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July 30, 2004 Stock Pick: StemCells, Inc. (STEM)

Stock Price: $1.44

StemCells, Inc. uses proprietary technology to isolate, purify, and expand stem and progenitor cell populations found in human tissue. These cells can become the mature cells of the organ from which they were derived. The company’s goal is to use these cells to repair or repopulate neural or other tissue that has been damaged or lost due to disease or injury.

Basically, stem cells are immature cells that have the potential to give rise to any number of different kinds of cells and tissues. The value here is that scientists may be able to grow these cells into what they want in order to repair and regenerate dead cells.

This specific company first generated their line of human stem cells from a line of aborted fetuses. The Bush administration has banned research funding for stem cells derived from embryos. Companies such as Geron Corp (GERN) derive stem cells from embryos. GERN and STEM could both benefit from John Kerry being elected in November. He has said his administration will overturn the restriction on research funding for stem cells.

StemCells, Inc. recently received $20 million in equity funding on June 17th and expects to use the funds for operations into 2006.

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