INTRO Here's my semi-annual exercise to see if I remember why I own the stocks I own, and so I can check back and see if their stories have changed. I post in case it helps others too.
AST (market cap is $0.074B was $0.122B)
Asterias is a speculative biotech company advancing innovations in treatments that are subsequently high risk, and hopefully promising high rewards. Their most publicized treatment is a way to help damaged nerves regrow. This treatment is targeted at accident victims who have lost some or all motor skills in limbs. Their other major initiatives are cancer vaccines based on managing telomerase. Regaining motor skills is easier to demonstrate, which may be why the company is primarily identified with that treatment.
The progress is encouraging. Some patients have regained motor control, and the cancer vaccines are proceeding. All of the treatments are aimed at large, unmet needs.
A major caution with innovative biotechnology companies and their treatments is that the FDA is not as innovative in its approval process. Of the three main clinical trial phases, Asterias’ are only in phases 1 and 2. Phase 3 is yet to conclude, and then the approval process begins. Unless the FDA decides to accelerate the process on compassionate grounds, public treatments and subsequent profits are many years away.
DISCLOSURE LTBH by habit, but only holding the shares since 2014. I bought more because I am pleased with their progress, but am cautious about dilution.
(I've also collected links to the other discussion boards and my other stocks over on my blog http://trimbathcreative.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/semi-annual-exercise-Mid-2018/)