Maxim Shines Light on Athersys, Inc. Phase 2 Study of MultiStem(R) Cell Therapy

Maxim’s healthcare analyst Jason Kolbert weighed in with a few insights on Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX), after the company announced interim results from its exploratory Phase 2 clinical study of the intravenous administration of MultiStem(R) cell therapy to treat patients who have suffered an ischemic stroke. The market didn’t like Athersys’ results, sending shares down 36% Friday.

Kolbert noted, “Multistem appears to be able to extend the treatment window in stroke from a few hours to 36 hours. That is dramatic. As an informative PII study, we are excited because the data is clear and suggests a modestly powered pivotal trial should be able to replicate the sub-group data set that this trial produced.” Furthermore, “The risk/reward equation is highly favorable. Safety and tolerability are not an issue so the question is: What is the treatment window? We know the dose work is close and the endpoints work.”

“Bearish investors will focus on the fact that the trial did not show a p-value on the primary endpoint(s). We believe the bear’s concerns are more than reflected in Athersys’ low market valuation. The pathway forward in stroke is now clear. We expect that Athersys will pioneer forward with a global pivotal trial (US, EU and Japan). As such our valuation metrics, and subsequent price target are unchanged. In other words, hang on.”, the analyst added.

The analyst rates the stock a a Buy with a $9.00 price target, which represents a potential upside of 543% from where the stock is currently trading.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jason Kolbert has a total average return of 10.0% and a 50.6% success rate. Kolbert has a -15.7% average return when recommending ATHX, and is ranked #254 out of 3573 analysts.

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  • Barry Calvert

    “Appears” to be able to extend treatment window ? What does that mean ? That other treatments could work in that window and that Multistem extends it ? Give me a break already with trying to make multistem something it isn’t ! What, is Gil an analyst of treatment windows ?
    That whole statement by Kolbert REEKs of pump n dump. Time for Maxim to load up on more ATHX shares and go to work with their favorite client. It is amazing that there isn’t 50 lawsuits… Oh wait, at least there is one and everytime we get a BS statement like the one above, they get closer to the truth… THE ENDPOINT!

    • Jane Elizabeth Nicolson

      Regenrative medicine is still in its infancy… There will be successes and (necessary) failures. If you do not realize this perhaps regenrative medicine stocks aren’t for you?

    • Sol

      you dont sound like someone who should be investing in individual stocks, mutual funds might be better for you

      • Barry Calvert

        What does my investments have to do with Athersys and or Maxim’s comments on multistem. I do great investing on individual stocks. I would rather buy into an honest company with an honest fund manager behind it. In fact, the entire investment world reeks of this type of stuff, including HFT… That does not mean I am not smart enough to short ATHX on up coming data, NBS, or any of the other adult stem cell testing sites. They all always have bad data after their Superb findings in preclinical and phase Is they control. How ironic they all fail phase II’s and seem to all have one thing in common.
        Savy short selling and sale side Chat behind them… People making up articles about how many millions or billions they will be worth “only if”
        If they were private they wouldn’t get a dime, these corps are operating only because they mislead investors into think they have something they dont…
        FDA and SEC need to step in….

  • Tony

    Folks, rather than pick on each other, lets look at the facts. The current standard of care for stroke treatment is a drug called TPA. TPA is only effective if it is given to the patent within three hours from the stroke. 85% of patents don’t get TPA, because they did not get to the hospital in time. Also TPA causes brain hemorrhaging in something like 10% of patents. So 90 of the 15% get helped by TPA, 10% of the 15% get hurt by it, and the rest of the patients do not get any treatment (other than aspirin). Multistem has not been shown to provide significant benefit to patents who get the treatment within 36 hours (much better than 3 hours). Patents receiving Multistem within 36 hours needed 30 percent less hospitalization, nearly 40 percent less time in intensive case, and had a greatly reduced mortality rate (about one fifth), and a greatly improved excellent outcome rate (18X) as compared to the placebo group. The only reason that Multistem failed to show a significant improvement over the placebo is due to the inclusion of patents who received the treatment between 36 and 48 hours after the stroke. If those folks are not included in the next trial, it looks pretty clear that the next trial will pass, and that Multistem will eventually become the new standard of care for stroke. :o)$$$