Analysts Weigh In On Two Volatile Healthcare Stocks: Athersys, Inc. (ATHX), Caladrius Biosciences Inc (CLBS)

While shares of stem cell company Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) are trading up over 20% following new  partnership agreement in Japan, shares of biotech company Caladrius Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:CLBS) are down around 40% following discontinued phase 3 study. Let’s take a look and see what the analysts have to say about ATHX and CLBS.

Athersys, Inc.

WBB Securities analyst Stephen Brozak reiterated a Strong Buy rating on shares of Athersys, with a price target of $9.00, following the news that Athersys and Healios have entered into a partnership and license agreement that will focus on the development and commercialization of Multistem for ischemic stroke and potentially other indications, in Japan.

Brozak commented, “Japan is a unique arena for development of novel cell therapeutics like MultiStem. Under Japanese laws passed on November 25, 2014, a cell therapy product can receive conditional marketing approval for seven years after demonstrating safety and some level of efficacy in a clinical trial that would be equivalent to a Phase II trial in the U.S. Healios and ATHX already have met with the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency in Japan (PMDA), which is equivalent to the U.S. FDA. A clinical study in Japan for stroke is expected to begin in 2H-2016.” Furthermore, “In our opinion, this partnership will accelerate the ability of ATHX to fund and test the effectiveness of MultiStem in ischemic stroke and provide data to advance product approval in the U.S. and E.U.”

The analyst concluded, “There has been much anticipation of a new development partner for ATHX in Japan, and given today’s announcement with Healios, it appears that the wait has been worthwhile.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Stephen Brozak has a yearly average return of 32.4% and a 55% success rate. Brozak has a -54.4% average return when recommending ATHX, and is ranked #229 out of 3630 analysts.

Caladrius Biosciences Inc

H.C. Wainwright analyst Yi Chen downgraded shares of Caladrius Biosciences from a Buy to a Neutral rating, after the company has decided to discontinue the Phase 3 study of CLBS20 as a monotherapy for metastatic melanoma and seek strategic partner for combination therapy and/or other oncology indications.

Chen commented, “Due to the fact that the company now does not have any ongoing trial with proofof-concept data, and there is no visibility on the time frame of PCT services’ profitability at this point, we have chosen to downgrade our rating from Buy to Neutral without a price target. We expect to reevaluate our position once there is more clarity.”

“As of September 30, 2015, Caladrius had $29.4 million in cash and marketable securities, and $16.8 million in long-term debt and notes payable. We still believe that the company may need to raise additional capital in 2016,” the analyst added.

According to, analyst Yi Chen has a yearly average return of -25% and a 25% success rate. Chen has a -67% average return when recommending CLBS, and is ranked #3493 out of 3630 analysts.

Out of the 5 analysts polled by TipRanks, 3 rate Caladrius Biosciences stock a Buy, while 2 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 2302.5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $10.33.



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