Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Riding the Stem Cell Financial Wave in Newark

The stock price of StemCells, Inc., of Newark, Ca., has more than doubled this month following the publication of several “good news” stories about the company, including the virtual certainty that it will receive a $20 million loan tomorrow from the state of California.

The company also could well receive $20 million more if its appeal on another award from the California stem cell agency is successful.

StemCells, Inc., founded by Stanford researcher Irv Weissman, has seen its stock plummet as low as 59 cents during the last 12 months. On July 16, its price stood at 88 cents. On July 17, it jumped to $1.80. Today it is running about $2.28 at the time of this writing. (The latest stock price can be found here.)

All of which is to the benefit of Weissman, who acquired 15,433 shares of StemCells, Inc., on July 2 at no cost. According to SEC filings, the stock was given by the company to Weissman as a quarterly retainer for his services on the firm's scientific advisory board. Weissman also serves on the board of directors and currently holds 88,612 shares of the company.

Most of the good news about the company focused on its research into an Alzheimer's therapy. The California Stem Cell Report also reported on July 18 that the company was in line for a $20 million award from CIRM for its spinal cord injury therapy. CIRM's grant reviewers rejected the company's bid for $20 million for an Alzheimer's treatment but the firm is appealing that decision to the full board. (See here and here.)

Here are links to recent stories on StemCells, Inc.

Seeking Alpha by Chris Katje – July 17

California Stem Cell Report by David Jensen – July 18
First public report that StemCells, Inc. was in line for a $20 million loan from CIRM development of human neural stem cells to treat chronic cervical spinal cord injury

Technology Review by Susan Young – July 24

Tech24 – July 24 -- July 24
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