Updating Q3/09, Athersys (NASDAQ: ATHX)
Athersys (ATHX) is a bio-pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. ATHX is developing MultiStem, a patented adult-derived “off-the-shelf” stem cell product platform for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation/oncology support, ischemic stroke and other indications. (www.athersys.com)
Updating our 10/29/09 post; ATHX finished the day (11/5/09) trading at $1.03 with a market cap of $19.49 M pre the quarterly conference call:
Regulatory: During Q3/09, ATHX continued progress in 2 Phase I studies for the treatment of AMI and cancer treatment support in patients at risk for GVHD and other complications using its proprietary MultiStem platform:
- Completed the 2nd dosing cohort for the AMI study and enrolling patients in the 3rd dosing cohort. Overall enrollment in this trial is now 2/3’s complete. The enrollment for this study should be complete early next year with anticipated disclosure of top-line data during Q2/10,
- The cancer treatment (support) trial has completed the first 2 dosing cohorts and is currently enrolling patients in the 3rd cohort. The independent safety committee has reviewed the interim safety data and moved to the higher dosing group as well as initiating the multi-dose arm of the study,
- Continued enrollment in 2 MultiStem(R) phase I clinical trials for patients who suffer an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and for the complications, including graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), associated with bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplants for treating leukemia and related cancer.
Financials: Q3/09 revenues decreased to $484 K (from $1.3 M):
- Grant revenue decreased due to the completion late in FY08 of a 3 year state grant and to the timing of expenditures that are reimbursed with grant proceeds,
- License fee revenue decreased $0.7 M as a result of the nature and timing of target acceptances and fees under the collaboration agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY),
- Net loss for Q3/09 decreased to $3.4 M (from $4.5 M) due to a decrease of $2 M in R&D costs which costs was primarily related to costs incurred in FY08 for development of ATHX-105 which was suspended early in 2009,
- Ended Q3/09 with $22.4 M in cash.
Bottom Line: After listening to the conference call – not much; just waiting for interum clinical results. Reiterating, ATHX continues to develop a portfolio of other therapeutic programs including orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders utilizing proprietary technologies including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE) which was not mentioned other than pre-clinical obesity research. No questions or investor expectation focus; needs visibilityand definition of value drivers of the technology and its application!!