Rodney and the team team with strategy financing and developing our cancer gene therapy for, um, uh, MD Anderson and also our potential gene therapy cure for diabetes from the university of Pittsburgh. So, um, you know, uh, what shaped me and, uh, and who shaped me to the person I am today, uh, outside of my dad, Bruce Lee was like my big role model growing up. I think a lot of people, a lot of Asians, uh, you know, Bruce Lee was their, their main guy and cool story I chose to go to UDaB because of Bruce Lee, who grew up in Seattle and also went to UDaB and today my sister, DM Lee, uh, who proves. Previously was the chief editor of the international examiner in Seattle. The nation’s largest Asian newspaper is really good friends with Shannon and Linda Lee, uh, Bruce Lee’s family. So, uh, so that’s always, you know, that’s really cool. Um, you know, how has that translate to Mexican success? Um, My father and Bruce Lee both made me think big. I mean, thinking real big, you know, um, curing cancer and diabetes saying that is just crazy. But if you, if I didn’t know any better, you know, I don’t really know what’s impossible, you know? No one’s telling me that I cannot be done or I’m not encumbered by other people’s doubts. And I love that. And I, you know, if I was, I wouldn’t even try it. Right. Um, so, uh, what I do is I try to find solutions on my own research and I don’t look for industry approval. Um, and the established biotech industry looks at us as a threat. So, you know, uh, I don’t look. Towards them, you know, um, you know, we’re, we’re seeking greatness. We really are. We want to make history.And if we cure diabetes and some cancers with our gene therapies, that would be a great beginning. And I believe, you know, Jen practices, the Tesla biotech and that, uh, we’re a major biotech disruptor, and we’re going to show it this year with a new upcoming data, uh, from our cancer trials. So I’m really excited about that.
Bryan: (00:06:11) Wow. Thank you for all of that information. We need to take a while to digest all of that real quick. What’s your fast dive back into, you know, we’re sleeping your inspiration, Seattle and growing up in pretty predominantly white area. What was your view on Asian identity growing up? Like, do you view yourself as, or did you ever feel like you stuck out so much that you need to fit in?
Viet: (00:06:38) Yes. I try to fit in, I mean, I hated my name. I hate it. You know, I just want it to be another, just a regular kid, you know, going to school, but, uh, Over time as I grew older, I totally embraced it. You know, as a kid, you just want to be just like everyone else that basically, but, and as you grow older, you want to be differentiated from everyone else. You know what I mean? Right. What makes you special? Right. And so, uh, later in my life, yeah, I just, I embraced my Vietnamese heritage and, uh, but it wasn’t always that way, you know, uh, having a tiger mom, uh, made it difficult too, but, uh, you know, um, Uh, it’s, it was an experience, um, that, uh, I just had, and it really shaped who I was. It really made me competitive because, you know, my tiger mom would tell me, Oh yeah, you’re, you know, against the world, you know, like everything, like you’re, you gotta fight for everything. Like, and so it made me just super ultra competitive in a lot of respects, um, which is sometimes bad. You know, it’s like, uh, you don’t have to compete on everything. You know, you can work as a team and, and really it’s about love and, you know, loving other people and learning to love other people. So I grew, um, I also grew spiritually and, and that also is, yeah, it’s very important to, uh, so, you know, um, So that’s, that’s, uh, that’s you know, how, um, uh, growing up, uh, uh, you know, that’s how I, my identity was formed as an eight.
Bryan: (00:08:01) I love that. I love that journey that you went through. I feel like a lot of us are going through that journey to where we grew up was little Asian, and now we are we’re old heritage, you know, and out of curiosity, too, like, you know, you started investing into stocks and options at such a young age. You’ve found success like. What was that transition over into like entrepreneurship and in practice, I want to hear more about gen PRX. So how’d you meet how’d you be involved company and congratulations on taking it to IPO.
Maggie: (00:08:31) I mean, not like I know he talked about the inspiration behind John Price, but talk about, you know, how it has grown over the years.
