Is Plus Therapeutics Stock A Risky Gambit?
Plus Therapeutics Stock Forecast: Medical researchers have long asserted that stem cells and regenerative cells hold the key to treating and curing a wide variety of debilitating conditions.
Essentially, these cells are transplanted into the bodies of people battling disease or disability. When the therapy works as planned, the transplanted cells take over work left undone by damaged or diseased cells, restoring function in the targeted area.
Some cell therapies are already in widespread use. For example, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, better known as a bone marrow transplant, is a common treatment for a variety of blood cancers and conditions such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and aplastic anemia.
This therapy is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the long-term potential of cell therapies. But what companies are worth investing in to capitalize on this breakthrough medical technology? Plus Therapeutics, formerly Cytori Therapeutics is on the chopping block for consideration.
The Nitty Gritty Of Stem Cell Research
Advanced technology and innovative science has developed new methods of using blood forming (hematopoietic) stem cells, cord blood (mesenchymal) stem cells, skeletal muscle stem cells, antigen-presenting (dendritic) immune system cells, lymphocytes, regenerative fat (adipose) cells, and pancreatic islet cells to repair or replace damaged tissue.
Researchers are working on leveraging these cells in the treatment of cancer, urinary issues, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. They are also pursuing possibilities for improving or reversing damage to joint cartilage and the spinal cord, and they are examining potential for easing the impact of weakened immune systems and neurological disorders.
Biotechs in the business of cell therapy research may eventually unlock long-sought cures for some of the world’s most crippling medical conditions. Such a breakthrough promises big profits for investors. However, choosing a particular stock in this area of biotechnology is tricky.
There is no guarantee that any of the research will amount to a marketable product. There is a stringent, lengthy, and complicated process for getting new therapies approved in almost every country of the world, and a majority of therapies fail at the point of clinical trials – sometimes after years of success.
Biotech in general, and cell therapy in particular, is an investment that carries high risk – however, those investors willing to take the risk occasionally reap massive rewards.
What Does Plus Therapeutics Do?
Plus Therapeutics [NASDAQ: PSTV] hasn’t abandoned cell therapy research, though it has reconsidered its research and development strategy. For now, the company is focused on redesigning existing chemotherapies used in the treatment of cancer. Plus Therapeutics has a nanotechnology platform that promises more effective delivery of chemotherapy drugs, which is expected to translate into benefits for patients. For example, Plus is looking to add value in the form of improved safety, greater efficacy, and increased convenience.
At the moment, Plus Therapeutics [NASDAQ: PSTV] is preparing to take its most promising candidate, DocePLUS, to the Stage II phase of clinical trials. This drug is intended as a second-line treatment for small-cell lung cancer in patients with platinum-sensitive disease. If successful, there is a small but important market for the drug.
For investors, the question is whether Plus Therapeutics [NASDAQ: PSTV] has the potential to produce breakthrough therapies. If so, it could be a smart buy. However, since the revamped company just launched under its new name at the end of July, there is very little information available. That spells risks for investors.
What are the Risks of Buying Plus Therapeutics?
The biggest risks for investors to be concerned with are the same as for any biotech company.
Even the largest, most innovative organizations have had dramatic failures late in the clinical trial phase. The pharmaceutical company Biogen devastated the Alzheimer’s community when its promising treatment aducanumab failed in Phase III human trials.
Another drug maker, Roche, had the exact same experience. This was most discouraging for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers, but it also meant disappointment for investors. As they became more certain the cutting-edge drugs would be successful, stock prices went up – and then they came tumbling down.
In addition to the standard risks of investing in this industry, Plus stock carries a few additional issues. A big worry is that there hasn’t been a lot of information released regarding the sudden change in name and strategy.
Some speculate that the company’s previous iteration – Cytori Therapeutics – was failing. If true, there are many reasons the company might not have been successful – but poor management hasn’t been eliminated as the root cause. That’s a problem that could carry over to the new company.
So, is Plus Therapeutics a buy?
Is Plus Therapeutics Stock a Buy?
Until the company completes a full quarter and releases its financial reports, there is simply no reliable information for investors to use in decision-making. Few analysts have taken the time to evaluate Plus Therapeutics, and those that have note their predictions are based on little more than industry trends.
At this point, though Plus Therapeutics does have a product in Stage II clinical trials, it doesn’t have much else in its pipeline. The drug currently in development doesn’t present breakthrough potential, though it could be a better way to deliver existing therapies.
The bottom line is that there isn’t much reason for investors to gamble on Plus Therapeutics for now. Better to wait and see how the company grows and expands in coming quarters.
In the meantime, there are several highly-rated biotechs that make sense for new biotech investors to include in their portfolios. These include the following:
- AbbVie – maker of Humira
- Celgene – maker of Revlimid
- Exelixis – maker of several successful cancer drugs
- Ligand Pharmaceuticals – developer of technology that promotes more effective drug research and development
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals – maker of the top treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF)
Any of these options offer more reliable returns for biotech investors.