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Here’s why Mesoblast limited shares have skyrocketed this week

It has been a while since shareholders of Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) have had anything to smile about. In the last 12 months, the shares of this regenerative medicine company have fallen a staggering 61%.

This week things have been far better. Mesoblast’s share price is up 11% this week, thanks largely to a 12% jump in its share price yesterday afternoon following a positive update on its cell therapy in diabetic kidney disease.

mesoblast-msb-ax-price-chart-oct-2016

Source: Yahoo Finance

The company advised that the results of the placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial of its proprietary allogeneic Mesenchymal Precursor Cell (MPC) product candidate, MPC-300-IV, in patients with diabetic kidney disease have been published in the latest issue of peer-reviewed journal EBioMedicine.

The paper concluded that in a Phase 2 trial in adult patients with type 2 diabetic nephropathy, a single intravenous infusion of MPC-300-IV was both well tolerated and had positive effects on renal function at the 12-week primary endpoint.

Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Melbourne Dr David Packham said:

“The efficacy signal observed with respect to preservation or improvement in GFR is exciting, especially given that this trial was not powered to show statistical significance. Patients receiving a single infusion of MPC-300-IV showed no evidence of developing an immune response to the administered cells, suggesting that repeat administration is feasible and may in the longer term be able to halt or even reverse progressive chronic kidney disease. I hope that this very promising investigational therapy will be advanced to rigorous Phase 3 clinical trials to test this hypothesis as soon as possible.”

In August the company gained similar Phase 2 trial results for MPC-300-IV in biologic refractory rheumatoid arthritis. At the time management estimated the global market for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis to be in the region of $15 billion a year, growing to over $18 billion by 2024.

Clearly, MPC-300-IV is an exciting prospect and if Phase 3 clinical trials are successful then the company will be in a fantastic position for rapid growth. But let’s not forget that these are very early days and getting a product to market is still some way off.

Whilst things may be looking brighter, I would personally hold off making an investment in Mesoblast. Instead, investments in CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) would be far better options in my opinion.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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