Viet: (00:08:43) Oh, totally. I got it. I got it. I got you some. Okay. Um, what inspired me to start my business was truly helping save lives and improving the lives around the world from these devastating diseases and save people that we love. You know, like, uh, my best friend’s mom was a reason. I, I really focus on cancer. And, uh, and so, you know, two years ago I learned about my friend’s father who passed away from type two diabetes after having his arms and legs amputated. You know, after my research, I discovered that diabetes affects. 35 million Americans and as a health crisis outside with COVID-19, it’s like the number two right now. Um, when including, uh, prediabetic Americans, it affects, you know, one in every three people in the U S you know, diabetes, healthcare related costs in the U S uh, reaches almost 300 billion a year. Right. And could you imagine just wiping that cost off of the healthcare system, could you imagine impacting the healthcare premiums and the removal of stress to the healthcare system? Right. There’s estimates that diabetes affects over half a billion people around the world. So when I say that, you know, gen pracs could ultimately save hundreds of millions of lives. I’m not kidding. You know, this is, this has inspired me to look for a new undiscovered gene therapies for diabetes. And so after lots of research months and months of research, uh, that is when in 2018, I discovered Dr George Getty’s, Harvard alum and inventor genius, uh, Dr. Uh, and his diabetes gene therapy at the university of Pittsburgh medical center. And immediately I reached out to him and talk to him and brought him on board, helped them develop the program, uh, partner in licensed with Jen pracs, along with the help from our CEO, Rodney, and the team. And, uh, you know, so the drug works by delivering two proteins into your pancreas and. Alpha cells into insulin producing beta cells within your pancreas without surgery. So this will help, uh, potentially cure type one and type two diabetes. So these are the big problems I want to work on, you know, cancer, diabetes Alzheimer’s and as technology advances, do you really think. That we, we cannot solve these human humanity, humanitarian issues we will, you know, and it’s only a matter of time in my opinion. And so currently, um, I believe I have also discovered a potential gene therapy, uh, and strategy for Alzheimer’s and is in development. And so I’m all in stealth mode right now. And you know, my wife’s side of the family has Alzheimer’s. So for me, it’s a, it’s like a personal race. You know, against time and also inspires me to work harder than anyone else. So, you know, I’ve been looking for an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s for 15 years. And so far 99% of all potential therapies that fail, you know, that’s the crazy thing, you know, um, you know, building my experience, building my business, uh, building a biotech startup is difficult. Right and expensive. And the real value of the company lies in that therapy, patents, the data that Dr. Inventors and the science, uh, in the past 10 years, the proliferation of CRS, it’s an acronym for contract research organizations, which are expert consultants for every aspect. Of a biotech operations, including manufacturing, clinical trials, legal, et cetera, right. Have greatly reduced the cost of operating and starting a biotech, uh, which is a major positive for biotech entrepreneurs, cutting, operating a startup costs by over 50%. And so we were able to kind of like build gen practice using the system and delegating out, uh, uh, you know, very expensive, typically very good. Expensive operational, um, um, uh, departments. Um, so, you know, uh, what are some lessons, you know, that I’ve learned along the way and vice versa. I give entrepreneurs, um, you know, Pick team members. I’ll go by bullet by bullet points here, but pick team members carefully do not give equity in your company until over a period of time, like six months to a year find great mentors study from the greats, right. And synthesize those lessons into your field. Uh, one of my favorite books is the book of business wisdom with stories and lessons from business greats, like Rockefeller Ford, Thomas Edison. You know, uh, that those, these stories are amazing and they, they, uh, they’re, they last, uh, through, uh, through time, you know, they’re just there, they’re durable. Um, it doesn’t matter what type of widget you sell, you know, it’s, it’s the same. It really is the same processes and really the same philosophies, uh, through business. Uh, and this has, has held through, uh, generations, right? Um, Uh, you know, uh, emotional intelligence. Another point I want to bring out is emotional