Despite the controversial stem cell research, companies have promising technology or methodology with the potential for investors to take a closer look in the area. A recent report by Infiniti Research Limited titled Global Stem Cell Therapy Market 2017-2021, grouped the top growth prospect companies involved in any kind of stem cell therapy-based research.
The US National Institutes of Health explains there’s still a lot of lab work that needs to be done before stem cells can be used as cell-based therapies, or regenerative medicine. That being said, research continues to advance stem cell knowledge.
“Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth,” says the US National Institutes of Health. “In many tissues they 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.”
“The global stem cell therapy market [will] grow steadily at a CAGR of around 36% by 2021,” read the report.
Here is a look at the top 10 Nasdaq-listed companies included in this report. All figures were provided from Google Finance and are current as of market closure time on March 15.
Sangamo Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SGMO)
Market cap: $2.09 billion; current share price: $24.25
First founded as Sangamo BioSciences—and changed to therapeutics in early 2017—this company seeks to develop new medicines to treat genetic diseases. The company has 12 drug candidates in its pipeline, all involved in different stages of trials and research. Some collaborations in the pipeline are with big pharma companies, including Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG), Bioverativ (NASDAQ:BIVV) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).
In February, Sangamo announced the regulatory agency in the UK granted the company permission to begin a new phase ½ clinical trial for SB-FIX. Also in February, the company announced a new collaboration to develop a next-generation cell therapy for cancer with Kite Pharma, a subsidiary of Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD).
“We are excited by Kite’s commitment to driving innovation in this field and look forward to working together to realize the full promise of cell therapy in treating cancer,”Sandy Macrae, president and CEO of Sangamo said in the press release.
Market cap: $226.15 Million; current share price: $1.83
Athersys is a biopharmaceutical focused on its MultiStem programs, which is a stem cell product developed to treat multiple diseases and conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, congestive heart failure, ischemic stroke and more.
The company announced a new collaboration intent in March with private Japanese company Healios to expand MultiStem further.
“This is a significant opportunity for both Healios and Athersys,” commented Dr. Gil Van Bokkelen, CEO of Athersys. “It provides for a meaningful expansion of the existing partnership, providing a much broader scope of rights for Healios, while providing Athersys with substantial additional capital and a committed development partner in key areas.”
Athersys’ 2017 financial results highlights that its research and development costs increased to $27.8 million from $24.8 million in 2016.
Pluristem Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PSTI)
Market cap: $161.84 million; current share price: $1.47
This clinical-stage biotherapy product develops cell therapy to treat inflammation, ischemia, radiation damage and more. Pluristem develops placenta-derived off-the-shelf products.
Pluristem produces its cells in a one-of-a-kind 3D bioreactor that resembles the environment of the human body, which can generate the cells on a mass scale.
In early 2018, the company received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to expand its critical limb ischemia outside of its ongoing phase 3 study for the same treatments.
“This is a true vote of confidence by the FDA in our cell therapy and a landmark achievement for Pluristem and its shareholders. It gives us the ability to begin treatments using our cell product, offering treatment to certain CLI patients who have poor therapeutic options, while also collecting real-world data alongside our ongoing phase III clinical study,” Yaky Yanay, Co-CEO and president of Pluristem said in the press release.
Cellular Biomedicine Group (NASDAQ:CBMG)
Market cap: $267.60 million; current share price: $19.10
This company has its eyes set on China as it hopes to become a leader in the specialty pharmaceutical market for cell therapeutics. Late 2017, Cellular Biomedicine opened a new Shanghai-based joint laboratory and manufacturing facility.
Earlier this year, the company additionally announced a new cell therapy manufacturing agreement with GE Healthcare.
“This is a productivity revolution in the CAR-T space,” Tony Liu, CEO of the company said in the release.“This new generation of semi-automated and standardized CAR-T manufacturing capabilities created by GE Healthcare and CBMG may allow cell therapy to provide an optimal platform and opportunity for general oncology patients.”
Market cap: $392.71 million; current share price: $11.25
Vericel bases its treatment in tissue collection from the patient. Its two lead products, Carticel and Epicel, are seeking to treat cartilage defects in the knee and patients with burns greater than or equal to 30 percent of total body surface area respectively.
