The Best Kept Secret on Wall Street Hiding in Plain Sight?
*Always* Consult your broker, the companies involved, read the SEC documents and once you have done so, find out what the street thinks at http://www.investorstemcell.com
Advanced Cell Technology trades on the OTC-BB under the symbol of ACTC. Is it just another too good to be true penny stock, promising life changing financial gains for investors and a paradigm shift in health care through stem cell technology? Give this article the same amount of time you spend brushing your teeth.
What if there was a company that derived its medicine from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) without harming or destroying the embryo? We all know there is tremendous ideological debate surrounding this technology. What if stem cell research no longer destroyed the human embryo, would this technology be embraced by those who have vehemently opposed hESC research? If the naysayers then accepted hESC technology, would this achievement lead to cures of tens of millions of people suffering from cancer to shin splints?
On February 23, 2011, Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT; OTCBB: ACTC) was awarded Patent Number 7,893,315 “single blastomere” technique. ACT’s proprietary single blastomere technology provides a non-destructive alternative for deriving hESC lines.
What does this mean in plain English? Imagine the smallest blood transfusion in the history of modern medicine. It would be kin to a blood transfusion on a cellular-microscopic level with a two-day old embryo with just two to eight cells, of which one of those eight cells removed. That is exactly the technology ACT has accomplished to derive its hESC cell lines. Once the cell is removed, that removed cell replicates itself and thus regenerates the removed cell leaving the embryo as it was prior. When human beings give a pint of blood, that removed pint of blood regenerates itself as does the embryo does using ACT’s SCB patented technique.
Some opponents to the ACT’s embryonic research would say this harmful. However, the single blastomere technology uses a one-cell biopsy approach similar to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which is widely used in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process and does not interfere with the embryo’s developmental potential. The stem cells generated using this approach are healthy, completely normal, and differentiate into all the cell types of the human body, including insulin-producing cells, blood cells, beating heart cells, cartilage, and other cell types of therapeutic importance. The safety record for one-cell biopsy as part of PGD now has a 15-year track record, and is carried out routinely as part of IVF processes around the world. ACT’s “embryo-safe” technique has been published in been peer-reviewed journals such as Nature and Cell Stem Cell.
Robert Lanza, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ACT, said, “This patent issuance represents recognition of the innovation underlying our single-blastomere technology. In the US alone, over 100 people die every hour from diseases that could potentially benefit from this ‘embryo-safe’ technique.”
Advanced Cell Technology joined a very exclusive club recently. Advanced Cell Technology and Geron Corporation are the only US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved companies authorized to conducts hESC trials. This past November 22, 2010, ACT announced that the FDA has cleared the Company’s Investigational New Drug application to immediately initiate a Phase I/II multicenter clinical trial using retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells to treat patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy (SMD), one of the most common forms of juvenile macular degeneration in the world. Followed up on January 3, 2011, ACT announced that the FDA has cleared the Company’s IND application to treat Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from hESC.
ACT is now permitted to initiate a Phase I/II multicenter clinical trial to treat patients with Dry AMD, the most common form of macular degeneration in the world. There are currently no treatments available for this prevalent disease of an aging global population. Dry AMD, representing a substantial global market opportunity and afflicts between 10-15 million Americans. According to a recent conference call with shareholders at the end of March, ACT’s CEO Mr. Gary Rabin announced that ACT was in final discussions with the trial sites and that both trials would run simultaneously and begin before June 30, 2011. All together 24 patients will be enrolled in the study’s at multiple clinical sites. Sites currently under consideration are the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, and the Ophthalmology Department at Stanford University School of Medicine. Additional sites may be considered.
To add fuel to ACT’s quest to complete domination in the treatment of AMD, on March 23, 2011, ACT was awarded patent application to provide broad intellectual property protection in China for the manufacturing and pharmaceutical preparations of RPE cells from hESC by China’s State Intellectual Property Office. Just last week on April 20, 2011, ACT filed their clinical trial application with the European Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for clearance to initiate their Phase I/II clinical trial this past week.. This Phase I/II trial will use RPE cells derived from human embryonic stem cells using the SCB Technique which does not harm or destroy the human embryo for SMD.
