Mast Therapeutics Inc (NYSEMKT:MSTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its molecular adhesion and sealant technology (MAST) platform to develop novel therapies for sickle cell disease, heart failure, and stroke, today announced that data from a nonclinical study of vepoloxamer, its lead product candidate, will be presented at the 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA).  The oral presentation will be given by Dr. Hani N. Sabbah, Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Research atHenry Ford Health System, at 12:15 p.m. ET today. The HFSA conference is being held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, September 26 through September 29, 2015.

In the study, isolated failing cardiomyocytes from an animal model of chronic heart failure were treatedin vitro for two hours with low or high-dose vepoloxamer or placebo control. Treatment with vepoloxamer was associated with a significant, dose-dependent reduction in intracellular calcium concentration compared to control.  These results indicate that vepoloxamer, through its membrane-sealing activity, can limit unregulated calcium entry into failing cardiomyocytes in a dose-dependent manner, which may limit or prevent calcium overload.

Dr. Sabbah said: “Microscopic sarcolemmal membrane disruptions have been described in cardiomyocytes of the failing heart and are believed to be responsible for unregulated calcium entry into the cell, which contributes to calcium overload, a key abnormality responsible for ongoing cardiomyocyte dysfunction and death in heart failure. These results indicate that the membrane-sealing properties of vepoloxamer may help restore damaged cardiac cell membrane integrity, thus minimizing calcium overload injury, preserving cardiomyocytes, and directly improving LV contractile function.”

Dr. R. Martin Emanuele, the Company’s Senior Vice President, Development, said: “We believe the activity of vepoloxamer in preventing unregulated calcium entry into failing cardiomyocytes is unique, and may offer a new mechanistic approach for heart failure patients. Also, because of its unique mechanism, vepoloxamer should be additive to existing therapies. We look forward to further demonstrating vepoloxamer’s potential through our Phase 2 clinical trial in chronic heart failure.” (Original Source)

Shares of Mast Therapeutics closed last Friday at $0.45. MSTX has a 1-year high of $0.63 and a 1-year low of $0.38. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.45 and its 200-day moving average is $0.48.

On the ratings front, MSTX has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 18, Roth Capital analyst Michael Higgins reiterated a Buy rating on MSTX, with a price target of $3, which represents a potential upside of 566.5% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on August 17, Cowen’s Ritu Baral maintained a Buy rating on the stock .

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Michael Higgins and Ritu Baral have a total average return of 10.1% and 18.8% respectively. Higgins has a success rate of 43.5% and is ranked #969 out of 3759 analysts, while Baral has a success rate of 46.8% and is ranked #81.

Mast Therapeutics Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing novel therapies for serious or life-threatening diseases with unmet needs. Its pipeline includes MST-188 development programs in adjunctive thrombolytic therapy.