Why the Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) share price is rising today

The Mesoblast limited (ASX:MSB) share price is rising on Wednesday following the release of an update. Here’s what you need to know…
The post Why the Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) share price is rising today appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

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The Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) share price is pushing higher on Wednesday morning.

At the time of writing, the biotechnology company’s shares are up 1% to $2.19.

Why is the Mesoblast share price pushing higher?

Today’s gain could be in relation to an update the company released this morning highlighting its recent developments and upcoming milestones.

In respect to the former, Mesoblast reminded shareholders that it recently strengthened its balance sheet with a US$110 million private placement. This left it with a pro-forma cash balance of US$187.5 million at 31 December.

It also notes that this private placement was led by US investor group SurgCenter Development. It is one of the largest private operators of ambulatory surgical centres in the US, specialising in spine, orthopaedic, and total joint procedures.

Another positive recent development was its phase three trial of rexlemestrocel-L. Results in 404 patients with chronic low back pain due to degenerative disc disease showed that a single injection with hyaluronic acid carrier may provide at least two years of pain reduction, with opioid sparing activity in patients using opioids at baseline.

Finally, the company also reminded investors that it signed a license and collaboration agreement with Novartis for the development, manufacture, and commercialisation of remestemcel-L. This agreement’s initial focus is on the development of the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), including that associated with COVID-19.

However, it has warned that the agreement remains subject to certain closing conditions, including time to analyse the results from the bitterly disappointing COVID-19 ARDS trial.

What milestones lie ahead?

The next few months look set to be equally busy for Mesoblast.

Management advised that it is in discussions with potential strategic partners to develop and commercialise rexlemestrocel-L and remestemcel-L for the large market opportunities of chronic heart failure, chronic lower back pain, and respiratory diseases.

In addition, it expects to meet with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a well-established regulatory process. This is to discuss the fastest pathway to licensure of remestemcel-L in the treatment of children with steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease.

Also on the horizon are the clinical results from remestemcel-L trials in COVID-19 ARDS and medically refractory Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Furthermore, Mesoblast intends to meet with FDA to discuss a potential pathway for approval of rexlemestrocel-L in patients with chronic heart failure. This is based on the observed reduction in mortality and morbidity in the chronic heart failure Phase 3 trial.

Finally, Mesoblast again intends to meet with FDA, this time to discuss a potential pathway for approval of rexlemestrocel-L in patients with chronic discogenic lower back pain. This is based on the aforementioned observed durable reduction in pain and opioid sparing activity in the Phase 3 trial.

With the Mesoblast share price down 62% from its 52-week high, shareholders will no doubt be hoping these activities are successful and help drive it higher again.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post Why the Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) share price is rising today appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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