September 20, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

About that Athersys stem cell stroke clinic trial PR…

AthersysThere has been a lot of excitement this week about a press release from stem cell biotech Athersys that reported that treatment of stroke patients with its product MultiStem was associated with a statistically significant improvement at 1-year.

This sounds encouraging and the stock has spiked up as a result.

However, there are some naysayers including long-time stem cell biotech critic Adam Feuerstein, who today painted the Athersys press release as little more than spin.

Feuerstein went through a list of what he describes as negative clinical trial results for MultiStem, particularly at earlier time points after stroke. For instance, he asks essentially, “how could MultiStem fail to help paints earlier in the recovery phase and then suddenly help them at 1-year?” His answer is that it couldn’t and he compares the stem cell product as well as its reported positive results at 1-year to the Titanic in some biting analogies.

I feel like I need to dig more into the this before having a good sense of what the real deal is here. By the way I’m no fan of Adam’s and for some unknown reason he still has me blocked on Twitter.

What do you all think about this Athersys press release and the prospects for the company? If you disagree with Feuerstein, why is he wrong?

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