Monday, September 3, 2012

StemCells (NASDAQ:STEM) Rises for Second Day Ahead of Clinical Trials

Shares of StemCells, Inc.(NASDAQ:STEM) soared 11 percent to $2.17 on Friday, rising for the second consecutive day after the biotech group announced its plans to present data from a Phase I/II clinical trial testing its stem-cell therapy in the treatment of chronic spinal-cord injuries.

The data will be presented on Monday, Sept. 3, at the annual scientific meeting of the International Spinal Cord Society in London.

StemCells plans to hold a conference call for interested parties the following day to discuss the data. The stock has risen 6 percent in the last 30 days, and has soared 128 percent since the beginning of the year.

The presentation will include interim data from the study`s first cohort, which has three partially paralyzed patients being treated with STEM`s proprietary HuCNS-SC cells, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

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Researchers are looking for efficacy - measured by improvement in motor function, sensation, and bladder control - and safety in the first of three planned cohorts, each with more mild paralysis than the previous.

Analysts are expecting some positive results from the trial. If Monday`s data looks good for STEM, shares may climb higher on momentum, however, negative results will have disastrous effects on the stock.

StemCells is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of cell-based therapeutics and tools for use in stem cell-based research and drug discovery.

The company's lead therapeutic product candidate, HuCNS-SC(R) cells (purified human neural stem cells), is currently in development as a potential treatment for a broad range of central nervous system disorders.

In a Phase I clinical trial in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a fatal myelination disorder in children, and the company has shown preliminary evidence of progressive and durable donor-derived myelination in all four patients transplanted with HuCNS-SC cells.

The company is also conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial in chronic spinal cord injury in Switzerland and has reported positive interim safety data for the first patient cohort.

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