Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Athersys, Inc., a late stage biotechnology company, focuses on the research and development activities in the field of regenerative medicine. Its clinical development programs are focused primarily on treating critical care indications neurological conditions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory and immune disorders, pulmonary and other conditions. The company’s lead platform product is MultiStem cell therapy, an off the shelf allogeneic stem cell product currently in Phase 3 clinical development for treating ischemic stroke. Based on promising Phase 2 results, this program has received Fast Track and RMAT (equivalent to Breakthrough Therapy for regenerative medicine treatments) designations from the FDA, as well as similar designations in Japan. The company also has an ongoing Phase II clinical study for treating patients with acute myocardial infarction; a planned Phase II for trauma (supported by the DOD). “

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on ATHX. BidaskClub raised Athersys from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 12th. ValuEngine raised Athersys from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Finally, Maxim Group set a $8.00 price objective on Athersys and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 23rd.

Athersys stock traded up $0.03 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $1.55. 192,726 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 660,422. The stock has a market cap of $218.28 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -5.34 and a beta of 0.50. Athersys has a one year low of $1.29 and a one year high of $3.09.

In other Athersys news, insider William Lehmann, Jr. sold 15,000 shares of Athersys stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1.73, for a total transaction of $25,950.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 493,062 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $852,997.26. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 18.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Athersys by 50.9% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 250,900 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $495,000 after purchasing an additional 84,600 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new stake in shares of Athersys in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $59,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Athersys by 12.8% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,769,421 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $14,217,000 after acquiring an additional 768,755 shares in the last quarter. Allred Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Athersys in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $74,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in Athersys by 21.3% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 439,900 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $867,000 after acquiring an additional 77,100 shares in the last quarter. 19.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Athersys

Athersys, Inc, a biotechnology company, focuses on the research and development activities in the field of regenerative medicine. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory and immune disorders, and pulmonary and other conditions.

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