intelligence is important, especially if you want to be a leader, work on it. So emotional talent intelligence is the capacity to be aware of control and express one’s emotions and to handle so interpersonal relationships, judiciously and empathic impact, theoretically. Right empathetically. So, um, if you’re a small, another point, if you are a small business owner, watch CNBC show the profit. I love Marcus Limonus, uh, to learn about the three P’s to success, product process, and people. Right. And, um, another point that I like to make is, um, I also believe it is important to be liked. I want to stress that, uh, in order to join or build a team in order to accomplish your individual and team goals, you may be a genius, but if you’re not well-liked, um, that will harm your ability to retain talent, recruit others in marketing. I’ve learned that, uh, if people like you, they may buy a similar, a slightly inferior product than if you, they disliked you and, and to, and have them buy a PR and your products premium, you know, they might not buy it. Right. Even though, so, and one of my favorite books in this area, uh, which Brian brought up, uh, um, is how to win friends and influence people by Dale Carney. All this is like business. Yeah. Business one Oh one like a classic, really, but it’s true. You know, and another point I recently saw was a new study that said that personal relationships affect work performance. So choose your mate and those who you surround yourself wisely, you know, guard your heart. Right. Another one is remember to ignore, uh, not to ignore spiritual growth because you need an anchor. You know, I, myself am a loving Christian, uh, but people should realize that money can create and can destroy you. Uh, and people know what I mean. When I talk about that, you know, in the Asian cultures, we talk about a lot, you know, and my mom used to tell me about that all the time. And without an anchor, you will move with the seeds, right? Wherever the winds blowing, where the C’s moving. So now in regards to investing, um, look for great risk reward ratios in order to skew your probabilities of success. So what I look for is like a five to one or a 10 to one ratio. Uh, meaning I may risk $1 to gain five or 10 to gain 10. Right. So, um, and if you do 10 of those, right. And they all have those same probabilities, but they’re all high probability, you know, uh, potential successes, then you have skewed your mathematically, your probability is to success, right? And so, um, another one is I like long-term investing over trading, even though I grew up as a trader was, it’s really hard. It’s like taking the SATs every day because you’re up against, you know, the world’s best in trading investing. So, uh, so I try to tell people not to trade and try not to day trade and just really focused on long-term investing. And, um, and so, you know, and so I have, you know, in my opinion, it is easy to just invest into an ETF. A spy or a, my favorite Iwo, which is the Russell 2000 right. Into a ETF Iwo, but they change it. They change the allocation of those 2000 highest growing for ETF and all those terminologies mean. Yeah. So an ETF is a stock, right? That trades, uh, like a, that trades and tracks an index, uh, of, uh, other companies.
So the Russell 2000 is a index of the 2000 fastest growing companies in the U S. And they change it. They’ll, you know, some will drop off, they’ll add new ones, but that, but that constant reallocation change is done by Russell, uh, investments and not done by you. And so by investing in the Iwo, uh, you get that benefit of these reallocations rechange is into new growth. And so then, uh, so the, uh, the stock or the ETF, uh, the Iwo, uh, that tracks the index changes to and tracks. The Russell 2000 index. So it goes up, uh, the stock, uh, that ticker, uh, um, an ETF goes up as well in the same, uh, sync in a sinking, uh, fashion. Yeah. Over time. Right. And so my, uh, my, uh, my opinion is, you know, you just invest in that every month or every year or whatnot and, and, and, and focus on 10 to 20 years down the road, and this will help. You build your retirement, you know, and, uh, you don’t have the stock pick. That’s a problem. Uh, sometimes it’s a lot of work and, uh, for me, I, I even now, today I hate trading stocks because it takes a lot of my bandwidth. Uh, and it takes me away from my other duties, uh, of, uh, you know, uh, helping, uh, uh, my companies and helping build companies. So, so that’s why, you know, uh, I suggest doing that. Um, another cool thing is, um, Some of my favorite books. So this is really, really cool is cracking creativity and thinking like Leonardo da Vinci. Right? So in my opinion, it can help creators and