DAVID GRANOVSKY

All Eyes on the Stem Cell Index Ahead of Study Results

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on August 25, 2009 at 9:05 am

All Eyes on the Stem Cell Index Ahead of Study Results

8/24/09

After last week’s news from Geron (NADSAQ: GERN) weighed on the sector, stem cell stocks were ahead to start the week.

Geron announced early last week that U.S. health regulators put its spinal study on hold. The company’s new drug application for the treatment of subacute spinal cord injury is now under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The news dragged Geron stock down by -11% over the last week, but Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Joe Pantginis believes most of the company’s value is in its oncology program, according to Reuters.

As a whole, the Stem Cell Stocks Index is up by 2.1% today. However, it still lags the S&P 500 over the last month.

The sector’s biggest winner is Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR), which is adding 12% to its 23% five-day rally. Investors anxiously await the results of the company’s Phase III acute graft versus host disease (GvHD) study. GvHD is a deadly complication of bone marrow transfusions, which occurs in up to 60% of cases involving unrelated donors, according to HealthDay News. Patient enrollment for the study, which focuses on the company’s Prochymal as a first-line treatment for GvHD, was completed back in April.

Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) is another top performer over the last week, up by 17%. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company uses stem cells and early progenitor cells from patients’ bone marrow in the production of proprietary tissue repair cell technology.

Elsewhere in the sector, one-week gains are less impressive. ThermoGenesis (KOOL) and Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX) are both up by over 4% for the period. Meanwhile, Neuralstem (CUR) moved -7% in the opposite direction.

StemCells (STEM) and Opexa Therapeutics (OPXA) have moved up and down respectively for the period, though by less than 1.5%.

As of this writing, the Stem Cell Stocks Index’s one-month performance is towards the middle of the pack among tickerspy’s more than 250 sector-based Indexes, currently up by 4.8% for the period.

Investors can follow the Stem Cell Stocks Index and view related charts and metrics at at tickerspy.com.

Tags: ASTM, CUR, CYTX, GERN, KOOL, OPXA, OSIR, STEM

via tickerspy » All Eyes on the Stem Cell Index Ahead of Study Results.

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