) first quarter 2014 net loss of 15 cents per share was wider than
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 9 cents. The company had
suffered a loss of 18 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
Revenues increased to $0.7 million from $0.3 million recorded a
year ago, driven by higher grant revenues.
Research and development (R&D) expenses for the first quarter
of 2014 increased 11.7% to $6.2 million, driven by higher patent
related fees, personnel costs and stock based compensation
expenses. General administrative expenses at Athersys climbed 18.2%
to $1.8 million in the first quarter of 2014. Higher stock-based
compensation expense and personnel costs led to the increase.
Athersys is developing MultiStem cell therapy for ulcerative
colitis in collaboration with
). Earlier, in Apr 2014, the companies had reported interim 8-week
results from the phase II study on MultiStem cell therapy to treat
refractory ulcerative colitis. Although the candidate demonstrated
favorable safety and tolerability, it failed to meet the primary
endpoint of significant improvement over placebo.
The phase II study is ongoing and complete data is expected later
this year. Even though the data will not change the overall
outcome, it will provide an insight into the candidate.
MultiStem cell therapy is also being evaluated for several
indications including ischemic stroke (phase II: enrollment
expected to complete by the end of summer) and acute myocardial
infarction (a phase II study expected to be initiated later in
2014). We expect investor focus to remain on MultiStem cell therapy
in the near term.
Athersys carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks
in the healthcare sector include
Gilead Sciences Inc.
). While Allergan carries a Zacks Rank #2, Gilead Sciences carries
a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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