Tuesday, April 15, 2014

$124 Million Deal for Keirstead's California Stem Cell, Inc.

California Stem Cell, Inc., founded by the UC Irvine researcher made famous eight years ago by showing a once paralyzed rat apparently walking on national television, was sold this week in a deal reportedly worth at least $124 million in stock and cash.

NeoStem, a New York city-based firm, announced the acquisition yesterday in a move that sent its stock to $6.64 this morning, up roughly 6 percent from last Friday. Its 52-week high is $9.00 and low $5.00.

Gen News reported that the deal “will add a late-stage technology to the acquiring company’s pipeline. Through the deal, NeoStem will take over development of CSC’s Melapuldencel-T, an autologous melanoma initiating (stem) cell immune-based therapy intended to eliminate the tumor cells capable of causing disease recurrence, beginning with the launch of a pivotal Phase III trial.”
Hans Keirstead
UC Irvine photo

The president of the privately held California Stem Cell, Inc., is Hans Keirstead, who was a key figure in the 60 Minutes news show on Feb. 23, 2006. CBS reported that “if paralyzed people are ever going to walk again, it might be because of the scientist (Keirstead) in this story.” 

The piece said he had injected the rats with embryonic stem cells. Keirstead, however, has not taken that research into a clinical trial for human beings.

NeoStem's interest in the Irvine firm did not appear to involve a possible spinal therapy.

While the company's stock price jumped as a result of the acquisition, one view of the future of the NeoStem was not optimistic. The Street Web site is recommending a “sell” on the firm's stock. It said yesterday. The Street said,
“This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.”

UC Davis stem cell scientist and blogger Paul Knoepfler, however, called the deal good news for the stem cell field.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:25 AM

    It seems everyone's happy except the same suffering patients less the ones that have died.
    Same ole same ole.