Immortality and 3 Stem Cell Research Stocks
Karen is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Stem cell research puts immortality in our hands. By medically treating stem cells to repair damaged organs, one could, in theory, live forever. The following three stem cell research companies are achingly close to perfecting techniques that will repair and strengthen damaged human hearts.
Osiris Therapeutics’ (NASDAQ: OSIR) Prochymal is the only drug that’s been granted fast track status and Orphan Drug status by the FDA. Already in Phase III clinical evaluations, Prochymal repairs heart tissue damaged by a heart attack and it is also under evaluation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Osiris’ biologic drugs utilize either human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) or stem cells taken from adult bone marrow to avoid the ethical controversy surrounding embryonic or fetal stem cell research usage. MSC are taken directly from the donor’s human bone marrow and one single donation can produce up to 10,000 treatments. Osiris has designed their treatment to be universally accepted by all recipients to eliminate rejection problems. This treatment can be frozen and kept at end-user medical facilities until it is needed.
Osiris has a market cap of $312.25 million and a P/E ratio of 93.14, which far exceeds the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. The stock is up 77.57% over the past 52 weeks, and closed at $9.50 this past Friday. Osiris has cash of $38.75 million, zero debt, and operating cash flow of -$17.47 million. The company reports $27.92 million in revenue, and net income of $3.53 million for this year. Analysts following Osiris rate it a strong buy/buy.
Neostem (NYSEMKT: NBS) is developing AMR-1000, a stem cell therapy designed to rebuild heart tissue damaged after a heart attack that has also shown promise in treating congestive heart failure. For the first time, a U.S. patent has been issued to Neostem for their “Compositions and Methods of Vascular Injury Repair”, to protect the treatment and the delivery method.
The company offers consumers the opportunity to store their own stem cells for future treatment. During a four-hour collection process, adult stem cells are harvested from the circulating blood. Fifty-percent of the stem cells are stored in immune reconstitution bags to be used for stem cell treatable cancers or immune system transplants. The remaining cells are stored in separate containers for future use as new stem cell treatments are developed.
Neostem has a market cap of $106.32 million and a P/E ratio of -1.64%. The stock is up 9.38% over the past 52 weeks, and closed at $0.69 this past Friday. Neostem has cash of $2.12 million, debt of $3.75 million, and operating cash of -$8.51 million. The company has earned revenue of $77.20 million and net income of -$42.64 million this year. Of the 3 analysts following Neostem, 2 rate it a strong buy and 1 rates it as buy.
Earlier this year, Baxter International’s (NYSE: BAX) CD34+ entered Phase III trials, a stem cell treatment designed to strengthen the heart by increasing exercise capacity and reducing angina attacks due to chronic myocardial ischemia. This autologous stem cell therapy harvests the cells from the donor’s bone marrow, and everything but the stem cells is returned to the donor.
Baxter has a market cap of $32.47 billion and a P/E ratio of 14.6. Shares are up 8.58% over the past 52 weeks, and closed at $60.48 this past Friday. Baxter has cash of $2.35 billion, debt of $5.33 billion, and operating cash of $3.17 billion. The company has earned revenue of $14.03 billion and net income of $2.29 billion this year. Of the 19 analysts following Baxter, 2 rate it a strong buy, 11 rate it as buy, and 6 rate it as hold.
Osiris, Neostem and Baxter are rapidly closing in on developing therapies that will heal damaged hearts. What remains up for debate, however, is how this gift of potential immortality should be used.
kprogers has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.