Update (4:20 p.m.): Updated with Thursday market close information.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- StemCells (STEM) surged to a 52-week high of $2.10 on Thursday after the company reported positive interim results from a Phase I/II clinical trial of its proprietary HuCNS-SC human neural stem cell platform in dry age-related macular degeneration.
The results showed improvement in visual function and a slowing of the disease's progression. The data showed a 65% decrease in the rate of geographic atrophy in the eye studied compared to the expected natural history of the disease, along with a 70% decrease in the rate of GA (the gradual loss of two crucial retinal tissue layers, the photoreceptors and the retinal pigmented epithelium) when compared to the control eye.
Maxim Group said in a research note Thursday the early data "represents a best case outcome. This therapy represents a blockbuster opportunity (dry AMD) and could be transformational for the company." Maxim maintained its "buy" rating and $2.50 price target on the stock.
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StemCells closed up 33.12%, or 52 cents, to $2.09. More than 31.4 million shares changed hands, compared to the average volume of 687,345