innovators move to the next level as it did for me. And this is 10 years ago. Right. Uh, and, and what it does is it helps restructure your mental creative thought process. Right. So you will learn that creative genius thinking can be learned, taught, and applied using mental techniques and not dependent on your IQ. Right. Okay. So that’s the very, very cheap, for example, there’s this mental, creative tech in, uh, cracking creativity and, uh, uh, he studied Nobel prize winners, right. And, and the greatest thinkers of all time Edison on you name it. Right. And so, uh, so what he does, he called this, um, uh, some Nobel prize winners use it. Uh, it’s called mind popping. So mind popping is when a solution ideas seems to appear after a period of incubation out of nowhere. So your subconscious mind never rests, right? And by setting up a mental system of network, thinking between your conscious and subconscious, where ideas, images, and concepts from completely unrelated problems combined to catalyze the Nesson moment of creativity. It’s pretty interesting. So it’s fun. It’s, it’s amazing to do I do at a time. And I don’t they say, you know, sometimes write on a piece of paper or you probably. So if you go through the book, they’ll have a bunch of these like, uh, uh, exercises you do, and you don’t have to do them. Um, you can mentally do it over time. You can just train your brain to think that same process sees the thought processes, the mental processes of the most creative geniuses of our time. And you can do that. Right. And so, um, so, uh, you know, so, and another, uh, learning technique that I learned was is from Elon Musk and he likes to use what it’s called first principles thinking. And so first principles thinking means boiling things down to the most fundamental truths, and then reasoning up from there. Right. So Musk has used this for the cost of batteries as an example. So he’ll, he’ll build from building, from scratch and calculating the cost of raw materials and building his own batteries is a better and cheaper way than buying from manufacturer. Right? So, uh, so Elan also likes to deconstruct ideas and processes. For semantic tree and for the unveiling of fundamental principles within that, this also helps your ability to reverse engineer solutions and ideas from the final goal, right. To the present. Right. So, um, so that’s, it’s amazing. And so over time, again, these are all. Techniques, and you can learn these techniques and apply them to your field of specialty. And it’ll take you to the next level. Typically, this is what I’d seen. And finally, um, watch Angela Duckworth’s Ted talk on grit, the power of passion and perseverance. And I think you guys know about this as a teacher, she realized that I Q wasn’t the only thing that separates. Success and failure and explains her theory of grit as a productor of a predictor of success. And grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. But yeah, I’m taking a look at it. It’s short, there’s a, you know, there’s short version, then there’s this longer version. Uh, but, uh, but yeah, um, you’ll love it. It’s it’s just great talk, but that’s, you know, that’s that kind of that nutshell. Um, I can talk about my struggles if you, if you have,
Bryan: (00:21:19) I want to hear about your struggles.
Maggie: (00:21:23) I love what you just said. We can definitely see like where you get your passion from. And I definitely agree. You are very passionate and we love that about you. And I totally agree, you know, as we go into your next generations, I definitely do think that there is a cure to these humanitarian issues with like ease and cancer. And I don’t think that we’re going to get there and what your deal with John Texas. So amazing. And just talking about like ETQ and grit and everything like that is so important. Like Brian and I talked about that all the time. It’s just as important as IQ. If they’re not more important, right. Yeah.
Viet: (00:21:58) It’s the people that don’t quit. They just don’t quit no matter what, they’re just plugging along. But, you know, but at the same time, for me as a trade, I’ve learned to cut my losses. And so there’s a point there, you know, where you just, it’s better to cut a loss than to maintain that path. So I have this kind of a balance kind of thing, a trader mentality, a little bit. Uh, but, you know, but it is it’s, uh, I guess it’s about quitting the wrong things or quit, you know, learning what to quit and how to quit or what you know, and how to, uh, how that fits into grit. Uh, but grit is way more important than quitting that’s for sure. Yeah. You
Maggie: (00:23:32) personally. And what, what type of struggles and challenges we went through and how you grew as a person?