The company initiated a collaboration with the private company Innovative Cellular Therapeutics. Vericel has the intention to use the collaboration to bring its cell therapy products to patients in Asia.
In March, the company announced positive 2017 financial results with an 18 percent increase to $63.9 million from $54.4 million year over year.
“We successfully executed the launch of MACI and expanded Epicel utilization in 2017,” Nick Colangelo, Vericel president and CEO said. “These successes, combined with a strong balance sheet and an expanded sales force in 2018, have positioned the company for continued strong revenue growth in the years ahead.”
BrainstormCell Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BCLI)
Market cap: $64.63 million; current share price: $3.43
Thanks to its proprietary technology, BrainstormCell converts mesenchymal stem cells into its own NurOwn therapy platform.
The company’s 2017 financial results showed it spent less than half the previous year on R&D, from $2.25 million to $977,000 year over year. Looking ahead to the rest 2018, the company will conduct the phase 3 clinical trial for NurOwn, a drug treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. BrainstormCell also anticipates it will release top line data towards the end of 2019.
Caladrius Biosciences (NASDAQ:CLBS)
Market cap: $54.74 million; current share price: $5.78
Caladrius is investigating its lead product candidate CLBS03 to treat recent-onset type 1 diabetes, currently in a phase 2 clinical trial. The company plans for this treatment to be autologous.
In March, Caladius had two big announcements: the first one being that it had acquired the rights to Shire’s data set and regulatory filings for the CD43+ cell therapy program to treat refractory angina. Following that,the company released phase 2 CLBS03 interim analysis which show the trial has been successful thus far.
“The results of this interim analysis show that CLBS03 remains well-tolerated and that a positive outcome for therapeutic effect at the end of the trial remains a statistical possibility,” David Mazzo, Caladrius CEO, said.
Cytori Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CYTX)
Market cap: $11.05 million; current share price: $0.31 Million
Cytori develops regenerative and oncologic therapies for a variety of medical conditions with its proprietary cell therapy to nanoparticle platforms. Preclinical data from Cytori Cell Therapy, has shown to facilitate wound repair, improves blood flow and modulates the immune system.
In its 2017 financial report Mark Hedrick, Cytori Therapeutics’ CEO, said the company is on track for submitting an application to the European Medicines Agency for ATI-0918, a generic oncology drug.
“The SCLERADEC-II trial for patients with scleroderma recently completed enrollment and enrollment in the ADRESU trial for patients with post surgical urinary incontinence should be completed soon. Both trials have read-outs later in 2018,” he said in the press release.
Cesca Therapeutics (NASDAQ:KOOL)
Market cap: $29.88 million; current share price: $2.75
This therapeutic company is working on developing the cancer fighting CAR-T and other cell-based therapies for the emerging immunotherapy market.
So far this year already, Cesca launched a new system for advanced cord blood processing, the AXP II. “Since its introduction in 2006, our AXP system has been viewed as the gold standard in the volume reduction processing of cord blood, and we count many of the world’s leading public and private cord blood banks among our current long-time customers,” said Chris Xu, Cesca Therapeutics CEO said in the press release.
The company’s subsidiary, ThermoGenesis, also expanded into CAR-T related contract development and manufacturing services with IncoCell. ThermoGenesis will receive a percentage of the gross contract development revenue and other payments associated with the contract.
VistaGen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VTGN)
Market cap: $28.40 million; current share price: $1.30
This biopharmaceutical company is seeking to develop and commercialize new chemical entities with regenerative potential and cellular therapies involving stem cell-derived blood, cartilage, heart and liver cells. It also own the subsidiary VistaStem, focused on using human stem cell technology to make human health predictions.
In early 2018 VistaGen received FDA fast track designation for AV-101 to treat major depressive disorder. It’s meant to act as a ketamine-like antidepressant without its negative central nervous system side-effects.
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This is an updated version of an article first published on the Investing News Network in 2017.
Securities Disclosure: I, Gabrielle Lakusta, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.