NEW YORK, May 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NeoStem, Inc. (Nasdaq:NBS) ("NeoStem" or the "Company"), a leader in the emerging cellular therapy industry, today announced first quarter 2014 financial results as well as the closing of the Company's acquisition of California Stem Cell, Inc. ("CSC"), an Irvine, California based biotechnology company. Strategic acquisitions that leverage the Company's strong development, regulatory and manufacturing expertise have been the cornerstone of NeoStem's growth and the basis for providing value to shareholders. "We are pleased to see positive revenue growth in this quarter over first quarter 2013 and to report that, as of March 31, 2014, we had an ending cash balance of over $41 million," said Dr. Robin L. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem. "Coupled with our best in class manufacturing capability, the stage is set for us to realize meaningful clinical development and manufacturing efficiencies, further positioning NeoStem to lead the cell therapy industry and achieve our goal of delivering transformative cell based therapies to the market to help patients suffering from life-threatening medical conditions." California Stem Cell Acquisition Melapuldencel-T, developed by CSC and now NeoStem's most advanced product candidate and foundation for its Targeted Immunotherapy Program in oncology, is a late stage novel proprietary cancer cell therapy. NeoStem plans to initiate, before the end of 2014, a pivotal Phase 3 trial of Melapuldencel-T, an autologous, melanoma initiating (stem) cell immune based therapy intended to eliminate the tumor cells capable of causing disease recurrence. Melapuldencel-T has been approved to enter this trial with a Special Protocol Assessment ("SPA") from the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and has received Fast Track designation for metastatic melanoma, as well as Orphan Drug designation. There are approximately 120,000 new cases of melanoma every year in the U.S. Pursuant to the terms of the CSC merger agreement, on May 8 th NeoStem issued 5.33 million shares of NeoStem common stock, restricted and subject to certain holding periods, in exchange for all of CSC's equity interests. CSC shareholders will be eligible for milestone and royalty payments of up to $90 million, which may be payable in cash or shares of NeoStem common stock at NeoStem's discretion. The shares of NeoStem's common stock issued to equity holders of CSC are not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements and are subject to selling restrictions. Recent Highlights and Upcoming Milestones The CSC acquisition has significantly advanced NeoStem's leadership in the cell therapy industry by adding a Targeted Immunotherapy Program to its diversified product pipeline. The Company looks forward to additional near term milestones in other clinical development programs:
- Immune Modulation (T Regulatory Cell Program) – Phase 1 data in type 1 diabetes are expected to be presented on June 15 th at the American Diabetes Association ("ADA"). meeting. NeoStem has licensed this technology from Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone of UCSF School of Medicine. NeoStem plans to initiate a Phase 2 study in the third quarter of 2014 using the proprietary Treg technology to treat type 1 diabetes, which affects more than 34 million people worldwide.
- Ischemic Repair (CD34 Cell Program) – In the second half of 2014 NeoStem expects to release Phase 2 data from its PreSERVE AMI trial of AMR-001, the Company's second most advanced product candidate. PreSERVE AMI is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial testing AMR-001, an autologous (donor and recipient are the same) adult stem cell product for the treatment of patients with left ventricular dysfunction following acute ST segment elevation myocardial infarction ("STEMI"), which affects more than 160,000 patients per year in the U.S. With the last patient of the 160 patient trial infused in late December 2013, the last patient's 6 month follow-up is expected to occur in June 2014. Once the primary endpoint 6 month data has been collected, the data set will be locked and analysis will begin with a submission for a possible presentation of the study results at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions to be held November 15-19, 2014. If approved by FDA and/or other worldwide regulatory agencies following successful completion of further trials, AMR-001 would address a significant medical need for which there is currently no effective treatment, potentially improving longevity and quality of life for those suffering a STEMI, and positioning NeoStem to capture a meaningful share of this worldwide market. The Company may also advance its CD34 Cell Program into other clinical indications, such as chronic heart failure, traumatic brain injury and/or critical limb ischemia.