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Athersys Slumps as MultiStem Fails in Mid-Stage Study - Analyst Blog

Athersys, Inc.ATHX announced interim results from a phase II study on MultiStem cell therapy, which failed to show any significant difference as compared to placebo as measured by the Global Stroke Recovery Assessment scale. This was also the study's primary endpoint.

The company's shares slumped 35.8% following the announcement. The company is evaluating MultiStem cell therapy to treat patients who have suffered an ischemic stroke.

Results from the study revealed that safety and tolerability for MultiStem were on par with previous studies. Results also showed that the proportion of patients achieving a modified Rankin Scale, improvement in the NIH Stroke Scale and achieving Barthel Index were also not significantly different in MultiStem administrated patients from those treated with placebo.

Also, the company revealed that as per data received from the study, patients receiving MultiStem treatment earlier in the treatment window (24-36 hours post-stroke) showed more favorable recovery as compared to those receiving placebo or MultiStem treatment later.

Our Take

The news came as a huge blow to Athersys as far as the development of MultiStem is concerned. MultiStem cell therapy is also being evaluated for acute myocardial infarction and acute respiratory distress syndrome in other studies. Any negative news from these studies may pull down the stock further.

The successful development of MultiStem cell therapy is crucial for the company. We expect investor focus to remain on updates on MultiStem cell therapy going forward.

AstraZeneca's AZN Brilinta is also being developed for the treatment of transient ischemic attack.

Athersys carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AVEO and Biogen Inc. BIIB . Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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