Cell therapy leader NeoStem, Inc. (NBS) announced on Wednesday presentations at four different conferences for the month of November. This marks the second month in a row that the company and, more specifically, CEO, Robin Smith, has taken a proactive role in marketing the company and educating on the benefits of cell therapy. In October we received true breakthrough data; what can we expect in November?
Cell therapies are not as heavily publicized to the degree of cancer therapies or others in biotechnology. However, its reputation and its benefits are starting to be heard. Like any new technology, it's a process, and Dr. Smith is definitely doing her part to educate investors and the public on the benefits of cell therapy.
Last month NeoStem announced true medical breakthroughs, with data on its VSEL Technology. The data shows the potential of cell therapy, as the company's population of bone marrow stem cells successfully created bone when implanted in the bone tissue of SCID mice. Think about this for a minute: it didn't help repair bone, it created bone from cells! The concept of this technology has been well regarded and well supported, and funded, in academia, but this was the first real presentation of data that shows why people are so excited about this technology. Moving forward, this should create even more excitement, larger grants, and because it does not involve destroying human embryos, this is a multiple indication technology that could create significant long-term movement in the stock.
If the VSEL news wasn't enough, NeoStem announced data on its potentially $1.4 billion cell therapy candidate, AMR-001. This is the company's Phase 2 product that almost mirrors Baxter's (BAX) Phase 3 cell therapy product, which many believe will be the first cell therapy to earn an approval in the U.S. The company's data showed that no patients who received more than 10 million cells experienced deterioration in heart muscle function. Meanwhile, 30-40% of patients who did not receive this dose saw deterioration, showing an incredible advantage for AMR-001.
After such an action-packed month in October, what can we expect in November? We already know the company is presenting an abstract titled, "Predictors of Response to Intracoronary Delivery of CD34+CXCR4+ Enriched Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells (AMR-001) Early After STEMI" at the American Heart Association - Scientific Sessions on November 6. This presentation seems self-explanatory, as the company will most likely discuss the recent data on AMR-001 and its outlook for the product. However, at the 2012 ISPE Annual Meeting, the presentation isn't so clear: "Immunotherapies and Tissue Culture Manufacturing Technologies". Is it possible that with the company's diverse manufacturing segment that it has new breakthrough information on the promising immunotherapy industry? Or that maybe it's combining its technology with immunotherapy in a more direct manner? Only time will tell.
The final two presentations for the company will be a "company presentation" by CEO Dr. Smith, and she will be presenting for well-known analysts. These are two presentations that could be vital, that could result in several upgrades, and/or the announcement of new data/findings with any of the company's segments. For some reason, the CEOs of public biotechnology companies tend to put their best foot forward when presenting for analysts; I expect the same from Dr. Smith.
Looking ahead, it appears that November will be another good month for NeoStem. Any new developments could lead to a significant pop in shares of this company, as it will eventually reflect the data that was presented last month.
Dr. Smith has taken a pledge to make NeoStem more investor friendly, and over the course of 2012, she has kept her promises. It began with the divesture of the company's generic pharmacy, and just recently the redemption of Series E Preferred Stock. In the last six months the company has increased in value by 75%. Either way I am happy with the company's attempt to educate, present, and create shareholder value by executing on its business plan.
Disclosure: I am long NBS.