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prices likely to slide back down
Athersys is the prototypical stem cell soup peddler, claiming miraculous effects of an allogeneic adult-derived off-the-shelf stem cell product for a variety of diseases with completely different etiologies affecting multiple organ systems. Autoimmune bowel disease? Got it covered. Brain damage from stroke? Check. Myocardial infarction? No problem. Synthetic monkey-men to read 10Q's for us? Well, maybe not that last one. But damn it, I want my monkey man!When it comes to actual mechanisms, Athersys is a little more vague. How exactly do stem cells of any kind restore a brain two to three days after a stroke, at which time large swathes of tissue are dead? Does MultiKine leach through the cerebral vasculature and form some kind of jelly in the hole left by the stroke, soon to differentiate into neurons which effortlessly network with the remaining cerebral cortex? Who knows? Hey, look over there!Eventually all fantasies must come to an end and this may or may not occur when Athersys reports results from phase II trials of MultiKine in ulcerative colitis and ischemic stroke in 2014. These are double-blinded placebo-controlled trials making it more difficult to get those fuzzy, "this has potential" results that can be twisted by anyone in any direction. After resounding failures from Osiris, Aastrom, and every other company that has ventured into controlled trials of stem cell therapies, I'll be floored if Athersys reports anything else.
With them heading into stage II in either 1Q/2Q of 2014, everything looks promising, so definitely in it for the long run.
20 mil in R&D in 2012
Good up and coming product line in the works.
Inflammatory bowel disease Ph 2 results in fall 2013; stroke (HUGE market) Ph 2 in Q2 2014. At 85M market cap, if any of those programs work, this will be more than a 10-bagger.
Great place to park speculative money. Anything stem cell has sex appeal that could really pop on positive news. Partnership with PFE says a lot about the science behind this company and so far management seems very savvy about locking up patents and forming strategic partnerships. This is my BIG speculative play.
Connection to Pfizer shows legitimacy. Management is top notch and patents for stem cell research puts this Athersys in a great position to do well for a long time.
Waiting patiently for a very successful clinical trial to see a big jump. Long term game, this small company is ran by expert-in-field scientific talent and very likely to strike a home-run
This is a real money stock as well, purchased right around this amount very recently.Their flagship product, MultiStem, appears to have application in a wide range of areas, from leukemia to stroke. The Phase I trials are complete, and the product has been pretty successful in stroke victims. The fact that it's efficacy is compromised by how soon it can administered to the stroke victim makes little impact. ALL interventions with stroke victims lose efficacy over time.However, the positive results have so far only been seen in animals. The company will probably need to raise further capital. If you can tolerate high risk, consider adding Athersys (it's my highest risk stock in my real life portfolio).
As of December 2010, Athersys is a speculative stock due to the small revenues, continued losses, and potential share dilution. With a market cap of under $50M, a share price of roughly $2.50 and 70K share per day trading volume, I think this one has been off of wall street's radar. On the other hand, I think Athersys is a small gem of a company that has lots of potential. Athersys has no debt, and roughly $15M in cash as of their last 10Q. Of most interest to me is their Multistem product. They have had success with their multistem product for acute myocardial infarction and for stroke in animal models, but no conclusive statistically valid testing has been done in humans yet. So far the results are limited (Phase I), but have been promising to date even though it is still in the early stages. The multistem product is a biologic product manufactured from stem cells. It is somewhat unique in the stem cell area because it acts more like a drug in that it is administered through an IV or catheter and is flushed from the body naturally. The stem cells are derived from adult stem cells (i.e. bone marrow from a qualified donor) and does not involve embryonic stem cells. From one acceptable donor, Athersys is able to create hundreds of thousands of doses of the product. The product also has a shelf life of 4 years. The product does not require the use of immune suppressive drugs or tissue matching between donor and recipients and it has a consistent safety profile. Current applications of multistem are being pursued in the areas of inflammatory bowel disease (partnered with Pfizer), stroke and acute myocardial infarction (partnered with Angiotech). In AMI (i.e. heart attack), multistem is designed as a supplement to the current standard of care and not a replacement. Management has been effectively utilizing partnerships at both the university and commercial level to help with development from both a cost and capability standpoint while maintaining a reasonable cash burn rate to date. They have also been very conscious of working with the FDA to develop a strong safety profile for their product which may be leveraged in the future if they try to extend the application of the product to different areas and to allay any safety concerns the FDA may have. I think the current share price already prices in some future share dilution.
Product appears commercially viable and already has a nice partnership agreement. Upcoming presentation of phase I data in heart patients should provide a nice boost, and an opportunity to gauge interest from other partners.
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