The company has two very important trials in progress, either of which would be transformative with good data. As I mentioned before, Athersys is partnered with Pfizer in an ulcerative colitis program. Athersys' cell therapy product, MultiStem, is being used to treat these patients. I believe that even before we see data from the phase 2 trail, we could see Pfizer make a decision to expand its relationship with Athersys based on the recognition of what it already knows about the company and the product.
Athersys is one of only a handful of companies that has spelled out in detail the mechanism of action. . .the idea of being so specific with mechanism of action, with dose, with where it's delivered and with when it's delivered, becomes critical for the company, a differentiating factor. Athersys also has an interesting small molecule program, with 5HT2c receptors and agonists for obesity or schizophrenia. That's not on the regenerative medicine side. This is a neat little company that has a great management team and deep science bench."
"Ischemic stroke is another indication Athersys is looking at. That's a highly significant indication, because physicians have a short window of opportunity to help patients regain function. If not treated right away, disability problems are exacerbated, and stroke leads to outcomes that are, once again, dealt with in a palliative and watchful fashion, which is unaffordable in the current healthcare environment. This is a phase 2 program, and it's unpartnered."