) is working very hard to develop its MultiStem cell therapy.
Investor focus is more on the company's efforts to develop the
candidate than on earnings reports. During the fourth quarter of
2013, Athersys completed enrolling patients in a phase II study
on its MultiStem cell therapy.
Athersys is developing MultiStem for ulcerative colitis in
). The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center
phase II study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of MultiStem
therapy in patients suffering from moderate-to-severe ulcerative
colitis. The company expects to report initial results by early
May. Further results from the study are expected in the second
quarter of 2014.
During the quarter, Athersys accelerated the enrollment process
for the phase II study on MultiStem in the ischemic stroke
indication. The company also made progress regarding the phase
II/III study of MultiStem in the graft-versus-host
The company also made progress on the phase II study on the
candidate for treating acute myocardial infarction. With pipeline
development being a key area of focus for the company, the above
updates regarding the same were provided by it while reporting
fourth quarter 2013 results.
The biotechnology company reported an adjusted loss per share of
9 cents per share in the final quarter of 2013 in line with the
year-ago loss but narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a
loss of 12 cents.
Revenues plummeted to $0.9 million from $2.3 million recorded a
year ago. The fall in contract revenues to $0.4 million from $2
million led to the massive decline. The huge decline in contract
revenues was due to the timing of milestone and license payments
from partners including
). Revenues were way short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2
Research and development (R&D) expenses for the fourth
quarter of 2013 increased 4.1% to $5.1 million, driven by higher
patent related fees, personnel costs and stock based compensation
expenses. General administrative expenses at Athersys climbed 23%
to $1.6 million in the final quarter of 2013. Higher stock-based
compensation expense led to the increase.
The company expects R&D expenses in 2014 to exceed the 2013
figure of $20.5 million primarily due to clinical trial related
costs. Athersys expects SG&A expenses to remain flat compared
to 2013 levels.
Athersys carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
) is a better-ranked stock in the sector with a Zacks Rank #2
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