Thursday, September 06, 2012

StemCells, Inc., Hails $40 Million in Awards from California Stem Cell Agency

StemCells, Inc., was quick this morning with a press release about winning a $20 million award last night from the California stem cell agency.

The publicly traded, Newark, Ca., firm also pointed out that the CIRM board in July awarded another $20 million to the business.

The news release hailed the awards as validating its science and business. Martin McGlynn, who personally appeared before the CIRM board last night, said,
 "CIRM's approval of two awards to StemCells illustrates the tremendous promise of our neural stem cell technology and the high degree of confidence in the world class team of scientists and clinicians who will be working to translate this technology into potential treatments and cures for these devastating diseases." 
On the Alzheimer's award last night, McGlynn said,
 "With the recent spate of late-stage clinical failures in Alzheimer's disease, it is clear that the field could benefit from alternative approaches to lessen the huge burden on families, caregivers and our healthcare system.
He continued,
"Our recently reported preclinical data, which showed that our neural stem cells restored memory and enhanced synaptic function in two animal models relevant to Alzheimer's disease, shows our approach has promise. We greatly appreciate the support from CIRM, which should help us accelerate our efforts to test our HuCNS-SC cells in Alzheimer's disease."
The news release did not note that the board has required that the firm must show proof that it has access to $20 million in matching funds prior to receiving cash from the agency on the Alzheimer's grant. The California Stem Cell Report is asking CIRM whether that requirement extends to the earlier grant as well.

One of the analysts who follows the company released a special report on the firm this morning. Stephen Dunn of LifeTech Capital said,
 “We are reiterating our strong speculative buy with a price target of $4.50 as StemCells Inc. continues to distinguishing themselves as one of the most advanced players in the stem cell space.”
At the time of this writing, the firm's stock was trading at $2.20 up seven cents. Its 52 week high is $2.67 and its 52 week low is 59 cents.  

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