Regenerative medicine/stem cell universe stocks are mostly down in mid-day trading on Thursday (5/26/11). The NASDAQ is UP 8.20 (0.30%) to 2769.58. The Dow is DOWN - 34.85 (0.28%) to 12,359.81. Being that macro initiatives have played such a major role, it is appropriate to mention:
- US stock futures were little changed on Thursday, as investors remained cautious based on data on jobless claims and 1st quarter economic growth after a 3 session losing streak. Equity futures are trading above fair value indicating a continuation of yesterday’s positive close. G8 heads of state will meet today in France. Following French Finance Minister Lagarde’s candidacy to head the IMF, China urged a “democratic consultation” over who should lead the International Monetary Fund;
- Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota repeated his call for a modest interest-rate hike by year end, citing higher inflation and improvement in employment;
- European equity markets generally trade higher following a constructive close on Wall Street. Sentiment was help by a report in the FT that China may buy Portuguese bailout bonds in next months auctions. Indices held on to much of the early gains though Germany was an exception, drifting back to trade little changed.
- Most Asian markets rose today.
What’s driving the regenerative medicine – stem cell market … today … NOT MUCH …minor profit taking … from initiatives from or blow-back from yesterday’s highs or just trying to close the month of May.
- Investors are keeping a ½ close eye on weak US Q1 GDP (first revision) and disappointing jobless claims data that contribute to overall sentiment. Bellwether, Cytori (NASDAQ:CYTX) is regaining ground at $5.82 … up $0.30 (5.43%) yet again (3rd day).
Don’t expect Friday to be a big day … after these past few weeks; I would think a lot of brokers/traders/fund managers will be headed out early or if in – or will even come back from lunch with the pending Memorial Day weekend. The bond market closes early (2pm) on Friday, 5/27/11. Even, I am off – tomorrow – the “bride’s” birthday is tonight and I am not cooking – so, reservations via … my profit taking account?
AMEX: CUR (1.55%), ASTM (2.37%), BMTI (1.0%), CYTX (4.53%) , IMUC.OB (2.16%) and PSTI (3.01%) are up!
ASTM’s “collaborative agreement” with CPC Clinical Research: a non-profit, academic research organization to provide CRO services for their upcoming trials. CPC will manage and oversee the activities of the Eligibility Review Committee, which will be responsible for identifying and confirming the eligibility of no-option and poor option patients for participation in the REVIVE CLI clinical trials. They will also provide wound core laboratory services. CPC Clinical Research is a not-for-profit clinical research and community health organization offering P1-4 clinical research services. The bottom line, it sounds like a patient recruitment registry, so, where is the collaboration … in lab services? They are a paid CRO with a non-profit status. Are they lowering their fees, investing in ASTM, sharing costs, participating in the up-side? Give me a break; this is a … joke but, great wordsmith(ing)!
Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX): Received a 2nd comprehensive StemSource® Cell Bank order this year. This order was from a private hospital customer in Japan, whereas the previously announced order was from a leading cosmetic surgery group in Hong Kong. CYTX expects that banking installations are expected to contribute meaningfully to overall product revenues, with the added future potential for recurring consumable sales. The bottom line, CYTX offers the banks primarily for 3 reasons: 1st, is near-term commercialization of platform technology; 2nd, is that they fulfill demand amongst hospitals and clinics for access to cell processing and storage that can lead to expanding into additional business opportunities and 3rd; it reinforces CYTX’s brand as a market leader in regenerative medicine. We expect the bank installations to occur during the summer and CYUTX will provide more details in its next quarterly conference call.
Legal; US court raises Patent standards: Inequitable conduct defense OK only if critical gaps! While congressional moves to overhaul the patent system have stalled repeatedly, many of the original goals of patent reform have been accomplished through court decisions. The Bill is awaiting vote in House of Representatives. An US appeals court that specializes in patent disputes made it harder for patents to be declared invalid because of gaps or errors in patent applications. The bottom line, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said that “inequitable conduct,” which is often alleged in lawsuits, could only be used to invalidate a patent if the withheld material was critical to whether a patent should have been granted. The court made the ruling in reversing a lower court that had declared a (Abbott Laboratories) patent to make disposable blood glucose test strips unenforceable because of missing disclosures. The use of inequitable conduct is often alleged in patent cases. This inequitable conduct standard was one of several measures that some lawmakers have targeted for change in a patent reform.
Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Funds 36 new projects in FY 11: Commission has completed its review of the 180 applications received in response to its 3 FY 2011 Requests for Applications (RFAs).The board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) approved funding of 36 new projects from the $10.4M FY 2011 budget. As highlighted in its 2011 RFAs, the Commission gave preference to proposals that focus on advancing regenerative medicine, by selecting promising research that addresses osteoporosis, traumatic brain injuries, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, ALS, autism, DNA damage, intestinal tissue generation, clinical drug screenings, and other debilitating and costly medical conditions. This funding cycle, encouraged collaborations, resulting in 10 awardees (more than 25%) proposing to work with private biotech companies. The bottom line, in a groundbreaking pilot program, 2 MSCRF-funded researchers will collaborate with scientists funded by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). These 2 projects, studying red blood cell production and traumatic axonal injuries, will leverage Maryland’s investment in stem cell research with more than $7M in CIRM funding. All MSCRF-funded research must be conducted in Maryland and must involve human stem cells.