The global stem cell therapy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 36 percent between 2017 and 2021. 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.
As the US National Institutes of Health explains, “In many tissues (stem cells) serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal 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.
BIS Research estimates that the global stem cell therapy market totaled US$755.4 million in 2018 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent until 2029 to reach US$11 billion.
The report’s authors attribute this growth to increased government and organizational funding for stem cell research and new drug discovery, alongside “rising awareness and proven effectiveness of stem cell therapy products.” In turn, more stem cell therapy products are expected to receive regulatory approval and be launched in the market by the top stem cell companies.
A report from Grand View Research is even more bullish, projecting that the global stem cell market will reach US$17.9 billion by 2027. The research firm sees “the presence of a strong, diverse clinical pipeline … accelerat(ing) revenue generation in the global market,” with a focus on developing advanced therapeutics for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
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 17, 2020.
1. Sangamo Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SGMO)
Market cap: US$1.61 billion
Sangamo Therapeutics is working on genomic therapies, particularly in areas with unmet medical needs.
The company’s gene therapy pipeline includes one Phase 3 program being developed in partnership with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) for hemophilia A; one Phase 1/2 program for fabry disease; and one program in the preclinical stage for phenylketonuria, a rare genetic disorder.
Sangamo’s ex vivo gene-edited cell therapy programs include eight in different stages of development, including: a Phase 1/2 beta-thalassemia clinical trial in partnership with Sanofi (NYSE:SNY); a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for sickle cell disease, also in partnership with Sanofi; a solid organ transplant, which has completed the preclinical stages; two preclinical-stage oncology programs in partnership with Kite Pharma, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD); and one preclinical-stage program each for inflammatory bowl disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).
The company also has one in vivo genome-editing Phase 1/2 program for mucopolysaccharidosis type 2 and seven preclinical-stage in vivo gene-regulation programs for various disorders.
2. Vericel (NASDAQ:VCEL)
Market cap: US$694.59 million
Top stem cell company Vericel bases its treatments on tissue collection from patients. Its two lead products are Carticel and Epicel. Carticel seeks to treat cartilage defects in the knee. Epicel is aimed at treating patients with burns greater than or equal to 30 percent of their total body surface area.
The company also has exclusive license rights for the commercialization of NexoBrid in North America for the treatment of severe thermal burns.
3. Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX)
Market cap: US$479.69 million
Athersys is a biopharmaceutical company focused on its lead stem cell product candidate, the MultiStem, which is being developed to treat multiple diseases related to neurological, inflammatory and immune and cardiovascular conditions, among others.
The company’s most advanced programs are for treating ischemic stroke, one of the leading debilitating diseases in the US, Europe, Japan and China. MultiStem for the treatment of ischemic stroke is being evaluated in a Phase 2/3 trial in Japan and is in a Phase 3 trial at sites in North America and Europe.
MultiStem for the treatment of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and graft versus host disease, a condition that can occur following transplantation, is in a Phase 3 pivotal study under special protocol assessment by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The program was awarded Orphan Drug status by the FDA and European Medicines Agency, and was fast-tracked by the FDA.
4. BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BCLI)
Market cap: US$418.38 million
In the company’s pipeline is its NurOwn technology platform, consisting of a range of products to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), progressive MS, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and autism spectrum disorder.
The company currently has a Phase 3 trial for using autologous MSC-NTF cells to treat ALS in six sites in the US, and an ongoing Phase 2 trial for the treatment of progressive MS.
5. Cellular Biomedicine Group (NASDAQ:CBMG)
Market cap: US$359.7 million
Cellular Biomedicine Group, one of the top stem cell companies, is in the clinical stages of developing immunotherapies for cancers in addition to stem cell therapies for degenerative diseases.
In its stem cell therapy pipeline are two therapeutic candidates to treat knee osteoarthritis — AlloJoin and ReJoin — the former of which has been approved to advance into a Phase 2 clinical trial, and the latter of which has completed a Phase 2b clinical trial.
In mid-2020, the company entered into a definitive merger agreement with a newly formed consortium that may see the company go private.
6. Pluristem Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PSTI)
Market cap: US$222.3 million
This clinical-stage biotherapy company develops cell therapy to treat inflammation, ischemia, radiation damage and more. Pluristem develops placenta-derived off-the-shelf products.
The company produces its cells in a one-of-a-kind 3D bioreactor that resembles the environment of the human body. The bioreactor can generate the cells on a mass scale.
7. Gamida Cell (NASDAQ:GMDA)
Market cap: US$197.89 million
Gamida Cell’s cell therapies are intended to treat blood cancers and rare hematologic conditions. Its lead product candidate is omidubicel, which can potentially act as a stem cell transplant for patients with high-risk blood cancer or bone marrow failure disorders.
The drug is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 clinical study in leukemia and lymphoma patients, in addition to a Phase 1 study in patients with aplastic anemia.
8. VistaGen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VTGN)
Market cap: US$55.94 million
This biopharmaceutical company is seeking to develop and commercialize new chemical entities with regenerative potential, as well as cellular therapies involving stem cell-derived blood, cartilage, heart and liver cells. This top stem cell company also owns the subsidiary VistaStem, which is focused on using human stem cell technology to make human health predictions.
9. Caladrius Biosciences (NASDAQ:CLBS)
Market cap: US$34.84 million
Caladrius Biosciences’ product lines includes cardiovascular and autoimmune disease treatments.
The company currently has three product candidates for treating cardiovascular diseases based off of its CD34+ cell therapy platform. The first, CLBS12, has received SAKIGAKE designation in Japan and is thus is eligible to treat critical limb ischemia in Japan. It has also received advanced medicinal product classification in Europe. The company is targeting Q4 2021 for commercialization.
CLBS16 has the potential to treat coronary microvascular dysfunction in the US and is targeted to enter a Phase 2b trial in H2 2020. CLBS14 is entering a Phase 3 clinical program for refractory disabling angina.
Caladrius is also leveraging its expertise to combat the deleterious impact of COVID-19 on the lungs. A Phase 2 trial for CLBS119 is slated to begin in the third quarter of 2020 with the goal of evaluating the safety and efficacy of CD34+ cells for the repair of damaged tissue in the lungs of COVID-19 patients who have suffered respiratory failure.
10. ThermoGenesis Holdings (NASDAQ:THMO)
Market cap: US$30.11 million
ThermoGenesis Holdings develops and commercializes automated cell processing technologies geared towards cell and gene therapy. Its solutions target automated clinical biobanking, point-of-care applications and large-scale cell processing for CAR T-based immunotherapies.
The top stem cell company’s CARTXpress platform streamlines how CAR T immunotherapies are manufactured.
This is an updated version of an article first published on the Investing News Network in 2017.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.