Stem Cells Coming Back From Brink of Funding Bans (GERN, STEM, ASTM, CYTX, NBS, ISCO, BTIM)

September 9, 2010 · Filed Under Financial, stem cells · Comment 

The Department of Justice, the White House, and many other activists have been steadily trading to get the ban lifted on the stem cell funding that surprised the entire biotech, drug, and stem cell research community.  Now it seems that a U.S. District Court has suspended that ban on state-funded embryonic stem cell research.

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) is now up 9% at $5.34 versus a 52-week trading range of $4.37 to $7.51.  Geron recently received an FDA lifting of a clinical trial hold involving spinal cord injuries.

StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM) is up 7% at $0.83 versus a 52-week range of $0.75 to $1.79.  This one recently had positive paralysis study data and our indications were that much or all of the operations here were not really going to be hurt or hit from the funding bans.

Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM) is up 2.7% at $1.52 versus a 52-week range of $1.32 to $4.16.

Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX) is up 4.8% at $4.86 and the 52-week range is $2.93 to $9.50.

Neostem, Inc. (AMEX: NBS) is up 2.3% at $1.77 versus a 52-week trading range of $1.26 to $3.50.  As we have outlined before, NeoStem is actually tied to adult stem cells rather than embryonic stem cells.

International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO.OB) is one that had a pending funding of $10 million back in July.

BioTime, Inc. (NASDAQ: BTIM) is down 5.2% at $4.56 versus a 52-week range of $3.02 to $8.42.  BioTime recently noted that a peer reviewed Regenerative Medicine publication showed that the aging of human cells can be reversed.

JON C. OGG

NIH Brings Back Stem Cell Interest (STEM, GERN, ASTM, NBS, KOOL, OSIR, CYTX)

December 2, 2009 · Filed Under Financial, R&D, stem cells · Comments Off 

The National Institutes of Health has just today announced the approval of the first 13 human embryonic stem cell lines for use in NIH-funded research under the NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research adopted in July 2009.  Children’s Hospital Boston developed 11 of the approved lines and Rockefeller University in New York City developed two of the approved lines.  While those are private and non-public, this has some excitement around the other embryonic stem cell line companies because the NIH said that an additional 96 lines have been submitted to NIH for either internal administrative review or consideration, including more than 20 that will be considered on December 4, 2009.  We are seeing strength as follows:

  • StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM) up 5.5% at $1.14; 52-week range $0.89 to $3.07; market cap $135 million
  • Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) up 4.8% at $5.70; 52-week range $3.00 to $9.24; market cap $522 million
  • Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM) up 5.5% at $0.288; 52-week range $0.24 to $0.78; market cap $50 million

Neostem, Inc. (AMEX: NBS) is actually in adult stem cells, and shares are down 2.3% at $1.68; 52-week trading range is $0.41 to $2.72; market cap $61.3 million.  ThermoGenesis Corp. (NASDAQ: KOOL) is also tied to adult stem cell lines but in products targeting stem cell companies; shares are up 3.4% at $0.61, its market cap is $34 million, and the 52-week range is $0.31 to $0.89.

Elsewhere in companies tied to stem cells…  Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIR) is up 0.4% at $6.89; 52-week range $5.35 to $21.65; market cap $225 million.  Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX) is down 2.2% at $5.75, its market cap is $222 million, and the 52-week range is $1.42 to $6.04.

For a full data and explanation from the NIH website on what was approved, that can be found here.

JON C. OGG
DECEMBER 2, 2009

Geron Delay Dulls Stem Cell Sector (GERN, ASTM, CYTX, NBS, STEM, KOOL, OSIR, LIFE, CCEL)

August 18, 2009 · Filed Under fda, stem cells · Comments Off 

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) has some bad news in the land of stem cell investors.  The stem cell leader has announced that its Investigational New Drug application for a cell therapy for neurologically complete, subacute spinal cord injury has been placed on clinical hold by the FDA pending the agency’s review of new nonclinical animal study data submitted by the company. This is an order that the FDA issues to a sponsor to delay a proposed trial or to suspend an ongoing trial.

