Asterias Biotherapeutics (AST) Stock Rips Higher


Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc (NYSEMKT: AST)

Asterias Therapeutics is continuing to trade higher, tacking on an additional 15% gain to its share price as traders enter the final few hours of trading on Friday.

AST is expected to release earnings on 11/14/16, however, investors appear to be looking past those numbers and are focused on the news that AST has treated their first patient with complete cervical spinal cord injury in their dose escalation SciStar clinical trial.

AST Is Proving That Stem Cells Can Work

With the first patient dosed and with enrollment continuing, AST is quickly advancing their clinical initiatives to design a treatment for complete spinal cord injury, utilizing stem cells for the therapeutic treatment.

AST Receives Data Monitoring Committee Approval

The dose escalation trial follows the review from the DMC, which had analyzed the data from the previous 2 million and 10 million cell dose cohorts. AST has recently presented positive early efficacy data observed in patients from the lower dose cohorts.

After extensive clinical research, the AST medical team expects to see optimum clinical improvements in patients being treated in the current 20 million cell cohort.

Safety and Efficacy

AST’s trial results to date continue to support a positive safety profile, with no serious or unexpected adverse events. The trial also provided a short course of low dose immunosuppression drugs, which can sometimes complicate the patient responses. Such data was not reported in the AST trials.

Back in September, AST reported early positive efficacy data for its AST-OPC1 trial from five of its AIS-A patients. Those patients were treated with a two million share dose of the AST-OPC1 cells. At the 90-day follow-up, all of the patients have shown at least one motor level improvement, and the efficacy target of 2 of 5 patients achieving at least a two motor skill improvement has already been met.

A two motor skill improvement is correlated with a significant increase in functional ability, as well as the ability for patients to care for themselves.

Asterias On The Radar

Investors should keep an eye on Asterias as the trial continues to develop. Even with the recent gains, if the SciStar trial posts positive results confirming the earlier data, AST can be off to the races.

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[Image Courtesy of Wikimedia]


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