Mesoblast gets $6.2 million R&D funding, its shares take off

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Stem cell treatment biotech Mesoblast has received $6.2 million for research and development from the federal government’s tax incentive program.

A short time ago, its shares were up 5.8% to $2.01.

“Mesoblast anticipates that it will continue to receive Australian government funds for ongoing R&D activities undertaken during the 2016 financial year,” the company said today.

The company’s stem cell treatment has been found effective in helping children survive bone marrow transplants and for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Mesoblast is also working on treatments for inflammatory ailments, cardiovascular disease and back pain.

The company posted a loss of $US35.48 million for the half year to December, an 18% improvement on lower research and development and management costs, with revenue of $US11.52 million. It had cash reserves of about $US120 million.

The use of stem cells to fix damaged or diseased human tissue is becoming big business, with more than 700 companies globally with a regenerative medicine focus. Mesoblast is one of a handful in Australia making progress in commercialising stem cell treatments.

The global market is valued at $16.4 billion and is expected to grow at 23.2% a year to reach $67.5 billion in 2020, according to analysts at Frost & Sullivan.

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