Michael Sacerdote

Aastrom: Mice Scared Me Away

Over the past few trading days, sleepy microcap Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) has exploded from $3.88 3/19/14 to a peak of $6.24 after a positive article from respected analyst Jason Napodano. Seeking Alpha's sophisticated readership is more than capable of analyzing Aastrom's balance sheet. Instead of crunching the numbers, in this article I take a step back and look at the big picture behind Aastrom's science. For every junior biotech, the main question is: will the science pan out? In this case, Aastrom's mice make me nervous.

Aastrom's only product is ixmyelocel-T, a mixture of amplified hematopoietic and mesenchymal cells derived from the patient's own bone marrow aspirates. The process is outlined in Aastrom' patent, found here. In a nutshell,...

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