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  • NeoStem's CEO Robin Smith Featured On Bloomberg Television 0 comments
    May 17, 2012 1:58 PM

    Cell therapy focused biotech

    NeoStem

    (NYSE:NBS) appeared in Bloomberg Television's "Talking Stock" this week, where CEO Robin Smith discussed the company's latest stem cell therapy trial.

    On May 14, Smith spoke with Pimm Fox, host of "Taking Stock", about the company's PreSERVE trial, a regenerative therapy for heart attack survivors.

    PreSERVE said it uses an autologous bone marrow-derived stem cell called CD34, to limit the damage of heart muscle that develops following an acute heart attack and prevent ventricular remodeling, which is the accepted mechanism responsible for clinical progression and increased risk.

    Smith explained that there are two basic types of stem cells, embryonic and non-embryonic - which are what

    NeoStem

    uses in its therapies.

    Adult stem cells - non-embryonic - can come from an umbilical cord or a placenta, or even from a grown person's fat or bone marrow, said Smith.

    "We are a leader in cell therapy, creating all kinds of cell therapies from different non-embryonic stem cells to treat chronic disease," Smith added.

    "For 30 years, we have done bone marrow transplants - taking stem cells from another person and giving them top you after chemotherapy to create a new immune system.

    "Now we're talking about using the cells to repair tissue and those could come from another person, or your own."

    With regards to the phase 2 clinical trials of PreSERVE, Smith says one in five people that actually survive a heat attach die within a year's time.

    "So imagine if you could take your body's stem cells and inject them into the heart to lay down new blood vessels, to repair the damaged tissue, and prevent worsening of heart functions," Smith said.

    "That's what we're doing with PreSERVE."

    Smith says the company plans to have results from the trial in 2013.

    To fund this, and other projects, Smith says

    NeoStem

    is involved in contract manufacturing for other companies as well as developing their own products to treat chronic diseases.

    "To generate money,

    NeoStem

    relies on a profitable interest in a generic pharmaceutical company [in China], and we believe we'll be able to monetize that to invest in these stem cell therapies where we think there will be a great return for our investors," Smith said.

    The company has a 51 percent ownership interest Chinese generic pharmaceutical manufacturing company Suzhou Erye Pharmaceutical, and is looking to sell its stake in Suzhou to bolster its cell therapy business.

    NeoStem

    also has a manufacturing side to its business.

    "It's a service business where we're helping other clients develop cell therapies, commercialize them and manufacture them as they continue to grow and go through their clinical trials," said Smith.

    NeoStem

    said it has worked with many companies, including

    Baxter International

    (

    NYSE:BAX

    ), to manufacture cell therapies.

    The company released its first quarter results earlier this week, saying it had increased revenues by 13 per cent.

    Revenue rose to $22.1 million from $19.6 million while the underlying loss for the three months to March was $2.7 million, excluding non-cash charges.

    Total net losses were US$9.2 million (US$9.7 million).

    Amorcyte, which

    NeoStem

    acquired in October 2011, is developing a cell therapy, AMR-001, for the treatment of cardiovascular disease that aims to prevent heart tissue damage following a heart attack. AMR-001 is currently in phase II trials.

    NeoStem

    also has a network of stem cell therapeutic providers in China.

    The company raised $6.8 million gross through a share placing in April.

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