Viet: (00:22:41) Oh, uh, personally, you know, I think a big thing that, that I was able to overcome in my personal life was I know this might sound funny, but to be able to truly forgive my mom as a tiger mom, growing up, growing up with a tiger moms is not easy, man. Serious. It was hard. It was emotionally draining. It was a lot of spanking. I mean, the Vietnamese people spank their, you know, and, um, and so, but I, I, for some reason, imprinted that this emotional anger towards my mom and I didn’t even know about it until like later, like 20 years old, dude, you know, like then I’m like, okay, where’s this anger coming from? So I had to like, basically weed it out. I like source it out through meditation and through other other means of just trying to figure out okay, where. Why am I so angry? What’s the what’s going on here? And I could, and I could tell that there was a route and that route was, uh, um, imprinted because of my mom. And then I just, uh, you know, there was a point, yes, I was really angry at my mom, hated my mom at certain points in my life growing up, uh, because she was so stringent and so disciplinary and, you know, and, um, I was, you know, pretty popular kid in high school and loved to party. I was. Smart. But also at the same time, I, I tried to be more social and I wanted to be more social and go to these parties and this and that. And my mom wouldn’t let me, so I’d sneak out and I mean, you know, the full thing you, and so just like every other kid, uh, going through, uh, the same, same issues I, I went through. But as soon as I was able to recognize that, Route, I could just pull it out and, and I have to repeat it because your brain it’s like a tape recorder. You constantly have to re uh, reemphasize that a new message over the old message constantly because the new old message will come up. You have to re. Recognize it and then reprint a new re rerecord, a new message over that. And so I learned a lot of this through psychology classes through the university of Washington, which was huge, you know, and marketing, in my opinion is, is just business psychology. And so that kind of helped with, uh, learning about marketing too, and, and how to, uh, and how it works in business and how psychology works in business. And, but, but again, um, back to my mom, you know, as soon as I was able to figure that out, I was able to root it out. And I just forgave my mom, uh, mentally, you know, my mom could care less. She doesn’t know what I’m going through at that time, but, you know, uh, so she had no clue, you know, and I didn’t even tell her, you know, how we don’t talk about this stuff with our parents, man. This is like, you know, it’s true. You know, we’re not, uh, there are not very many open, uh, open emotional channels between parents and Vietnamese families internally. There isn’t a lot. Uh, I hope that changes. Right. Um, uh, and I think it is a little bit, uh, there’s a lot of people talking about it and just talking about it can help, uh, um, uh, the next generation, you know, be able to, uh, talk to their parents a little bit more and be open, more open to it. And then vice versa, parents being more open and talking to their kids a little bit more after learning about this from other people, right. And through Ahn or through other channels. But as soon as I was able, I’m serious. As soon as I was able to. Truly forget not to say, Oh yeah, about mom. I totally forgive you. This that, no, you have to do it constantly because again, you’ve imprinted this while you were young and you grew up with it. So it’s, it’s a message that’s there. And until you pull it out, destroy it, it will always stick with you. And that, that anger, morphs. Anger Morrison to different parts of your life, different aspects of your life. Different parts were all that. But as soon as I was able to recognize it and repeatedly destroyed it and removed it and repeatedly taped over it and changed it, uh, it was the greatest, uh, w weight lifted off my shoulders. I mean, I’m telling you, it was like, It’s huge. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so I was able to just be able to, um, move forward and man, I just didn’t have to carry that anymore. It was just awesome. But yeah, so that personally, that was the biggest, biggest thing, uh, personally in my life that I was able to do. And I wasn’t able to do that until about mid twenties. Right. And I always tell people, twenties, you’re going to screw up, do it. Don’t worry about it. Learn, get experience because, uh, twenties is, you’re just starting off in the world. You, you don’t know anything really. I mean, you’re just building it and if it’s okay, thirties is when you apply everything, you’ve learned all your mistakes, everything in your thirties, and really apply it to your work first, because this is when you’re really. Set, you know, you have 10 years of experience in your work