B.Riley FBR Maintains a Buy Rating on Asterias Biotherapeutics

By Carrie Williams

B.Riley FBR analyst George Zavoico maintained a Buy rating on Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSE: AST) today and set a price target of $6. The company’s shares opened today at $1.75.

Zavoico noted:

“Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (AST) announced additional interim results of its Phase I/IIa SCiStar trial of its AST-OPC1 cell therapy in patients with a severe cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Earlier this week, safety results of a six-month follow-up of four AIS-B SCI patients treated with 20 million AST-OPC1 cells in Cohort 5 were reported showing that no serious adverse events (SAEs) occurred. Cavitation at the site of injury was prevented in all four Cohort 5 patients, consistent with prior cohorts and indicative of durable engraftment of AST-OPC1 cells. All four patients (100%) in Cohort 5 recovered one motor level of function on at least one side, but no patients (0%) recovered two motor levels on at least one side.”

According to TipRanks.com, Zavoico is a 4-star analyst with an average return of 10.1% and a 50.7% success rate. Zavoico covers the Healthcare sector, focusing on stocks such as Cellular Biomedicine Group, Catalyst Biosciences Inc, and Actinium Pharmaceuticals.

Currently, the analyst consensus on Asterias Biotherapeutics is a Moderate Buy with an average price target of $11, implying a 528.6% upside from current levels. In a report issued on July 18, H.C. Wainwright also reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $11 price target.

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The company has a one-year high of $3.75 and a one-year low of $1.20. Currently, Asterias Biotherapeutics has an average volume of 212.3K.

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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.