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Judge Admonishes DOJ For “Wasting the Court’s Time” In Trump Documents Case

Judge Admonishes DOJ For "Wasting the Court’s Time" In Trump Documents Case

Authored by T.J. Muscaro and Catherine Yang via The Epoch Times…

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Judge Admonishes DOJ For "Wasting the Court's Time" In Trump Documents Case

Authored by T.J. Muscaro and Catherine Yang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Attorney David Harbach with the special counsel's office threw out a new argument during the two Garcia hearings scheduled Thursday, drawing ire from the judge for "wasting the court's time" by not filing the arguments and case citations the motions the government had already submitted.

Defendants Carlos De Oliveira and Waltine Naut leave the courthouse after the Garcia hearings with their attorneys, on Oct. 12, 2023. (TJ Muscaro/The Epoch Times)

Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira and butler Waltine Nauta were charged alongside former President Donald Trump for allegedly mishandling classified documents, and on Oct. 12, the government argued that their attorneys had conflicts of interest and could not properly represent them. The purpose of a Garcia hearing is so the defendants are clear about any potential conflicts of interest and their ramifications. The hearings for Mr. De Oliveira and Mr. Nauta were held back to back.

Mr. Harbach had argued there was an ethical issue with the defendants' legal counsel, and that they should not be able to call into question their former clients' credibility and characters on the witness stand. The roundabout arguments ended up frustrating the judge, and Mr. Nauta's hearing was ultimately postponed.

Carlos De Oliveira

Mr. De Oliveira is represented by John Irving and local attorney Larry Murrell.

The prosecution argued that Mr. Irving previously represented three potential witnesses only identified as Trump Employee 3, Witness 1, and Witness 2, and though he no longer represents them, attorney-client privilege would still apply, and he would not be able to make use of confidential information regarding his former clients. Mr. Irving stopped representing the three clients on Aug. 30, and said there was nothing he knew that the government didn't already know, and no issue of confidentiality would be a problem in the case.

Mr. Harbach appeared to cast doubt on the claim, saying "we don't know what we don't know."

Judge Aileen Cannon, presiding over the case, repeatedly asked Mr. De Oliveira if he understood the arguments, and the impact of retaining his attorney, and the possibility that his lawyer may not represent him as "vigorously" as he is supposed to. Mr. De Oliveira, who speaks with a thick Portuguese accent, answered affirmatively each time.

When Mr. Harbach pointed out that this meant Mr. Irving would not be able to call the character or credibility of his three former clients into question during cross-examinations, his argument did not go smoothly. He tripped over his words as he presented the new argument, which was shut down by the defense.

Mr. Irving made clear that he did not concede to the special counsel's proposed "ethical prohibitions," and argued that he should not "be precluded to talk to the jury about any witness."

Mr. Irving also said that Mr. De Oliveira's local counsel, Mr. Murrell, would be able to cross-examine those three witnesses if necessary, and Mr. De Oliveira accepted this.

After explaining to Mr. De Oliveira that his acceptance, and his waiving of any conflict in his legal representation, would mean he would lose attorney-conflict arguments as an appeal later down the line, Mr. De Oliveira elected to keep his lawyer.

Waltine Nauta

Mr. Nauta is represented by Stanley Woodward, who previously represented the Trump Employee 4 the government claimed "flipped" to become a key witness.

Mr. Woodward's law firm still represents Witness 1 and Witness 2, though during Mr. Nauta's hearing Mr. Harbach said they no longer planned to call Witness 2 to testify.

When Mr. Harbach made the new argument during the second Garcia hearing, saying the lawyer would not be able to stand up and attack a witness's credibility and character in defense of his client, the defense immediately seized upon it, stalling the proceeding.

Mr. Woodward refused to waive his right to call any witness's character or credibility into question. He gave the hypothetical example of Trump Employee 4 having a stroke just before he was to testify—was he to not touch upon his medical condition and credibility if the court ordered such a prohibition?

Mr. Woodward said that "filling the sky with hypotheticals to presume" that he was unable to properly cross-examine the witnesses to defend his clients was "wrong."

Mr. Harbach received little backup from the judge over his argument about issues of loyalty and confidentiality; Judge Cannon criticized him for citing three cases outside the 11th Circuit that couldn't be used properly as parallels, but noted that Mr. Nauta should be aware of this. She expressed frustration and said it wasn't clear whether Mr. Harbach was asking the court to prohibit the attorneys questioning former or current clients.

The three cases the government mentioned were United States v. Yannotti, United States v. Spataro, and United States v. Rahman, which were all prosecuted in New York.

Mr. Woodward requested more time as he said that Thursday was the first time he heard such an argument and could now not properly advise Mr. Nauta on his 6th Amendment rights meant to be highlighted by the Garcia hearing.

No new hearing date has been scheduled.

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/13/2023 - 19:00

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide…

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Glimpse Of Sanity: Dartmouth Returns Standardized Testing For Admission After Failed Experiment

In response to the virus pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter riots in the summer of 2020, some elite colleges and universities shredded testing requirements for admission. Several years later, the test-optional admission has yet to produce the promising results for racial and class-based equity that many woke academic institutions wished.

The failure of test-optional admission policies has forced Dartmouth College to reinstate standardized test scores for admission starting next year. This should never have been eliminated, as merit will always prevail. 

"Nearly four years later, having studied the role of testing in our admissions process as well as its value as a predictor of student success at Dartmouth, we are removing the extended pause and reactivating the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admission, effective with the Class of 2029," Dartmouth wrote in a press release Monday morning. 

"For Dartmouth, the evidence supporting our reactivation of a required testing policy is clear. Our bottom line is simple: we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus," the elite college said. 

Who would've thought eliminating standardized tests for admission because a fringe minority said they were instruments of racism and a biased system was ever a good idea? 

Also, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. More from Dartmouth, who commissioned the research: 

They also found that test scores represent an especially valuable tool to identify high-achieving applicants from low and middle-income backgrounds; who are first-generation college-bound; as well as students from urban and rural backgrounds.

All the colleges and universities that quickly adopted test-optional admissions in 2020 experienced a surge in applications. Perhaps the push for test-optional was under the guise of woke equality but was nothing more than protecting the bottom line for these institutions. 

A glimpse of sanity returns to woke schools: Admit qualified kids. Next up is corporate America and all tiers of the US government. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 02/05/2024 - 17:20

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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