StemCells Falls, Aastrom Biosciences Gains

The former suffers a clinical setback while the latter makes progress.
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It was a tale of two stem-cell companies Tuesday.

Aastrom Biosciences

(ASTM)

jumped while

StemCells

(STEM)

slumped.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based StemCells dropped 29 cents, or 5.9%, to $4.62 after the company said the Food and Drug Administration wants additional information on its phase I clinical trial for treating Batten disease, a brain disease affecting children. The trial has been placed on hold.

The company is hoping to achieve the first-ever FDA-approved clinical trial to use a purified composition of human neural stem cells as the potential therapeutic agent.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Aastrom gained 27 cents, or 8%, to $3.64, after the company said a clinical trial of its tissue-repair cell product intended for the treatment of some severe bone fractures had successfully achieved the required benchmark. The company is now able to expand the trial to include a broader range of fracture indications. Aastrom's bone graft product is also in clinical trials in Barcelona, Spain and Bochum, Germany.