Athersys Inc.

Athersys Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing MultiStem, a patented, adult-derived "off-the-shelf" stem cell product platform for the cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory and immune disease areas. The company currently has five clinical stage programs involving MultiStem, including those for treating inflammatory bowel disease (partnered with Pfizer Inc.), ischemic stroke, damage caused by myocardial infarction and for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease. Athersys has additional pharmaceutical programs in the metabolic and neurological areas, and a broad international network of collaborations with leading clinical and research institutions.

Expert Comments:

Jason Kolbert, Maxim Group (1/13/16)
"Athersys Inc. announced the recent publication of an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Neuroinflammation that provides further evidence that multipotent adult progenitor cells or, as used in clinical development, MultiStem cell therapy, has the potential to provide benefit following hypoxic ischemia. . .these findings are consistent with previous findings in related areas, such as ischemic stroke, and add to the scientific foundation supporting MultiStem cell therapy for the treatment of acute neurological injuries."

Henry McCusker, RegMed Investors (1/8/16)
"Athersys Inc. and Healios have announced a partnership and license agreement that will focus on the development and commercialization of novel cell therapy treatments, including MultiStem, for the treatment of ischemic stroke and potentially other indications, in Japan. . .as part of the license, Athersys will receive an initial license fee of $15M, as well as have the opportunity to earn milestone and royalty payments upon the successful accomplishment of specific development and commercialization objectives."

Jason Kolbert, Maxim Group (1/8/16)
"Athersys Inc. and Healios have entered into a partnership and license agreement that will focus on the development and commercialization of MultiStem for ischemic stroke and potentially other indications, in Japan. This is very positive news for Athersys as we are now excited to see MultiStem move forward in a pivotal trial in 2H/16E in Japan in stroke."

Jason Kolbert, Maxim Group (12/22/15)
"Our focus and confidence are data driven. Our continued review of the maturing data sets from the Phase 2 stroke trial supports our belief that Athersys Inc. not only has met the safety hurdle but has demonstrated in the post-hoc analysis that proof of concept exists for a therapeutic benefit. . .we remain believers in the company and in MultiStem. The data continues to show that time equals brain, but MultiStem is clearly having an impact on patient outcomes. We look forward to the coming news of a new partner in Japan and the start of the Phase 2/3 pivotal stroke program."

Maxim Jacobs, Edison Investment Research (12/14/15)
"Athersys Inc.'s recent Phase 2 data in stroke indicated strong trends in favor of MultiStem across multiple endpoints, though the study did miss the primary endpoint on an intent-to-treat basis. Clinical trial design changes in future trials should help increase the program's chance of success. . .we have increased our fair value to $340M (versus $256M) or $4.08/share (versus $3.09/share) as we increased our pricing assumptions due to extremely lucrative reimbursement decisions for recently approved cell-based products in Japan."

"I believe that Athersys Inc.'s MultiStem (multipotent adult progenitor cells), an allogeneic, off-the-shelf stem cell product, is going to prove viable, and will change the paradigm for treating stroke. . . My understanding and expectation is that, in light of the termination, we will see a new Japanese partner step into the breach. My confidence level that this is going to happen is higher now that Astellas Pharma has decided to acquire Ocata Therapeutics. . .Athersys CEO Gil Van Bokkelen, whom I've known for the last 10 years, is a straight shooter. I know that he's in Japan a great deal of the time. . .it is very likely we will see the emergence of a major company working with Athersys in Japan. I have no special knowledge, but I believe it makes sense based on the ischemic stroke data from Athersys' Phase 2 trial. . .based on slices of data from the company's 136-patient Phase 2 trial in ischemic stroke, the sooner you treat patients, the better the outcome. . .the data point to a 36-hour window for treatment with MultiStem following a stroke would be a tremendous advantage over the three-hour window we see with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). That timeframe would be a huge advantage for patients who have had a stroke. . .what we're seeing is that Athersys' allogeneic stem cells may have a significant impact on the recovery time, but that it's important to treat the right segment of patients." read more >

Management Q&A: View From the Top
Gil Van Bokkelen
Regenerative medicine is surging toward the mainstream, and Athersys Inc. is riding the crest. As the company advances its portfolio of programs, Chairman and CEO Gil Van Bokkelen tells The Life Sciences Report about the promise that MultiStem holds for both patients and investors.
read more >

More Expert Comments

Experts Following This Company

Christian Glennie – Edison Investment Research
Maxim Jacobs – Edison Investment Research
Jason Kolbert, Senior Analyst – Maxim Group
Jason McCarthy, Analyst – Maxim Group
Henry McCusker RegMed Investors
Henry McCusker, Founder and Director of Research – Scimitar Equity
Alain Vertes, Managing Director – NxR Biotechnologies GmbH

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