What Investors Are Looking At In The Stem Cell Sector

Stem cell stocks did poorly in 2014. However, many of these companies have catalysts in the first quarter of 2015 that could bring attention to the sector. In anticipation of a Phase 2 clinical update, Brainstorm (BCLI) stock rallied nearly 100%. The stock has now sharply retreated after the company announced a warrant exercise agreement. Neuralstem (CUR) has a similar situation approaching. The company is expected to provide Phase 2 clinical results for NSI-566 for ALS in late January. Currently, the patients are undergoing an observation period and the data is locked. Neuralstem CEO Richard Garr is presenting at the Biotech Showcase today, January 13 at 12 p.m. EST. At the showcase he will give an update on the clinical trial. Athersys (ATHX) will also be presenting at the same conference today at 2 p.m EST. On December 29, the company announced it has finished enrollment of its Phase II clinical trial for its MultiStem therapy for ischemic stroke patients. Athersys expects to announce initial results toward the end of the first quarter. Pluristem (PSTI) is a stem cell company that is partnered with United Therapeutics (UTHR). The companies are conducting a Phase 1 trial of PLX-PAD for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Safety data is expected in the first half of 2015. Stemline Therapeutics (STML) and Verastem (VSTM) are two companies that are working on inhibiting cancer stem cells. Verastem is expecting to announce an interim analysis for their Phase II trial for VS-6063 for mesothelioma in the second quarter. Stemline recently raised about $60 million in a secondary offering and will be presenting at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week. Other stem cell companies include NeoStem (NBS) and StemCells (STEM).

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