The world watched in May as Pluristem (NASDAQ:PSTI) miraculously healed a young girl dying from bone marrow that was so diseased it had lost most of its blood cells. No medical intervention had worked. Yet after two intramuscular injections of PLX cells, within weeks, she left the hospital and has been well ever since.
This time, the patient was a middle-aged woman with lymphoma who had radiation and chemotherapy and, like the girl, did not respond to bone marrow transplants, becoming sicker, with no chances left. Also like the girl, she received only two intramuscular injections of PLX cells one week apart. Two weeks later, her blood cell count was back to normal and she was released in good health.
Bone marrow transplants are one of the most vile and expensive medical treatments today. Large amounts of research and development money has been useless in coming up with an alternative. Patients stay sick with flu-like symptoms up to one year after transplant. Many suffer from graft-versus-host disease, where the patient’s body rejects the actual treatment. Companies like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) spend money to find substitutes for chemotherapy instead of making bone marrow transplants work better. Other huge drug firms just try to treat the horrible symptoms of chemotherapy with products like Neulasta by Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) or Emend by Merck (NYSE:MRK).
Pluristem, using a platform technology that has been successful in diseases of the leg arteries, heart, and lungs, all multi-billion dollar markets, has found what looks like an answer for patients with no options but death.
The company will file for Orphan Drug status which means that their PLX cells for bone marrow transplant has a faster path to approval and could be on the market in less than a year.
If I was confident of Pluristem’s prospects before, this latest development makes me certain that our target of $8 in the next few months is not only reasonable, but may be very conservative, and that shares could increase in value by up to 7 times in the next 12 months.
We note also that The Maxium Group initiated coverage with a buy on Pluristem just a few days ago. That firm also note a price target of $8.00 a share. Think about that.
About Ray Dirks
Ray Dirks came to Wall Street with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1963 where he was established as the leading insurance stock analyst dealing with institutional investors and high-net worth investors both in the U.S. and internationally. Ray’s research includes Healthcare Stocks and Special Situations. Ray has written two books, “The Great Wall Street Scandal” and “Heads You Win, Tails You Win,” published by McGraw-Hill and Bantam Books respectively. He continues to provide research to institutions and individuals.
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