Sunday, August 27, 2006

Somewhat Differing Views On ACT

Murky and optimistic – two terms applied to the prospects of Advanced Cell Technology, the only island-based stem cell company in California.

Reporter Steve Johnson of the San Jose Mercury News prepared a piece on the business of ACT late last week. He quoted on William Caldwell, CEO of ACT, as being "very optimistic" on his enterprise. Johnson wrote:
"Advanced Cell Technology disclosed that it expects to get $13.5 million in funding from investors. Moreover, the company next year plans to seek federal approval to begin studies in people of its proposed stem-cell treatment for macular degeneration, an eye disease."
Johnson continued:
"The firm has consistently lost money since its inception and last year reported a net loss of $9.4 million. Its revenue from licensing fees and royalties totaled $395,007.

"Consequently, it has resorted to unusual tactics to save

"When it public last year, for example, it didn't use the usual method of doing an initial public offering. Instead, it chose the cheaper route of taking over an existing public company, acquiring Two Moons Kachinas, which sold kachina dolls used in American Indian ceremonies. Advanced Cell Technology then changed Kachina's stock symbol and is traded on the over-the-counter bulletin board as ACTC.OB.

"Despite a huge jump in its stock price after Wednesday's announcement, the company's stock has fallen from a high of $2.95 a share on Oct. 17 last year to 96 cents at the close of trading Friday. Its future remains murky."
(As for that island business in the first paragraph of this item, it is not widely known that the city of Alameda is on an island in San Francisco Bay. We report that as part of our effort to educate the public about important geographic issues. We are also fond of interesting minutia.)

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