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Analyst Blog

Athersys, Inc.’s (ATHX - Snapshot Report) shares fell 4.85% after the company announced second quarter 2014 net loss of 9 cents (adjusting one-time items) per share. Loss was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company had suffered a loss of 11 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues decreased to $0.4 million from $0.6 million a year ago due to lower contract and grant revenues.

Research and development expenses for the second quarter of 2014 increased 12.7% to $5.8 million, driven by higher personnel cost, research supplies, stock-based compensation and sponsored research expenses. General and administrative (G&A) expenses at Athersys climbed 17.5% to $1.8 million in the second quarter of 2014. Higher stock-based compensation expense and personnel costs led to the increase in G&A expenses.

Athersys is developing MultiStem cell therapy for ulcerative colitis (phase II) in collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Analyst Report). MultiStem cell therapy is also being evaluated for several indications including ischemic stroke (phase II: enrollment expected to complete in the next few months, top-line data expected post analysis of patient data collected through 90 days of treatment) and acute myocardial infarction (a phase II study expected to be initiated later in 2014). We expect investor focus to remain on MultiStem cell therapy in the near term.

Athersys carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Endo International (ENDP - Analyst Report) and Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ANAC - Snapshot Report). While Endo sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Anacor Pharma is a Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy) stock.