Organovo Shares Spike on Kidney Disease Treatment Collaboration

- May 30th, 2019

Organovo climbed over 100 percent on the news that it will develop 3D bioprinted stem cell-based therapeutic tissues for kidney disease.

Organovo (NASDAQ:ONVO) has disclosed a partnership with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and the Leiden University Medical Center to develop 3D bioprinted stem cell-based therapeutic tissues to treat kidney disease.

Bioprinting falls under the 3D printing umbrella and is able to produce living tissue, bone and blood vessels. It could one day also produce complete organs to be used in surgeries.

The company has a range of 3D bioprinting products in its portfolio that are being developed for rare diseases, such as end-stage liver disease, kidney disease and select inborn errors of metabolism.

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Shares of Organovo reacted favorably on Thursday (May 30), rising 103.36 percent over the one day trading period to close the session at US$0.81. After-hours trading bumped the stock back down 6.27 percent to US$0.77 as of 4:57 p.m. EDT.

As part of the collaboration, Organovo will implement its bioprinting portfolio together with MCRI’s stem cell technology and Leiden Unversity’s cell lines and clinical experience. According to the release, this three way partnership comes as a result of funding from Stem Cells Australia and CSL.

“Partnerships with world-class institutions can accelerate groundbreaking work in finding cures for critical unmet disease needs and the development of implantable therapeutic tissues,” Taylor J. Crouch, CEO of Organovo, said in a release.

Melissa Little, a professor at MCRI, said that Organovo’s bioprinter will help create a stem cell-based therapeutic tissue that will play an integral role in kidney disease treatment.

The company revealed on May 22 in its preliminary fiscal Q4 2019 financial results that in relation to its liver tissue patch, it needs to conduct additional preclinical studies that will extend into 2020. Because of this, the company will send its pre-investigational new drug  (IND) application to the US Food and Drug Administration in 2020 instead of later this year.

“This change in our timeline also pushes the start of our IND-enabling studies back, with our revised plan now supporting an IND submission and the start of first-in-human trials in calendar 2021,” Crouch said in the release. “Accordingly, we intend to devote substantially all of our financial and operating resources to meet these critical timelines.”

While shares of Organovo were up impressively on Thursday, year-to-date the company has declined by 18.9 percent from its US$1 price tag on January 2. It is currently ranked as a “moderate buy” on TipRanks based on two analyst ratings with an average US$1.50 price target.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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