Posts Tagged ‘stem cell stocks’

Opexa Therapeutics Inc (OPXA) Buzz Stock of the Day

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Shares of Opexa Therapeutics, Inc.(NASDAQ: OPXA) were up more than 150 percent from Friday’s close in morning trading on Tuesday, after the company announced that more than 83 percent of patients taking its experimental multiple sclerosis drug, Tovaxin, remained relapse-free after one-year.

In addition, the annualized relapse rate among patients who took Tovaxin fell to 20 percent, a 42 percent reduction compared with the placebo. Tovaxin also showed stabilization and improvement of MS-related disabilities in 73 percent of patients, 16.5 percent of which showed sustained improvement of a least one full point on a standard disability scale.

The data was based on a 52-week Phase IIb clinical study that targeted 150 patients with relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis, typically the initial stage of the disease. Patients in this stage of multiple sclerosis often experience unpredictable relapses, often followed by months or years of dormancy.

“Clinical benefits include not only reduction in relapses, but a surprising reversal of disability in over 16 percent of Tovaxin-treated patients,” said Dawn McGuire, MD, a board certified neurologist and a member of Opexa’s Clinical Advisory Board.

Opexa said it plans to recruit similar patients for another Phase IIb study of Tovaxin, which is a vaccine tailored to individual patients. The drug helps limit attacks by immune system cells called T-cells on myelin, the protein sheath that protects nerves.

Opexa’s news today carried the Stem Cell Stock Index 9.3 percent higher today. The Index, which is compilation of companies using stem cells to develop treatments, is currently ahead of the S&P 500 by 2.7% over the last month.

Stem Cell Buzz Stocks- STEM, GERN and ISCO

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Last Friday, the BBC reported that U.S. regulators have cleared the way for the world’s first study on human embryonic stem cell therapy.

After months of consideration, the FDA gave the go-ahead for the test. The approval of the 21,000 page application came days after President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Although the FDA’s decision is independent of White House Control, many are expecting Obama to adopt a more pragmatic and science-oriented approach to stem cell research than his predecessor.

Embryonic stem cells are unspecialized cells capable of turning into a wide variety of other cells. They are collected by cloning embryos in a laboratory, but the embryo is destroyed in the process. They were a hotly contended issue throughout George W. Bush’s presidency, with a ban on public research funding.

Here are a few buzz stocks specializing in stem cell research:

1. Stem Cells, Inc. (Nasdaq: STEM)– The Palo Alto-based company just received FDA approval to begin a clinical trial of a product candidate to treat Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD), a fatal brain disorder that affects young children. The company has a pro forma cash balance of about $40 million, counting the $20 million equity financing it just closed.

2. Geron Corp. (Nasdaq: GERN) – The company whose 21,000 page application was approved by the FDA. Geron plans to begin testing a treatment using embryonic stem cells that could fix major spinal cord injuries in people. Although the initial study is small, and will mainly focus on safety, the development process is expected to set the tone for this kind of research, how the FDA looks at it, and the pricing of any drugs that may result from it.

3. International Stem Cell Corp (OTCBB: ISCO)– The company just received the second $1 million tranche under a $5 million financing. ISCO’s “Parthenogenesis” technology results in the creation of cell lines that may allow cells from a single donor to be immune-matched to hundreds of millions of people. This could potentially reduce a lot of the dangers associated with immune rejection–a big problem with using embryonic stem cells.

Here’s a cool video explaining why the FDA approval is so significant: