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Shares of Israel-based Pluristem Therapeutics, Inc. (PSTI - Snapshot Report) reached a 52-week high of $3.81 during the course of the trading session on Jan 2, 2013. Pluristem, however, closed the trading session at $3.77.

The year-to-date return of 10.9% looks stable. Hence, long-term investors can add Pluristem at current levels.

Pluristem currently Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company had a market cap of $210.8 million as on Jan 2, 2013. The average trading volume for the last three months was about 146,131 shares.

Growth Drivers

Pluristem develops and manufactures cell therapy products in collaboration with companies like United Therapeutics (UTHR - Analyst Report) or through research and clinical institutions.

Pluristem intends to develop and produce cell therapy products for the treatment of multiple disorders using several methods of administration.

The cells from placenta are derived using the company’s proprietary PluriX therapy and are known as PLacental eXpanded cells. Pluristem's first candidate in development, PLX-PAD, is intended to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Pluristem received a major relief in Sep 2013 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted the clinical hold on its phase II intermittent claudication (IC) indication. IC is a subset of peripheral artery disease (PAD).

We note that the clinical hold was lifted after Pluristem addressed all issues raised by the FDA while placing the clinical hold.

We remind investors that the FDA placed a clinical hold on the company’s phase II IC study in Jun 2013 following a serious allergic reaction in one of the patients who required subsequent hospitalization. The patient was discharged the next day after the symptoms were managed.

Pluristem pointed out that the patient was suffering from multiple diseases which might have affected the severity of the allergic reaction.

Consequently, Pluristem provided the agency with additional information to speed up the review and resolution of the issues. We expect investor focus to remain on updates on PLX-PAD.

Valuation

The stock is trading at a price to book ratio of 4.1x compared to the peer group average of 4.07.

Other Stocks to Consider

Currently, companies like Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ - Analyst Report) and Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report) look well positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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