Vericel, formerly Aastrom Biosciences, Inc., is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the identification, development and commercialization of therapies that enable the body to repair and regenerate damaged tissues. The Company operates through the research, product development, manufacture and distribution of patient-specific, expanded cellular therapies for use in the treatment of specific diseases segment.
Its autologous cell therapy products include Carticel (autologous cultured chondrocytes), which is an autologous chondrocyte implant for the treatment of cartilage defects in the knee, and Epicel (cultured epidermal autografts), which is a permanent skin replacement for the treatment of patients with deep-dermal or full-thickness burns. The Company is developing MACI, which is a third-generation autologous chondrocyte implant and ixmyelocel-T, which is a patient-specific multicellular therapy.
I recently underwent elective In and Out Knee Surgery and repair of two tears in my MCL, plus a Bone Mineral stimulant graft. This was needed to repair damage done and age related Arthritis and stems from an ACL repair done 30 years ago for a Skiing Accident. Today I'm 66 years old and I play Pickleball recreationally, but PB takes its toll on my ACL repaired R knee. As a result of this problem Ive developed a great relationship w/ a Sports ORTHOPOD and Ive been able to get the Doctors POV on VCEL, and their product called MACI directly! The future is bright according to my doc.
MACI is an autologous meaning (MADE FROM YOUR TISSUES) Knee Patch for Cartilage Repair. Its ideal for the Athlete who has a hole in the Knee Cartilage. Your Cartilage Cells are removed by Biopsy and grown on a culture plate over a matrix fibrous porcine absorbable mesh. This can than later about 6 months be transplanted surgically over the Defect and it grows right into the existing cartilage closing the hole.This is phenominal space age tissue repair especially for ATHLETES today but according to my doctor, will become rather commonly used as we gain experience.
I became aware of VCEL last year in August prior to my Surgery as I did my DD on my own Knee Problem. Of course I bought some shares at that time. I have a cartilage problem too but MACI is not for "Thinning Cartilage" from Arthritis which is my issue.
MACI is more for "HOLES" in the cartilage which are more commonly seen in ATHLETES I'm told. Highly paid ATHLETES and College Sports programs of course are well funded and so this is something they will gravitate toward as ATHLETES must be quickly healed/fixed from these injuries. Time is MONEY to an ATHLETE and they will spare no expense to remain competitive. The doctors who use MACI are "Sports Orthopods". I personally was operated on by a Sports Ortho Doc for the Redskins FB team back in 1987. He was fabulous and a dear friend I knew from the field as a Pharma Rep. They are a select group of Docs and VCEL has a well designed Sales Force to call on these docs. VCEL sales of MACI are growing Q over Q at high clip!
[Total net revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 were $14.3 million, which included $9.9 million of MACI (autologous cultured chondrocytes on porcine collage membrane) net revenues and $4.4 million of Epicel (cultured epidermal autografts) net revenues, compared to $8.3 million of Carticel (autologous cultured chondrocytes) net revenues and $2.6 million of Epicel net revenues, respectively, in the third quarter of 2016.)
"Our significant revenue growth and gross margin expansion were driven by both the accelerating uptake of MACI as well as substantial growth for Epicel in the quarter.""Based on the expanding surgeon customer base and the increasing volume of MACI biopsies and implants, we believe that demand for MACI will far exceed that for Carticel. Given the MACI launch momentum and expanded patient access, we have initiated another sales force expansion in order to drive continued strong revenue growth in 2018 and beyond." CEO- Colangelo]..... 11/2017
So VCEL has been going through a metamorphosis so to speak w/3 Implants called Epicel, Carticel and now MACI. I suspect that MACI gets the Lions share of Voice these days! Dr JD Hennings recently alerted investors to VCEL and they can find his thoughts in his CHATROOM....Hennings is one of my fav SA writers!
Ok so Ive given you a taste of VCEL and now its up to you to do more DD and determine if VCEL is right for you!
Check out the SS above from Needham.
Disclosure: I am/we are long VCEL.