As a reminder, no patients have yet been treated in this study.  But this has investors spooked, even if it is just for a review of additional data.  Stem Cell stocks often move hand in hand, and these are the other issues to watch on the news:

  • Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM)
  • Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX)
  • Neostem, Inc. (NYSE: NBS)
  • StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM)
  • Thermogenesis Corp. (NASDAQ: KOOL)
  • Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIR)
  • Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE)
  • Cryo-Cell International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CCEL)

Geron noted that the company has been undertaking studies to enable dose escalation of its spinal cord injury product and has also been investigating application of the product to other neurodegenerative diseases.

The company has also been performing additional product characterization and conducting further animal studies and the data from this work has been submitted to the FDA. Geron said that it will work closely with the FDA to facilitate the review of the new data and to release the clinical hold.

JON C. OGG
AUGUST 18, 2009

Stem Cells As Regeneration Treatment For Heart Attacks (CYTX)

May 28, 2009 · Filed Under stem cells · Comments Off 

Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX) is trading higher on the publication of the first pre-clinical study to demonstrate adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells showing significantly improved cardiac function after a heart attack.

As a reminder, there has been more than steady talk of mergers in the stem cell sector.

This pre-clinical data cardiac cell therapy study was reported online ahead of print in the International Journal of Cardiology. The APOLLO study is, according to Cytori, the first clinical trial to investigate uncultured adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells in heart attacks in human patients.
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Persistent Merger & Acquisition Talk In Stem Cell Sector (GERN, ASTM, CYTX, NBS, STEM, KOOL, OSIR, LIFE)

May 21, 2009 · Filed Under R&D, stem cells · Comments Off 

It is not uncommon at all to have takeover rumors in the drug or biotech sector.  That is also true in the speculative groups inside this.  But we keep hearing the notorious “takeover chatter” in the stem cell sector, and particularly in Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN). This is out there again, but be advised that we have seen the same notes getting passed around on multiple occasions with nothing that has ever come from it.

What we wanted to show you was where these stocks are now compared to the date of March 9, 2009 when the Obama administration was signing the executive order breaking the Bush ban on embryonic stem cell funding.  Some of the other stem cell companies are as follows:

Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM) is at $0.40, and was at $0.62 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $69 million.

Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX) is at $2.83 and was at $3.20 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $97 million.

Neostem, Inc. (NBS) is at $2.16 and was at $0.69 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is almost $17 million.

StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM) is at $1.75 and was at $2.15 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $182 million.

Thermogenesis Corp. (NASDAQ: KOOL) is at $0.55 today, was at $0.57 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $31 million.

Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIR) is in a stem cell pact with Genzyme, but for adult stem cells.   This is a $12.19 stock, and shares were at $17.97 when we covered it on March 9; market cap today is $399 million.

There is also a much larger company called Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) and it has the Invitrogen unit that has many efforts, including a focus on creating unique primary and stem cell models for better and more efficient drug screening.

We would describe takeover chatter in this sector as something that feels like more fiction or a stretch rather than something we’d consider as any documentary evidence.  The stem cell sector offers wonderful promises and wonderful cures for many diseases and conditions.  But that is also after the ethical argument has been made.  Despite the positive studies and the positive indications, the group overall is still in its infancy and there are now many international patent issues in the sector because this was largely off-limits for about seven years on the new development front from new lines of stem cells.

