The global stem cell therapy market is expected to experience significant growth over the next few years. Here are the 10 top stem cell companies on the NASDAQ.
Stem cell research and regenerative medicine are growing markets in the life sciences sector, and the top stem cell companies are working hard to make advances.
Stem cells are the building blocks of life, with special capabilities that are particularly important in both the early and later stages of a human’s life cycle.
Human stem cells have the ability to develop into a variety of different cell types in the body, including organ-specific cells, as well as muscle tissue and bone marrow cells; they can even renew themselves.
Stem cells serve as an internal repair system in the body. They can divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the body is still alive. That said, there’s still a lot of lab work that needs to be done before stem cell products can be used as cell-based therapies or regenerative medicines.
A report from Grand View Research projects that the global stem cell market will reach US$18.4 billion by 2028. The research firm sees “the rising number of stem cell banks, growing focus on increasing therapeutic potential of these, and extensive research for the development of regenerative medicines” as drivers of this market. Further market growth is expected to come from government funding for the development of cellular therapies for cancer.
Research and Markets is even more bullish, estimating that the global stem cell therapy market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent from 2020 to 2025, reaching US$20.87 billion.
The report’s authors attribute this growth to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases. “According to a United Nations article, by 2030, the proportion of global deaths due to chronic diseases is expected to increase to 70 (percent) of total deaths. The global burden of chronic diseases is expected to reach about 60 (percent),” states Research and Markets.
Here the Investing News Network profiles the 10 top stem cell companies listed on the NASDAQ. The stocks listed below are in order of market cap size from biggest to smallest, with all numbers and figures current as of August 12, 2021.
1. Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)
Market cap: US$158 billion
Biotechnology and pharmaceutical company Moderna is a pioneer in the field of mRNA. The company’s assets include a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics and a large intellectual property (IP) portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation; it also has an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for both clinical and commercial production.
These assets, along with Moderna’s network of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, allowed for the rapid development of one of the world’s most effective COVID-19 vaccines.
The other therapeutics and vaccines in the company’s pipeline are targeting infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. Moderna has 23 development programs underway across these therapeutic areas.
2. BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX)
Market cap: US$90.71 billion
Immunotherapy company BioNTech is advancing novel therapies for serious diseases such as cancer. The company combines computational discovery and therapeutic drug platforms to rapidly develop new biopharmaceutical products. BioNTech’s portfolio of oncology product candidates includes individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bispecific checkpoint immuno-modulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules.
In addition to its diverse oncology pipeline, the company is best known today for its mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities. In addition to its COVID-19 vaccine, created along with partner Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech is also engaged in collaborative partnerships aimed at assembling mRNA vaccine candidates for a range of infectious diseases.
3. Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NTLA)
Market cap: US$11.78 billion
Intellia Therapeutics is clinical-stage genome-editing company with a strong IP portfolio based on the potential of CRISPR/Cas9 technology to create novel genetic therapeutics.
Intellia’s in vivo programs use proprietary delivery technology to intravenously administer CRISPR therapeutics and enable highly precise editing of disease-causing genes directly within specific target tissues. The company’s ex vivo programs use CRISPR technology to remove, re-engineer and reinfuse the patient’s own cells to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases.
4. Prothena (NASDAQ:PRTA)
Market cap: US$2.65 billion
Prothena is a late-stage clinical company with a growing pipeline of novel therapeutics built on decades of research on protein dysregulation expertise. This includes both wholly owned and partnered programs targeting rare peripheral amyloid and neurodegenerative diseases, such as AL amyloidosis, ATTR amyloidosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Recently, Prothena received US$80 million from Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) for the exclusive US license to PRX005, with the option for global rights after an already initiated Phase 1 study. PRX005 is an investigational anti-tau antibody targeting the microtubule binding region of tau for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Tau is a microtubule-associated protein that aggregates and hyper-phospohrylates in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to form pathological neurofibrillary tangles.
5. Protagonist Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTGX)
Market cap: US$2.13 billion
Protagonist Therapeutics, another of the top stem cell companies, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that uses a proprietary technology platform to discover and develop novel peptide-based drugs to address significant unmet medical needs. Its pipeline includes rusfertide (PTG-300), an investigational, injectable hepcidin mimetic that is currently in a Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial for polycythemia vera, a type of blood cancer; rusfertide is also in a Phase 2 study in polycythemia vera subjects with high hematocrit levels and a Phase 2 study for hereditary hemochromatosis.
The company plans to initiate a global Phase 3 randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of a subcutaneously self-administered dose of rusfertide.
Protagonist also has a worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Janssen Biotech for the development of oral peptide IL-23 receptor antagonists.
6. Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX)
Market cap: US$2.1 billion
Celldex Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to developing monoclonal and bispecific antibodies that address underserved or unserved inflammatory diseases and many forms of cancer. The company’s pipeline includes antibody-based therapeutics that have the ability to engage a patient’s immune system and/or directly inhibit tumors.
Celldex recently reported positive data from an ongoing Phase 1b study of CDX-0159 in treating chronic inducible urticaria, an inflammatory skin disease. The study showed that CDX-0159 safely depletes mast cells, which indicates the therapeutic candidate’s potential to treat a myriad of diseases with mast cell involvement. The positive data helped the company complete a US$287.5 million follow-on offering that will support the expansion of the CDX-0159 program into later-stage studies.
7. Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN)
Market cap: US$1.58 billion
As its name suggests, Ocugen is focused on the development and commercialization of gene therapies to cure blindness diseases. The top stem cell company’s breakthrough modifier gene therapy platform is targeting the treatment of multiple underserved retinal diseases — including wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy — with one drug.
Ocugen is also co-developing Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN vaccine candidate for COVID-19 in the US and Canadian markets.
8. Anavex (NASDAQ:AVXL)
Market cap: US$1.4 billion
Avanex is a biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system diseases, plus pain and cancer.
The company’s lead drug candidate is ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine), an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors. The company has completed a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease; a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study in Parkinson’s disease dementia; and a Phase 2 study in adult patients with Rett syndrome. Anavex was awarded a research grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
During preclinical studies, ANAVEX®2-73 exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional central nervous system disorders, including epilepsy.
9. Enochian Biosciences (NASDAQ:ENOB)
Market cap: US$323.66 million
Biopharmaceutical company Enochian Biosciences is focused on developing gene-modified cellular and immune therapies to potentially cure and treat deadly diseases. Its platforms can potentially be applied to multiple indications, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, corona and influenza viruses as well as cancer.
The company’s pipeline includes its lead candidate, ENO-1001, which is in preclinical development to treat HIV/AIDS as a vaccine. Another compound Enochian is working on is ENO-4001 to prevent the relapse of colon cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration has accepted a pre-investigational new drug request from Enochian for a potential cure for hepatitis B virus infection.
10. Cellect Biotechnology (NASDAQ:APOP)
Market cap: US$15.65 million
Israel-based Cellect Biotechnology is developing ApoGraft, a technology platform that functionally selects stem cells from any given tissue to enhance the safety of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies. The technology allows for the safe and inexpensive production of cell-based therapies.
Cellect, another of the NASDAQ’s top stem cell companies, believes its process will provide researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies with the ability to rapidly produce cell-based treatments and procedures in a broad range of regenerative medicine applications. The company’s lead product is aimed at bone marrow transplantations in cancer treatment.
This is an updated version of an article first published on the Investing News Network in 2017.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.