field. You know what I mean? Right. At five years, I mean, now you’re starting to get into this cruise control in your thirties and that’s when you really start blowing up. I didn’t start blowing up until about in my thirties and then forties. I’m just killing it, killing it right now. Um, but uh, now as for my work, my biggest struggle work, man, this is crazy. This is a great story though. Um, but one of the biggest obvious obstacles I ever faced was a couple years ago after our gen pricks, IPO, I just short selling firm put out their erroneous and factually incorrect article about gen pracs. Uh, it was straight out of the show, Billy man, like I’m serious. Like my life is crazy. And they said that our cancer drug record. So was it previously failed? P 53 targeted, uh, gene therapy, drug. Uh, it is not a P 53 gene drug, but it is actually a tusk to gene therapy drugs. So tusk two is a tumor suppressor gene that we’re actually inputting back into the cancer cell. And then it causes a pop ptosis, which is cell death. Right? So, uh, for some reason over time, age and, and, uh, cell division, uh, your cells may lose this tumor suppressor gene. And by losing this tumor suppressor gene, it actually is the initiator for tumor growth into that cell. Do you see what I’m saying? So what we’re doing is we’re re-injecting that back, which was supposed to be there in the first place. And so that’s the beauty of this drug. And so, uh, and so this guy. Who has a zero biology background, nothing. Right. And he’s writing about our biotech company and says that it’s a Dre. Totally miss identifies it. Right. And, uh, and the writer hat, and he’s also running a hedge fund platform and doing it. So he’s like, you know, doing some fluff articles or I don’t know what he’s doing, but he’s working in a cahoots with a bunch of other people and he correctly misidentified our drug and also disparage our auditors. Uh, who by the way, have won accounting awards in Florida, and then you try it. And then they tried to kind of like politicize our company, you know, like, I don’t know what that he was trying with that angle, uh, which was absolutely false because we are not political at all in that regard. And, um, and so, uh, they were working with other short hedge funds, we think, you know, and trying to profit from their short positions. Right. Uh, man. So it took like a year or so to be able to clear the air and even dig to get rid of these short stock manipulators who have been previously fined by the sec for the same shenanigans they pulled on us. Right. But this was tough because, uh, since I was, I was the one fielding, you know, tons of calls from everyone, you know, uh, asking me if this is true, That are you a fake, you know, is this totally untrue? I mean, what’s going on here? I mean, and then are you, you know, this and that? Are you political in this? I was like, I couldn’t. So I just told them, no, that’s not true, but I had to go through that. So, you know, and it, uh, didn’t make things easy. That’s for sure. Uh, I brought up a lot of questions for other people to bring up questions about, you know, questioning where this is coming from or, or, you know, uh, the whole story. Just everything right. Just, I mean, if they go after your whole biotech then, you know, uh, and basically the drug, uh, you know, um, it’s damaging. And so we had to fight off and so we were able to get rid of them. Um, um, you know, uh, and those vultures are gone now. Thank God. And, uh, we now can actually focus on bigger things, which is, you know, to change the world and try to save lives. But, uh, but yeah, so we had to deal with that for about a year or so. And now, of course, it’s proven as false. Right, but you know, damage is done, you know what I mean? Right. So, uh, but, uh, but still the future is right and we just have to execute upon it and, um, uh, bring out some data, run these clinical trials and, um, you know, the proof is going to be in pudding. So, uh, so I’m not worried about it. Uh, biotech is interesting. Uh, it’s all based on science. So I can kinda, you can kind of handicap the probabilities and odds of success by looking at the science and the data, which is, which is, uh, factual. Right. Which is hard data. So you can, uh, um, basically, uh, project, uh, probabilities of success with that. Cancer drug or that, uh, therapy, uh, based on previous data, uh, on humans. So that’s how we do it. And so based on that, um, you know, I fully expect with high conviction, high probability of that, we’re going to be very successful. Um, but right now it’s all about execution. Uh, just like everything else in, um, uh, in the startup world. Right? Like you can have great ideas. That’s wonderful. Yeah. Great ideas are a dime, a dozen in Silicon Valley. Execution is where it separates the wheat from the shaft. It’s all about execution always has been about, about execution. So, um, so yeah.