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Cytori Lands Another G.E. Healthcare Pact (CYTX, GE)

May 8, 2009 · Filed Under stem cells · Comments Off 

Cytori Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CYTX) has a significant new partner, and just a day or two within raising $4.2 million in capital.  The company has announced an agreement with GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) to commercialize Cytori’s StemSource technology in the North American stem cell banking and research markets.
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Obama Rocks Up Stem Cell Stocks (ASTM, CYTX, GERN, NBS, OSIR, STEM, KOOL)

March 9, 2009 · Filed Under politics, stem cells · Comments Off 

There are major gap-ups this morning in stem cell stocks after Friday evening’s news that President Obama is signing an executive order which will lift the Bush ban on funding of embryonic stem cell funding.  This is supposed to be signed today, although what is interesting here is that this is not really new news other than the timing and the formality.  Many of these stem cell stocks will trade more on a “vote of confidence” rather than over what this means as far as “new news” is concerned.

The following prices are as of 8:19 AM EST.
Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM) +87% at $0.62
Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX) +38% at $3.20
Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) +29% at $4.99
Neostem, Inc. (AMEX: NBS)
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIR) NOT TRADED…. in pact with Genzyme, but for adult stem cells.
StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM) +55% at $2.15
Thermogenesis Corp. (NASDAQ: KOOL) +41% at $0.57

JON C. OGG

Obama Rocks Up Stem Cell Stocks (ASTM, CYTX, GERN, NBS, OSIR, STEM, KOOL)

March 9, 2009 · Filed Under politics, stem cells · Comments Off 

There are major gap-ups this morning in stem cell stocks after Friday evening’s news that President Obama is signing an executive order which will lift the Bush ban on funding of embryonic stem cell funding.  This is supposed to be signed today, although what is interesting here is that this is not really new news other than the timing and the formality.  Many of these stem cell stocks will trade more on a “vote of confidence” rather than over what this means as far as “new news” is concerned.

The following prices are as of 8:19 AM EST.
Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTM) +87% at $0.62
Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYTX) +38% at $3.20
Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) +29% at $4.99
Neostem, Inc. (AMEX: NBS)
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSIR) NOT TRADED…. in pact with Genzyme, but for adult stem cells.
StemCells Inc. (NASDAQ: STEM) +55% at $2.15
Thermogenesis Corp. (NASDAQ: KOOL) +41% at $0.57

JON C. OGG

Many Laggards in Biotech Stocks Today (ACHN, CRXL, MNKD, SQNM, CYTR, CYTX, INGN, ATHX, MITI, GTOP)

June 10, 2008 · Filed Under General · Comments Off 

There have been many mystery movers today in biomed land and some are news carry-on moves while others are head-scratchers.  Out of the many names we follow in biotech, here are some losers as of 1:50 PM EST that stand out compared to the normal days:

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACHN)    $2.45    Down $0.30    Down 10.91%
Additional ‘positive’ top-line phase 2 data for Elvucitabine

Crucell NV (CRXL)   $18.13    Down $0.64    Down 3.41%
No fresh news

MannKind Corp. (MNKD)    $2.7999    Down $0.1801    Down 6.04%
No fresh news besides tied to Novo’s news yesterday.

Sequenom Inc. (SQNM)    $12.17    Down $0.66    Down 5.14%
Sued yesterday by Beckman and partner Orchid.

CytRx Corporation (CYTR)    $0.7733    Down $0.0567    Down 6.83%
Drop on second day after Lou Gehrig’s drug delay.

Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (CYTX)  $7.94    $Down 0.62    Down 7.24%
No fresh news today, post patent selling after big 2-day move.

Introgen Therapeutics Inc. (INGN)    $1.68    Down $0.09    Down 5.08%
No news, thin volume

Athersys, Inc. (ATHX)    $2.80    Down$ 0.29    Down 9.39%
No news yet out of diabetes and obesity conference, ahead of data but super thin volume

Micromet, Inc. (MITI)    $2.42    Down $0.20    Down 7.63%
No news, but presented non-Hodgkins data last week.

Genitope Corp. (GTOP)    $0.075    Down $0.013    Down 14.29%
Received NASDAQ letter on listing, but very low stock price so no surprise.

Jon Ogg
June 10, 2008

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