DressageDaily Goes to NASDAQ

Dr. Marvin Hausman of Axonyx.com Opens NASDAQ
by Mary Phelps

When friends and clients Dr. Marvin and Deborah Hausman told us Marvin’s company Axonyx, was invited to open NASDAQ Monday morning, December 6, 2004, I quickly volunteered to be their personal photographer, and they quickly accepted. While this is deviation from our daily 'horsy' news, it was such an exciting experience, I thought our reader would appreciate me sharing it. The Hausmans were one of DressageDaily’s biggest fans when we first went on line in 1997, which is how we met. They own Quailhurst Farm and Vineyards in Sherwood, Oregon. Dr. Hausman was so impressed with our websites, that he hired our then web designers, makeko.com to develop the website for his company, Axonyx.com.

The trip has made the top ten lists of exciting experiences in my life. It was such an honor to be asked to share such an important pinnacle in the career of Dr. Hausman. Axonyx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the acquisition and development of proprietary pharmaceutical compounds for the treatment of central nervous system degenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease.

There are almost 3,300 companies listed on NASDAQ, and about 253 trading days in a year. Needless to say, only a fraction of the listed companies get to ring the Opening Bell on NASDAQ, so for Axonyx to be invited was a huge honor.



The Phelps Sisters Return to NYC

The logistics of the trip meant catching a flight from Louisville, Kentucky directly after the USDF Meeting, on Sunday.

I invited my sister Nancy Phelps, a Kentucky resident, who works in graphic design and marketing for the Kentucky Center for Rural Development, to join me.

December 6, is also Nancy’s birthday, and what better way to spend time with my sister, a photographer as well (and good back up) than to share a new experience together.

On our arrival we caught a cab from La Guardia to the Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue, where we had a view of the Empire State Building from our window.

We grabbed a delightful dinner at a local French Bistro around the corner. The city was glittering with holiday decorations, but we were tired and had a big day ahead, so went back to our room for a good night’s sleep.

Memories of the old days when we danced the night away at Studio 54 during the ‘80’s are just that, memories.

The magic of New York was still there, only this time we spent the night in our cozy beds in a luxurious Park Avenue hotel.



In the morning we met Deborah and Marvin in the lobby, and piled into their limo. Marvin rehearsed the speech he would be presenting before the opening bell, as we rode through the streets of New York, to the heart of Times Square, and the NASDAQ Broadcast Studio located on the ground level of Market Site.

I had envisioned being on the trading floor on Wall Street, but this is not where the opening ceremonies are done. It all takes place in the studio, with a direct view of the huge digital billboards overlooking Times Square, featuring Axonyx for all the morning commuters to see.


As we entered the studio the excitement began to build, with dramatic suspenseful music in the background. It was explained to us the music was written for NASDAQ and would continue to build the suspense up an opening bell crescendo. Deborah Hausman, an FEI competitor as well as breeder and trainer of young horses, and I both agreed the music must be part of her next musical freestyle ride.

There was a continued flurry of activity, as guests of Axonyx arrived. Due to the tight security, we were all on a list, and given name tags. I have collected my press credentials over the years, and this name tag, titled 'NASDAQ, Axonyx, Mary Phelps, Equine Insurance Specialist', will join the others photography credentials for the Olympics, World Equestrian Games, and Aachen on my wall of honor!





We met Lou-Ellen Barkan, President, of the NYC Alzheimer’s Association, who would join Dr. Hausman in the opening ceremonies. The professional and efficient producer and staff walked Dr. Hausman and Mrs. Barkin through the ceremony, and then as the music continued to build it was time for Marvin to take the stage. In his speech Dr. Hausman explained the drug in development. “Our AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) drug under worldwide clinical study, Phenserine, has the potential to be the first drug with the ability to modify and/or change the course of AD.

Phenserine is a drug with unique dual actions; the drug can treat a symptom of the disease, memory loss, but also has the potential to intercept the causation of the disease. Phenserine, in animal studies, significantly decreased the formation of toxic beta amyloid protein, which is considered to be a key component in the causation of the disease.”

Clinical trial results are expected in the first quarter of 2005. Hausman went on to describe his company, as a “lean machine” with 5 employees and a large cadre of independent consultants. With the company’s market cap approaching 400 million US dollars, Axonyx has the resources to bring the drug to compete approval status without the assistance of ‘Big Pharma’.”

Hausman closed by saying “As for myself, a practicing physician, there can be no greater accomplishment than developing a drug as a therapeutic legacy for sick patients.”


The music was reaching a crescendo as friends, family, associates and investors of Axonyx joined Dr. Hausman and Lou Ellen Barkin on stage, and the countdown began. After ringing the bell there were cheers and waves, as a small crowd gathered outside the studio window. Nancy and I both had tears of excitement, and goose bumps as we were busy recording the moment with our cameras.

Having known Dr. Hausman through the 8 years of the development of his company and the drug, it was such a thrill to see them there on stage, and to share the moment. We stayed in the studio for awhile, enjoying a buffet of coffee, fruit, and melt in your mouth scones, watching the broadcast, and the name of Axonyx moving across the board. Then it was off to enjoy our one day in New York.


That evening we joined the Hausman’s and their many friends and colleagues for a superb dinner at the Four Seasons Restaurant. Dr. Hausman also has a vineyard at their beautiful farm and property in Sherwood, Oregon, producing a superb Pinot Noir wine, named after their farm Quailhurst. They had shipped a case to New York for the celebration, and the sommelier at the Four Seasons graciously assisted in serving the wine.

Deborah believes that the superior quality, flavor and smoothness of their wine comes from the rich Oregon soil enhanced by the fertilizer produced by her world class Warmbloods. I would tend to agree! The Four Seasons sommelier commented that of their Pinot Noir wine selection, it is the ones from Oregon which are the most requested.


After an incredibly delicious dinner with a fascinating collection of brilliant and interesting people, my sister Nancy was the birthday girl of the group, and how lucky for us all she was, since we all experienced her ‘cake”. A Four Seasons specialty, it was a huge pile of cotton candy dotted with sugared violets, and wrapped around an enormous sugar cone with ice cream beneath it.

The next morning, we lucked out and had similar departure times, and joined Deborah for the trip to the airport. Marvin was off to Europe to do more work on Axonyx, and Deborah was eager to return to her horses. In the final hour together in the airport, before we went in our separate directions, shared rare moments of quality time. It was the perfect way to end an experience so rich with excitement, inspiration, and people doing good things for other people.

Related Links

  • Axonyx.com - The exciting research and work Dr. Hausman is doing in the field of Alzheimer's disease
  • [#28135 override="Deborah Hausman and Caletino: The Road to Young Horse Nationals " title="Deborah Hausman and Caletino: The Road to Young Horse Nationals "]
  • Visit the Quailhurst website - The Farm
  • Quailhurst Vineyard Estates
  • Search the Phelpsphoto Database by 'show' for more pictures from 'Axonyx at NASDAQ - Dec 6, 2004'