Big Changes Unfolding at Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC)

rp_advanced-cell-technology.jpgStem cell biotech, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT; stock symbol ACTC), has started off 2014 with indications that it is in a phase of rapid evolution.

Some changes, such as today’s announced departure of now former CEO Gary Rabin (see my 2013 interview with him here), are already in the public domain, but other big developments are likely based on private conversations.

ACT’s CFO and executive VP, Edward Myles, will serve as interim president during a search to replace Rabin, according to WBJournal.

Miles is quoted as follows:

“I look forward to working closely with our board of directors, executive team, and all of our employees and partners to achieve our corporate objectives,” said Mr. Myles. “Our core programs, the ongoing Phase I clinical trials for dry-Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Stargardt’s Macular Degeneration (SMD), continue to progress according to plan and we expect to release interim, top line data from the trials in the very near future.”

More data coming out is a good thing.

Update (hat tip to commenter Brad): A probable reason for Rabin’s exit seems to be related to an SEC investigation of possible improper transaction disclosures.

It is also notable that it was announced about a month ago that the company had settled a civil SEC action from stock issues from years ago with a payment of more than $4 million. It’s good to put that in the past.

In addition, rumors are now flying that this year ACT may receive the coveted “breakthrough status” for a product (its hESC-derived RPE product for macular degeneration) from the FDA.

The stock is up 4% today.

Recently I have been contacted by folks who think that quite a lot of other important developments are at play for the company at the moment as well. Stay tuned. I think 2014 will overall be a good year for the company.

Disclosure: this blog is not intended as financial or medical advice. All financial decisions such as stock-related choices should be made with a qualified financial planner, not based on a blog.

4 thoughts on “Big Changes Unfolding at Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC)


  1. “A reason for Rabin’s exit was not immediately apparent based on company statements, but there had been mixed investor sentiment on his performance as CEO.”

    Paul,

    I’ll assume you are not aware of the currently active SEC investigation into Rabin and Advanced Cell, as you did not mention it. Here is a statement from the company filed with the SEC via on 8-K one month ago on 12/23/2013:

    “Form 4 filing delays by our Chief Executive Officer have given rise to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the delays and our Section 16 compliance procedures, and this investigation may result in penalties and/or sanctions against us. ”

    Rabin secretly sold almost all of his unrestricted shares over a two year period, and did not disclose any of the sales, as he was legally required to do. Many of these sales occurred within days of material events affecting the company. The SEC filing has more details, and can be read here:

    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1140098/000101968713004937/actc_8k-ex9901.htm

    It is important that this information be included in the dialogue if you are going to discuss this event.


  2. Paul thanks for your comments on the nature article……IMO it was not very fair to Lanza work and there was little critique of the science. I think they will being eating crow in a couple of months and Nature will have egg on their face.


    • I agree. I think that everyone involved with ACT will end up being very glad that the company never had anything to do with the STAP-related issues. I’ve always thought that if this company can JUST hold it together as a business, then they have limitless potential. Now, keep in mind that I am but a lowly MSW, and I’ve taken part only in social science research– there are a lot of more qualified experts around here than I am! 😉 But I do know how to DO research, and I’ve spent literally hundreds and hundreds of hours over the past three years doing just that when it comes to all aspects of stem cells. The logical conclusion is that ACT CAN come through. And I think that their recent decisions, such as letting go of Rabin, add up to a major step in the right direction.

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