Interim Data In Spinal Cord Injury Driving STEM Higher; PSTI Reacting in Sympathy

This morning, StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEM) released six-month interim results for the first group of patients in its Phase I/II trial, testing the company’s HuCNS-SC (human neural stem cells) treatment candidate in patients with spinal cord injury – previous coverage available here. Shares are trading up nearly 20% in pre-market, and are likely to maintain momentum on the positive news. The interim data showed that thus far, HuCNS-SC treatment led to considerable gains in sensory function in two of three patients vs. their baseline levels of sensation prior to cell transplantation. The company also noted that the treatment continues to exhibit a favorable safety profile. The trial represents the first time that neural stem cells have been transplanted as a potential therapeutic agent for spinal cord injury, and the sensory gains observed have developed in a progressive pattern below the level of injury. Impressively, gains in sensation are not generally expected in spinal cord injury patients, particularly given the severity of injury seen in patients admitted to the Phase I/II study. According to STEM, sensory function of all patients observed thus far was stable before cell transplantation, therefore, the reappearance of sensation is a very positive sign that the treatment is having a beneficial effect. While the third patient did not experience an increase in sensation, that patient’s level of sensation remains stable. PropThink notes that another small-cap stem cell company, PluriStem Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PSTI) is also moving in pre-market trading, likely in sympathy with the STEM news.