Friday, August 19, 2011

International Stem Cell's Q2 Revenues Nearly Triple by Deborah Sterescu

International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) (OTCBB:ISCO) reported Wednesday that second quarter sales more than doubled to almost triple, while year-to-date sales jumped a whopping 271%, as the company's operating subsidiaries continue to generate more revenue.

In addition to its hugely potentially valuable stem cell therapy business, the company also two other operations that have reflected revenue growth in the meantime, including Lifeline Cell Technology, which sells its cell-culture products to researchers to grow human cells for pre-clinical research, and Lifeline Skin Care, which sells skin care products based on its parent's stem cell technology.

For the three months ending June 30, International Stem Cell saw revenues rise to $1.1 million, from $0.44 million a year earlier.

Year-to-date revenues totaled $2.6 million, versus $0.7 million for the same period in 2010, helped by a $1.7 million contribution from Lifeline Skin Care, and a $0.9 million addition from Lifeline Cell.

In the last quarter, Lifeline Cell gained over 200 new customers due to new product introductions and the development of distribution channels internationally, a strategy ISCO plans to continue.

Meanwhile, the company's skin care business is coming off a highly successful launch at the end of last year, exceeding its plans to sell 1,000 products, with 7,000 products sold initially. Lifeline Skin plans to aggressively kick start major marketing initiatives again in September.

While these two subsidiaries are busy chalking up revenues, ISCO, whose parthenogenetic stem cell technology can be used to derive pluripotent stem cells, meaning they can be transformed into any cell type in the body, has many important advantages at its fingertips.

Regenerative medicine is a market that is set to boom in the coming years, as more and more companies are developing therapies based on stem cell use. International Stem Cell's long-term goal is to be a universal supplier of stem cells for not just one, but a host of therapies.

The company's parthenogenetic stem cells are derived from unfertilized eggs, avoiding the ethical issues behind the destruction of viable human embryos. Like embryonic stem cells, they also have the capacity to become almost any cell type in the body, but have demonstrated they are better in terms of the immune system, as one single stem cell line can be genetically matched to millions of people, reducing the need for immunosuppressants.

Its plan is to establish a US bank of its clinical-grade human parthenogenetic stem cells that will be capable of being immune-matched to millions of patients, so that a physician could call up and request a specific cell type for people. The company, which recently received approvals to enroll around 3 US donors for its bank, already has a collection of ten human parthenogenetic stem cell lines used for research purposes, which were derived outside the US.

These cell lines could potentially be used to cure a number of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, liver disease, among many others. Already, the company has several trials in the works, and has successfully demonstrated in pre-clinical animal studies that its stem cells can be used to create viable liver cells. It has also started pre-clinical animal trials to create neuronal cells in the brain, to potentially cure Parkinson's disease.

Unsurprisingly, all this work to progress the company's technology has increased expenses, contributing to a $2.5 million loss in the second quarter, or a 3 cent loss per share.

Research and development costs grew on account of greater scientific projects, while general and administrative costs leapt on increased headcount as the company bulks up its management team.

International Stem Cell, with $3.6 million in the bank at the end of the quarter, said that it has not ruled out future capital raising, but it already has a facility that allows it to draw equity as necessary to secure its planned growth.

No comments:

Post a Comment