Friday, January 10, 2014

Pluristem Therapeutics Moving Somewhere

I had to check out Pluristem Therapeutics (PSTI) just to see what's going on in biotech.  I have to remind myself that other sectors exist besides the ones I usually review.  This one develops placental cell therapy solutions.  I don't know enough about biology to determine whether this technology works.  Their bioreactor process looks like it's scalable to large-volume production but I'm not sure how to assess the size of their potential market.

Their product must be competitive on a price per dose basis with other treatments (injection, radiation, oral doses, etc.) for inflamed tissues.  I evaluate progress in biotech companies when their announced milestones for successful trials and regulatory approvals move the share price.  Alternatively, a private company meeting these milestones will be able to successfully raise capital at higher valuations.  Let's review their press releases and compare them to the stock's movements over at Yahoo Finance.  Pluristem announced several clinical trial results in 2010 and yet the stock didn't move appreciably beyond a buck and a half.  The stock finally started to move up in early 2011, and that year they announced several iterations of positive data along with FDA orphan drug status.

This company started 2003 with a much higher valuation than they have today.  Such a steep decline in a decade makes me wonder who was so optimistic about them in 2003.  They did a shelf registration in January 2011 so maybe something really was different back then.  Whatever.  I don't have the patience to dig through decade-old financial statements.  They're still publicly traded but they experience persistent net losses since 2011.  That lack of performance is enough for me not to have Pluristem in my portfolio.

Full disclosure:  No position in PSTI at this time.