The Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) share price surges on award win

The Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) share price surged higher today after winning an industry award. Here’s why the biotech company is one to watch

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The Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) share price has jumped today on the back of winning the Fierce Innovation Award. The Mesoblast share price was trading at $4.95, up 6.6% from yesterday’s market close. It has since dropped back to $4.85 at the time of writing, up 4.53%.

This compares to the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) which is down 0.1% at 5,892 points.

Winner of 2020 biotech innovation

Mesoblast announced that its flagship product remestemcel-L had won the Fierce Innovation Awards: Life Sciences Edition 2020 for biotech innovation. The evaluation criteria for these awards is based on effectiveness, technical innovation, competitive advantage, financial impact, and true innovation.

The peer-reviewed program is overseen by a panel of executives from major biotech and pharmaceutical companies. They include Astellas, Accenture, AstraZeneca, Angiocrine Bioscience, Biotech Research Group, NIHR Clinical Research Network, Medidata Solutions and PPD.

Mesoblast chief executive Dr Silviu Itescu was proud of the company’s achievements, saying the award was an important recognition of the Mesoblast’s efforts. Mr Itescu said the company strived for innovation in the cell therapy industry and sought to help children suffering from preventable diseases.

What is remestemcel-L

Mesoblast’s lead drug candidate remestemcel-L is a cellular therapy product that comprises cultured, cryopreserved mesenchymal stem cells derived from the bone marrow of healthy donors.

The company is developing remestemcel-L to treat steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease (SR-aGVHD). Mesoblast has also been experimenting with the product to treat patients infected with COVID-19.

Hero drug updates

Remestemcel-L is currently under priority review by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awaiting approval. It is anticipated the product will launch in the US at the end of 2020. The FDA will convene on September 30 to decide on whether remestemcel-L’s will receive its new drug approval stamp.

In addition, Mesoblast plans to gauge remestemcel-L’s effectiveness on 300 ventilator-dependant adults with COVID-19 in a controlled Phase III trial. The company will seek to confirm results from a pilot study at New York’s Mt Sinai hospital which showed a 75% recovery rate after 10 days of receiving two intravenous doses of remestemcel-L.

Should you invest in the Mesoblast share price?

Mesoblast shares have soared higher since COVID-19 swept the world. The Mesoblast share price is up 348% in the last 6 months and could continue to go higher if the FDA approves Mesoblast’s hero drug. It will be interesting to watch the ongoing developments in the coming weeks. I urge investors to pay close attention. The Mesoblast share is one to add to your watchlist.

Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the 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 Scott Phillips.

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