Shares of Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) were down 12.4% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $1.30 and last traded at $1.41. Approximately 2,578,137 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 304% from the average daily volume of 638,198 shares. The stock had previously closed at $1.61.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on ATHX. ValuEngine raised shares of Athersys from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Maxim Group set a $12.00 price objective on shares of Athersys and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 16th.

The firm has a market cap of $167.13, a PE ratio of -5.42 and a beta of -0.87.

In other news, COO William Lehmann, Jr. sold 14,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1.80, for a total value of $25,200.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 503,712 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $906,681.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders sold 29,000 shares of company stock worth $51,075 over the last three months. Insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Royal Bank of Canada raised its position in shares of Athersys by 7,334.0% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 380,846 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $576,000 after purchasing an additional 375,723 shares during the period. Perkins Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Athersys in the third quarter valued at about $636,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Athersys by 11.8% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 318,038 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $656,000 after acquiring an additional 33,498 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Athersys by 9.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,265,772 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $6,441,000 after acquiring an additional 366,572 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in shares of Athersys by 30.8% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,123,870 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,697,000 after acquiring an additional 264,549 shares in the last quarter. 20.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Athersys

Athersys, Inc is an international biotechnology company that is focused primarily in the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s MultiStem cell therapy, an allogeneic stem cell product, is its lead platform product and is in later-stage clinical development. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and immune disorders, certain pulmonary conditions and other conditions where the standard of care is limited or inadequate for many patients.

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