Bringing Stem Cell Therapy Home With Life Stem Genetics (LIFS)
You often hear about medical breakthroughs that have the potential to be game-changers. One of those, stem cell therapy, has come of age and is just beginning to reach critical mass, providing new avenues to treat previously untreatable diseases and ailments, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, eye disorders, spinal cord injuries and cancer. As a result, a large number of companies are entering the stem cell arena, one of which we are profiling today – Life Stem Genetics, an interesting young company currently trading on the over-the-counter market under the symbol LIFS.
Before discussing the specifics of Life Stem’s business, it’s important to get a brief overview of what stem cells are and how they are used therapeutically. Stem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms that can divide (through mitosis) and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types. They can also self-renew to produce more stem cells. In mammals, there are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic, which are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells, found in various tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues.
Prior to any stem cell-related therapy taking place, a patient’s stem cells must first be extracted for use by clinicians – a process known as “harvesting.” Autologous adult stem cells (ASCs) can be sourced in three ways: through bone marrow, which requires literally drilling into bone; through adipose tissue, which is extracted via liposuction; or through blood, which requires a process called pheresis, wherein blood is drawn from the donor (similar to a blood donation), passed through a machine that extracts the stem cells and returns other portions of the blood to the donor.
That’s where Life Stem Genetics comes in. What may ultimately separate Life Stem from the crowd is its patented and proprietary stem cell treatment approach. The company has developed a regenerative procedure developed and tested to promote spinal, joint, organ health and longevity by using the patient’s own platelet rich blood cells and ASCs. In a spa-like setting, patients undergo a four-hour stem cell extraction procedure. Life Stem’s specialists have already successfully treated professional athletes from Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA and others.
The harvesting approach Life Stem uses is fairy simple: fat is extracted from the patient’s abdomen, then the stem cells are isolated and returned through a simple intravenous drip. Fat cells are among the richest in the human body vis a vis their stockpile of stem cells, maximizing the efficiency of this process. In fact, these cells contain up to 500x more stem cells than bone marrow, and perhaps most significantly, a higher concentration of “mesenchymal” stem cells. These mesenchymal cells are key because they are able to differentiate into all the various types of tissues, and they do this automatically via cell receptors that facilitate migration to the injured, damaged, or diseased tissue locations within your body.
The company is currently in the process of building its base of affiliate clinics in the U.S. and internationally. The clinics are designed to both extract stem cells and help treat the wide spectrum of diseases that stem cells can benefit. The first clinics outside the U.S. are already being planned for Hong Kong and mainland China, with the broader goal of expanding into Europe, Canada, and Australia. The company also plans on offering stem cell storage, and other regenerative medical treatment options.
On October 22, Life Stem announced that it had completed and received the first $500,000 of its recently announced $1 million private placement. Management expressed that it hoped to close an additional $500,000 of financing in the coming weeks. The money will be used to attract additional affiliate offices across the U.S. and to invest in various areas of research and development in moving the company’s plans forward.
If you still have any doubts about the acceptability of stem cell and related treatments consider this: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, through its Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, is working toward the acceleration of new stem cell technologies coupled with increased access to vital medical treatments in poorer nations. On the corporate front, Pfizer is actively developing a Regenerative Medicine Portfolio, and GE Healthcare recently announced it was expanding its Life Sciences division on stem cells.
LIFS shares began trading just last week, hitting the open market for the first time on October 28, making any technical analysis tough. The issue traded in a narrow range that day, fluctuating between $1.06 – $1.07, with about 50,000 shares changing hands. The issue jumped $0.10, to a high of $1.16 on Monday, before pulling back to close at $1.13, with volume lifting to 125,000 shares.
While it’s hard to predict how high LIFS shares may ultimately trade, one thing we know for sure is that the marketplace for stem cell research, extraction and treatment is expanding in leaps and bounds – with conservative estimates that it will quickly become a multi-billion dollar industry.
All you need to do is look at the share price acceleration in shares of Osiris Osiris Therapeutics (OSIR), which parlayed company accomplishments in the Adult Stem Cell field from $4.38 to $27.40 per share, to see how interesting of an idea this could be.
LIFS shares are worthy of putting on your trading radar during the weeks and months ahead. I would carefully monitor how this stock trades in the coming days, and look for any significant corporate developments to act as potential share price catalysts.
Good luck in this and all your future trades!
Warren Gates, Senior Analyst, Oakshire Financial