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NeoStem Gives Update On Recent Developments And Near Term Catalysts

NeoStem (NYSEAMEX:NBS) Monday issued a letter to its shareholders, highlighting accomplishments so far in 2012, and providing a look at what is ahead for the company in the second quarter of the year.

Shares of the company soared over 1 per cent Monday afternoon, trading at 63 cents as at 2 pm EDT.

The company highlighted its recent sale of its 51 per cent ownership interest in Suzhou Erye Pharmaceutical Co., saying that the sale will bolster NeoStem's balance sheet, increase its cash position by $12.28 million and allow it to focus on its cell therapy business.

Speaking to the value of the company, NeoStem said that liquidity in shares continues to rise with a three month trading average of over 1.1 million.

Highlighting milestone so far this year, the company said that in January, its acute myocardial infarction therapeutic product development team achieved its forecasted goal of enrolling the first patient in the PreSERVE phase 2 clinical trial.

NeoStem said it will continue to open new clinical sites and expect to achieve full enrollment over the next nine months or so and present top-line data by the end of 2013.

The company said its progenitor cell therapy CDMO service business continues to grow and has added new clients in later stage clinical trials, making room for expansion into commercial manufacturing contracts.

"We look forward to bringing this expertise to bear on the European market as we seek to expand our CDMO services to that region," said NeoStem's chairman and CEO Robin L. Smith.

NeoStem noted a few staff changes in 2012, with Martin Schmieg joining the company as VP of corporate development in June, and Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein, MD, FACC coming on board in April as VP of clinical development and regulatory affairs.

The company said it continues to make headway in integrating IT systems within its operations to maximize efficiencies.

With the closing of its Cambridge facility in September 2012, NeoStem said it believes that substantial cost savings will be achieved.

By merging the company's Cambridge team with progenitor cell therapy team, the company said it will facilitate its ongoing work with its immuno-cell therapy program through Athelos - a T-cell therapeutic designed to treat immune mediated diseases.

The company said it is pursuing additional strategic relationships with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in 2012.

Looking ahead, NeoStem said the development of its pre-clinical VSELs technology program continues to be funded substantially through U.S. Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health grants.

VSELs might be an ideal cell therapy to regenerate the body's immune system and repair other tissues damaged by radiation exposure, the company said.

At the end of June, NeoStem snagged a research grant valued at $595,252 to develop stem cell technology against radiation exposure.

Early studies show that VSELs are resistant to lethal radiation which destroys other immune system restoring stem cells in the body. This makes autologuous treatment post-exposure possible, it said.

The company continues to develop and build on its core capabilities in cell therapy to capitalize on the paradigm shift that is occurring in medicine.

NeoStem is focused on accelerating the development of proprietary cellular therapies and becoming a single source for collection, storage, manufacturing, therapeutic development and transportation of cells for cell based medicine and regenerative science globally.