Mesoblast jumps on stem cell asset purchase

Shares in stem cells group Mesoblast have surged back to their highest level in two months on news it is to spend up to $100 million buying a suite of patents in the US which have the potential to deliver revenues sooner than expected.

Earlier today, it disclosed details of the purchase of a clutch of assets from US-based Osiris Therapeutic for an initial $US20 million in cash, although the final price could reach $US100 million depending on progress in developing the acquired products, with provision for future royalty payments as well.

The purchase brings with it two products already in their final stage of clinical trials with approvals for launch in Canada and New Zealand, and with the potential to win clearance for launch in the key US market within two years.

These are substantially derisked, Mesoblast chief executive, Professor Silviu Itescu said of the two advanced products, an agent for treating some Crohns disease cases along with a treatment for some graft versus host disease cases resulting from stem cell transplants.

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In afternoon trading, the shares were up 5.1 per cent at $5.76.

Like Mesoblast, Osiris has been developing therapeutic products that use so-called mesenchymal stem cells which can help body tissue heal large wounds, repair cartilage and muscle tissue.

Osiris has been producing these stem cells in the US since 1999, and also has a joint venture in Japan.

The US companys product is already approved for use in selected bone marrow cases involving children in the US, Canada and New Zealand.

The purchase gives Mesoblast access to two products in phase 3 trials - a treatment for Crohns disease and for selected bone marrow cases involving adults as well, it said.

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Mesoblast jumps on stem cell asset purchase

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