Maggie: (00:32:01) Yeah, that’s amazing. Well, thank you for sharing your struggle. Be it loved hearing both of those stories. I’m so glad that you were able to overcome them, and I’m glad that you were able to reconcile with your mother as well. And I think a lot of Asians also resonate with that story because a lot of us or parents, right. And it involves a lot of trauma, you know, growing up your parents. I think that one important thing to note is that when we actually forgive our parents, Well, sometimes we’re not even doing it for ourselves, but we do it for our parents as well, because maybe our parents are looking to forgive and reconcile as well, but they don’t know how to, and that’s a state, right. Because they’re in a different generation and they don’t know how to reach out. And so I love that you were able to recognize that, you know, you need to forgive your mom in order for you to move on with your life and that trickled down to everything else in your life.
Viet: (00:32:49) Yeah. Yeah. My story is very similar to so many people. And so that’s why I love, Hm. I was just reading. I was like, man, it’s like hundreds of stories, not just like two or three, it’s like, you know, so I’ve just loved that we’re helping each other out. And that’s just awesome. So, so yeah, you guys keep wondering and you know, I’m going to be hopping to HN too. You know, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be in bed. I’m going to be an investor and, and helping you guys out wherever I can. Yeah. To help bring this, you know, to the masses, you know, although it’s doing great already. I think so.
Maggie: (00:33:21) I love that. And so we have one last question for you, and that is what is your goal for 2021?
Bryan: (00:33:29) Your one big audacious goal for 2021?
Viet: (00:33:31) one, all this. I want to try to prove this proof of concept, uh, gene therapy for Alzheimer’s that it works. And so we have to basically first prove it in mice and pigs potentially. Um, but, uh, but that’s ongoing right now. So, you know, we’re hoping that, uh, um, that’s my big focus right now, but you know, Jen practice, uh, same thing with our diabetes, I’m helping with that and our, uh, cancer gene therapies. So there’s just. There’s a, there’s a lot of stuff that I’m, I am really focused on. I’m really excited about. Uh, but yes, I I’d have to say those are the things. And also, you know, I’m looking forward to the, at the end of this Corona deal, man. Like, this is just like, I, you know, I don’t think any of us are going to take anything for granted anymore. Like I’m going to be hugging, hugging people like for crazy man, when I start seeing people, you know, Stuff like that, but I think that’s going to be, uh, you know, the beginning of the end for Corona too. Although, you know, there’s going to be some issues, uh, moving forward, even after a lots of vaccinations, it’s going to be still around a little bit. But, uh, but for the most part, um, I think it is, uh, the beginning of the end and I’m looking forward to that, uh, as well, so
Maggie: (00:34:45) Awesome. Well, thank you so much for, for sharing your story today via it was amazing hearing about you and your story. How can our listeners learn more about you online?
Viet: (00:34:54) Uh, they can follow meYeah. Uh, I am on Facebook and I am, uh, I am on Twitter and Instagram as well. You can find me, but I’m very active on Twitter. I talk about, uh, the markets and our focus in our, uh, uh, um, you know, I analyze the markets on that and I talk about gen practice and everything, uh, uh, about, uh, those areas, uh, on Twitter mostly. Um, but yes, I’d be happy to help other people. Um, uh, so just reach out.
Bryan: (00:35:26) Awesome. Thank you so much. I’m going to show us a bit how
Viet: (00:35:28) you’re welcome. Thanks for having me guys,
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