Asterias Biotherapeutics Gets a Buy Rating from H.C. Wainwright

By Austin Angelo

H.C. Wainwright analyst Ram Selvaraju reiterated a Buy rating on Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSE: AST) today and set a price target of $12. The company’s shares closed last Friday at $3.20.

Selvaraju observed:

“We came away from this discussion with a high degree of confidence in Mr. Mulroy’s ability to take on the CEO role at Asterias and in the maintenance of the overall strategic direction of the company. He previously served as a Senior Advisor to CamberView Partners, LLC, which assists companies in connection with investor engagement and complex corporate governance issues. Investors should be aware that Mr. Mulroy was also a key member of the team—originally serving as Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel—at Questcor Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Mallinckrodt plc (MNK; not rated) for $5.6B in 2014. Mr. Mulroy has worked closely with Don Bailey, the former CEO of Questcor and current Chairman of the Asterias Board of Directors, for over a decade. He originally joined Questcor in 2011 and subsequently hired Ryan Chavez, the current General Counsel at Asterias. Given the longstanding professional relationships among these individuals, we believe that Asterias leadership remains in safe hands, and reiterate our Buy rating and 12-month target of $12.00 per share on AST. Significant efficacy data update from SCiStar next quarter. We remind investors that the company continues to advance the SCiStar Phase 2 trial of AST-OPC1, its lead clinical program for spinal cord injury (SCI). Substantial additional efficacy data from this trial should be available next quarter.”

According to TipRanks.com, Selvaraju is ranked 0 out of 5 stars with an average return of -7.5% and a 34.7% success rate. Selvaraju covers the Healthcare sector, focusing on stocks such as RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals Inc, Biospecifics Technologies Corp, and Stemline Therapeutics Inc.

Asterias Biotherapeutics has an analyst consensus of Strong Buy, with a price target consensus of $7.67.

Based on Asterias Biotherapeutics’ latest earnings report for the quarter ending March 31, the company posted quarterly revenue of $2.01 million and GAAP net loss of $6.29 million. In comparison, last year the company earned revenue of $1.59 million and had a GAAP net loss of $10.34 million.

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Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company, which is focused on developing and commercializing novel therapies in the emerging fields of cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The company is also focused on developing therapies to treat conditions with unmet medical needs and inadequate available therapies, with an initial focus on the therapeutic areas of oncology and neurology. Its product candidates include AST-OPC1, trial for spinal cord injuries; AST-VAC1, a patient specific cancer immunotherapy focused on acute myeloid leukemia; and AST-VAC2, a non-patient-specific cancer immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer. The company was founded on September 24, 2012 and is headquartered in Fremont, CA.