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Why Neuralstem Inc. Shares Soared

By Sean Williams – Mar 28, 2014 at 2:08PM

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Neuralstem shares jumped after reporting another positive study involving its lead pipeline product, NSI-566, in rats. Can shares head even higher?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Neuralstem (CUR) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company fighting central nervous system disorders with neural stem-cell-based therapies -- spiked higher by as much as 15% after announcing intriguing study results for NSI-566 stem cells and their ability to improve poststroke symptoms in rats.

So what: According to Neuralstem's press release of study results that were also published in peer-reviewed journal, PLOS ONE, ischemic-stroke rats that were transplanted with Neuralstem's experimental NSI-566 cells into their brain "experienced functional improvement," and that the "grafts both survived and differentiated into neurons." The findings also appeared to demonstrate the dosing played an important role in functional improvement, with higher doses yielding better results. Neuralstem notes that there was a statistically significant difference in motor skills and neurological test improvement for rats that received 10,000 cells/ul to 20,000 cells/ul compared to rats that received 5,000 cells/ul.

Now what: As per the norm we have plenty of preclinical and early stage excitement surrounding stem-cell therapies, but many have failed to translate into late-stage success stories be it for safety, efficacy, or simply overbearing government regulations into stem-cell research. Smaller studies like this involving rats is encouraging, but it in no way guarantees success when transferring over the human trials. As I've said previously with Neuralstem, I'd much rather wait for later-stage concrete trial data before getting in an uproar about another stem-cell-based biopharmaceutical company. With that being said, I'll glad monitor it from the sidelines.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

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