Smaller MS Players Stand To Benefit (BIIB, ELN, PSTI, ACOR, TEVA)

August 11, 2008 · Filed Under multiple sclerosis 

There is a shot that smaller speculative multiple sclerosis companies that have treatments in pre-clinical studies or those in early stage studies may tend to actually benefit from TYSABRI’s woes after Biogen-Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Elan Corp. plc (NYSE: ELN) dropped the bomb over the last week.

This morning a smaller company named Puristem Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSTI) is gaining after it released news that in-vivo tests for is PLacental PLX cells showed promising results in potentially treating MS.  Keep in mind that these in-vivo tests were on animal models, and mice and monkeys oftemn react much differently than when the tests start being conducted on humans.  Plristem’s shares are up about 5% at the open at $1.165.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) is also deemed a winner as its COPAXONE for MS is going to be less pressured now that it is making such a large acquisition.  Either way, many patients in this field with MS are not going to switch to generics as this is a highly untreated and currently uncrable disease.

This bad TYSABRI news may have also kept Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR) from being hit too hard after its 4 million share secondary was priced at $28.50 per share last week.  Proceeds went to the company for further R&D and NDA filings.

Ultimately, Elan and Biogen will likely escape too much fallout from its MS woes after more PML cases in those using TYSABRI.  But the woes will likely allow smaller companies making positive MS announcements in various studies to rally further on the news than they might have just a week or two ago.  We are at least seeing that in one such stock this morning.

Jon C. Ogg
August 11, 2008

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