RegMed Competitive and Market Intelligence 3/7/12, stocks back to highs, bouncing back from yesterday’s decline as jobs data offers hope
Today’s Gospel: Stocks held their gains Wednesday, bouncing back from the previous day’s sharp decline, buoyed by some better-than-expected economic reports and ahead of Greece’s bond swap offer to private creditors. Also a word fro my favorite market pundit … “Right now, the Greek bailout is the number one item,” said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services. “We’re back to where we were several weeks ago where the euro controls everything—and the euro is somewhat more stable today.”
Mid-Day: The NASDAQ is UP +27.28 (+0.94%) to 2,937.60 while the Dow is also UP +72.85 (+0.57%) to 12,832.00.
EconRecon: Private-sector payrolls increased 216K in February, led by the service-providing sector and small businesses, according to the ADP employment report released Wednesday. Markets look to ADP’s report on private-sector payrolls to provide some guidance on the US Labor Department’s jobs estimate, which will be released Friday and includes information on both private- and public-sector payrolls. Economists predict unemployment rate to remain at 8.3%.
Mid-Day Market Commentary: Stocks have moved modestly higher in mid-day trading on Wednesday, regaining some ground after moving sharply lower over the course of the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the Dow bouncing off a 1 month closing low. The major averages are currently posting modest gains, just off their highs. The early strength on Wall Street is partly due to the release of a report from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) showing continued private sector job growth in the month of February.
Who is UP … Mid-day:
- Aastrom (ASTM);
- Athersys (ATHX);
- BioMimetic (BMTI);
- Cytori (CYTX);
- Cytomedix (OTC BB: CMXI);
- Dendreon (DNDN)
- Geron (GERN);
- Osiris (OSIR);
- Pluristem (PSTI);
- StemCells (STEM);
- Tengion (TNGN);
- Verastem (VSTM).
What’s new in the regenerative medicine/stem cell market… 2 … things to know today … Not Much …
Fourteenth Patient Dosed in Neuralstem ALS Stem Cell Trial: Amex: CUR’s 2nd patient to receive stem cells in the cervical (upper back) region of the spine was dosed on 2/29 in the ongoing P1 trial of its spinal cord neural stem cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Patient 14 is also the 1st woman to be treated in the trial. Stem cell transplantation into the cervical region of the spinal cord could support breathing, a key function that is lost as ALS progresses. The 1st 12 patients in the trial received stem cell transplants in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spinal cord only. The Bottom Line: The P1 trial to assess the safety of Neuralstem’s spinal cord neural stem cells and intra-spinal transplantation method in ALS patients has been underway since 1/10. The trial is designed to enroll up to 18 patients. The first 12 patients were each transplanted in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine, beginning with non-ambulatory and advancing to ambulatory cohorts. The trial has now progressed to the final 6 patients. Each is in the cervical (upper back) region of the spine. The entire 18-patient trial concludes 6 months after the final surgery.
Grant given to research on human liver cells development: The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research awarded Medicyte and Primacyt a $394,000 grant for a 3 year research project to develop modified liver cells for use in cell-based therapies. The partners, in collaboration with the University of Tubingen, will focus on developing in vitro systems to treat severe liver disease. The Bottom Line: Medicyte is a company involved in the generation of human primary cells based on the upcyte technology, while Primacyt is a firm involved in long-term culturing of primary human hepatocytes. Medicyte’s upcyte technology enables the expansion of human primary liver cells to large amounts and with consistent quality. Primacyt is capable of serum-free, long-term culturing of primary human hepatocytes and the development of cell culture media. Both companies now combine their knowledge to develop modified liver cells in large amounts for use in cell-based therapies