B.Riley FBR Thinks Asterias Biotherapeutics’ Stock is Going to Recover

By Ryan Adsit

Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSE: AST) received a Buy rating from B.Riley FBR analyst George Zavoico today. The company’s shares closed yesterday at $2.05, close to its 52-week low of $1.95.

Zavoico noted:

“We are initiating coverage of Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (AST) with a Buy rating and a 12- month price target of $6.00 per share. Asterias is a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company with an engineered stem cell platform that enables and directs differentiation of stem cells into mature cells of a desired cell type with therapeutic properties for specific indications. Asterias’ two leading cell therapy product candidates include AST-OPC1 for treating severe spinal cord injuries (SCI) and AST-VAC2 for activating the immune system for remission maintenance in cancer patients by finding and killing tumor cells as they emerge. Both indications are unmet clinical needs and represent high-value markets. AST-OPC1 has shown promising signs of efficacy in a Phase II trial of SCI one year after treatment, and a predecessor product candidate to AST-VAC2, called AST-VAC1, provided proof-of-concept a Phase II trial.”

According to TipRanks.com, Zavoico is a 3-star analyst with an average return of 4.6% and a 43.2% success rate. Zavoico covers the Healthcare sector, focusing on stocks such as Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc, ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc, and Catalyst Biosciences Inc.

Asterias Biotherapeutics has an analyst consensus of Moderate Buy, with a price target consensus of $11.

Based on Asterias Biotherapeutics’ latest earnings report for the quarter ending September 30, the company posted quarterly revenue of $1.69 million and GAAP net loss of $6.81 million. In comparison, last year the company earned revenue of $1.75 million and had a GAAP net loss of $9.35 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.