Raymond Lund, Ph.D., a scientific collaborator with ACT, and considered one of the world’s foremost experts in retinal cell physiology and vision restoration, commented “The study results of ACT’s RPE cells implanted in the various animal models of macular degeneration was phenomenal. If ACT observes even a fraction of that benefit in humans, it will be nothing short of a home run.”
So what does this all mean for investors and potential investors of Advanced Cell Technology? Is this to be good to be true? What’s the catch? It can’t be all unicorns and rainbows? The Company as of the last 10K had an outstanding share count of 1,500,000,000. Yes, that is “B “ as in a billion shares. ACTC trades on the OTC-BB and has a share price of just $0.18 with an average daily trading volume of 7,000,000 shares. Most institutional investors will not invest in ACT because of the risk and share price which leads to trading volatility. However, as of September 2009 ACT had over 25,000 share- holders and some investors believe that the common share-holder count is nearing 50,000.
So why should you take a look at Advanced Cell Technology?
1) If the FDA validates the AMD Clinical trials and ACT’s RPE cells are approved for commercialization to treat Dry AMD (of which there is no currently approved treatment), this will open up a $30,000,000,000 billion dollar market in the USA and EU alone.
2) ACT employs the worlds unsurpassed regenerative medicine pioneer, Dr. Robert Lanza. In 2008 ACT almost went bankrupt due to the credit crisis. While a large majority of the employees abandoned ship, why did the premiere researcher in Stem Cells choose not to leave ACT? Was it the temptation of doing the work of 10 people himself, while working 7 days a week with 14 hour work days? Was it for taking a pay cut for 2 years? Was it for a paycheck that ANY prestigious college, hospital or big pharmaceutical would have been willing to quadruple to employ one of the greatest scientists since Albert Einstein? Dr. Lanza knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that his hESC technology works. Take the time to explore this quiet man’s body of achievements and work.
3) ACT’s financial guardian angel since October 2009 has been Terren S. Peizer, currently the Chairman of a Los Angeles-based investment company, Socius Capital Group (SCG). Since its inception in June 2009 to December 2010, SCG has provided companies with capital commitments and funding in excess of $400 million. Terren has pledged $35,000,000.00 in investments to Advanced Cell Technology and holds future warrants to buy another $25,000,000.00 in common shares of ACT. Why would one of the top dogs on Wall Street pledge so much capital in the most risk based investment since the Dotcom era? What does he know? It appears Mr. Piezer has at least $200,000,000.00 invested in the regenerative sector. Does he foresee the next Dotcom boom in regards to regenerative medicine? Do your own research on Mr. Piezer. Smart investors know to go where the winners invest, and have no doubt that Mr. Terren Piezer is a winner on Wall Street.
4) The “Embryo Safe” technique of Advanced Cell Technology is a game changer in the field of regenerative medicine. Currently every company using human embryos as its platform destroys the embryo through its research. ACT’s embryo safe technique plucks one cell from the two day old embryo. That missing cell is then regrown, making the embryo normal again. It’s then refrozen, leaving the embryo viable. What are the implications of such a technology from ACT? The U.S. Government will not fund any hESC research that harms or destroys a human embryo. The National Institute of Health (N.I.H.) has currently placed all funding on hold while a law suit brought against it makes its way through the Federal court systems. Several scholars have said that this suit is heading towards the Supreme Court. The Dickey-Wicker amendment strictly prohibits the Federal funding of any research that harms or destroys a human embryo. Obama’s Executive Order in March 2009 allowing Federal funding of hESC research is moot now. Do your own research on the Dickey-Wicker law. You do not need to be a legal guru to understand the law clearly forbids Federal dollars going towards this research. A 5-4 conservative majority is in place at the Supreme Court, and it is unlikely to be overturned. Advanced Cell Technology’s patent protection is very important and may soon be recognized at the Gold Standard according to the N.I.H. because ACT’s SCB technique is proven safe by the birth of thousands of in vitro (PGD) babies.
Investor Stem Cell (http://www.investorstemcell.com) is dedicated to bringing investors and stakeholders together in thoughtful discussion to educate and publicize the incredible advancements occurring in the regenerative medicine sector. Please join the iCELL community, which is free for all members and employs the state-of-the-art discussion forum software. iCELL has not been compensated by “any” party for this article.
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