Stellar Biotechnologies Rockets Ahead on Research Study Results

Shares of Stellar Biotechnologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBOT) are having a, well, stellar start to the day on Thursday, legging upward off a 52-week low printed Wednesday.

Today's catalyst is news of positive results from a KLH glycosylation study. KLH, short for Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin, is an immune-stimulating protein used in wide-ranging diagnostic and therapeutic markets, including pipelines targeting tough diseases like Alzheimers, cancer and lupus, to name a few. From its headquarters north of Los Angeles, Stellar is a leading manufacturer of KLH.

The company said this morning that a research study focused on the molecular composition of its KLH products was successfully completed.

Third-party researchers analyzed the carbohydrates that attach to the KLH protein through glycosylation, a enzymatic process that attaches glycans to proteins or other organic molecules and is also involved in cell–to-cell recognition and signaling.

The compositional profile of these glycans are believed to enhance the immunogenicity of KLH. Due in part to the large size and complexity of this glycosylation, KLH has never been synthesized. The study was a milestone for Stellar in so much that the results showed highly consistent molecular structure from batch to batch, a critical quality for a biologically sourced protein.

"These results confirm that our production and manufacturing processes are able to reliably produce a consistent product," said Dr. Gregory Baxter, VP of Corporate Development at Stellar, in today's press release.

The research provide other valuable insight about glycosylation and the characteristics of the KLH molecule, as well. Going forward, Stellar plans to conduct additional product development studies to support its customers and partners.

Shares of SBOT have been taking a beating lately, sinking from a high near $7.00 on May 9 all the way down to $1.65 yesterday. The stock is retaking part of that lost ground in Thursday morning trading, gapping ahead to open at $2.60 and spiking as high as $3.25 shortly after the opening bell.

As of 11 a.m. in New York City, the stock had lost some of its momentum to trade at $2.58, which still represents a gain of 56.4% from Wednesday's close.