Cell therapy companies face many hurdles. I wrote recently about four cell therapy biotechs that have been really struggling.
Blogging here at The Niche for more than a dozen years, I’ve seen many companies even go under. That’s bad news for the field, for patients, and for investors.
Today I wanted to highlight some cell therapy companies that are doing much better.
Cell therapy companies: some good news
It’s reassuring that it’s easy to find some good news stories in the cell therapy field, mostly from the list of 24 stem cell stocks that I’m following.
Not everything is doom and gloom.
Before you scroll down, what are your predictions as to which companies I’m highlighting as doing pretty well?
Note that I’m just highlighting three today. Also, there’s more to a biotech being successful than just ups or downs in share price. Some companies may be way down for the year but have great long-term prospects.
As readers of The Niche might recall, Vertex is now heavily into cell therapy development. That wasn’t always the case, but they’ve made major commitments to development of cell therapy drugs.
I’m especially excited about their diabetes cell therapy clinical pipeline. Since they acquired both ViaCyte (one of my past favorite stem cell biotechs) and Semma, they are in the driver’s seat on development of a cell therapy for diabetes.
If you just search the Vertex site for “cell therapy” the results show they are doing much more in the cell and gene therapy space.
I feel like there’s some real hope from their cell therapy work but it all comes down to the data. Would more competition in this space be better? Maybe.
The stock (VRTX) is up almost 20% for the year.
Next we have another “V” company. Like some other cell therapy biotechs, Verticel used to be called something else. It was known previously as Aastrom Bio.
Their focus is on burns and sports medicine. Vericel describes its efforts and products this way,
“Vericel manufactures and markets two advanced cell therapy products for sports medicine and severe burn care in the United States and holds an exclusive license for North American commercial rights to NexoBrid®, a biological orphan product approved for eschar removal of severe thermal burns.”
For some of the history here you can check out the Vericel search results on Clinicaltrials.gov as most of the trials listed are completed. They kind of show the path of trials leading to today.
The stock (VCEL) is up around 60% in the past year.
Regeneron became much more well known during the heart of the pandemic.
Yes, they primarily have drugs that are not cell therapies including a whole array of antibody drugs, but they do a lot of cell therapy stuff too.
The collaborations in the regenerative space (defined broadly) have included deals with bluebird bio, Sonoma, Intellia Therapeutics, Celularity, and others. I found 36 trial listings on Clinicaltrials.gov for a search for Regeneron and cell therapy as the intervention, with 12 actively recruiting. Combination cell and gene therapies are going to be big too.
Regeneron has numerous FDA-approved therapies.
The stock (REGN) is up about 9% in the past year.
What other firms would you point to in this space as strong performers?
Of course, the biotech arena is volatile so this post just reflects a snapshot in time.
Note that I do not have any cell therapy investments and this post is not meant as financial advice.