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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Zacks Small Cap Research Maintains Buy Rating on Aethlon Medical (AEMD); Valued at $18 Share

Zacks Small Cap Research Maintains Buy Rating on Aethlon Medical (AEMD); Valued at $18 Share

Point Roberts WA, NEW YORK, NY – November 23, 2015 - Investorideas.com, a global digital news source covering leading sectors including biotech and medical technology reports new equity research on Aethlon Medical, Inc. (AEMD) was released by ZACKS SMALL CAP RESEARCH last week.  Analyst Brian Marckx, CFA maintains a buy rating with the following notes: 

“Current market discount rate, calculated by CAPM is approximately 9%.  Based on our DCF model and a 9% discount rate, AEMD is valued at approximately $18/share.  We are maintaining our Buy rating.  See below for access to our updated report on AEMD.  “


Operational Update:  Meets All 5 Objectives, Aethlon ADAPT, Additional Progress…

On the fiscal first quarter conference call in August management laid out five specific objectives that they planned to accomplish over the following months.  They successfully did so and went through each one on the Q2 call, which we have provided an update to below.  But in addition to meeting these goals the company also made parallel progress in not only further shoring up their operational capabilities in preparation for increased activities related to both the HCV and cancer applications but also made strides in broadening the scope of potential applications where their technology might be applied. 

A recap and update to the five objectives that the company laid out on the Q1 call in August….

- Collect an additional ~$200k under the DAPRA contract which relates to year 4.  Hope to be granted year 5 of the contract (which was subsequently awarded).  Accomplished with $186k collected in Q2 and DARPA year 5 awarded in September. 

- Submission of manuscript of the DETECT (Diagnosing and Evaluating Traumatic Encephalopathy Using Clinical Tests) study.  As a reminder, since late last calendar year Aethlon’s majority-owned subsidiary Exosome Sciences (ESI) has collaborated with Boston University’s CTE Center for the development of a blood-based diagnostic that would be able to identify CTE in living individuals.  ESI has used what they learned in how to isolate certain brain-specific biomarkers to evaluate blood samples collected by participants (former NFL players and a control group) enrolled in BU's DETECT study.  The study is the first on CTE funded by the NIH. Aethlon submitted the manuscript subsequent to the Q1 call.  Management noted on the Q2 call that they think it could be published within the next ~60 days.  As an aside, the night before AEMD’s earnings call there was a timely 60 Minutes story about BU’s CTE study and the blood-based diagnostic that AEMD’s Exosome Sciences is helping lead the development of. 

- Accelerate cancer study with University of California, Irvine.  As a reminder, in mid-April AMED announced that they entered an agreement with UC, Irvine to conduct an investigator-initiated study with various cancer types including breast, colorectal lung, head and neck and others.  Targeted enrollment is five patients in each of nine cancer types (45 patients total) including breast adenocarcinoma, colorectal, gastric and gastroesophageal, pancreatic, cholangiocarcinoma, lung, head and neck, melanoma and ovarian adenocarcinoma.  The proposed study protocol, Plasma Exosome Concentration in Cancer Patients Undergoing Treatment”, will monitor changes in circulating exosome levels and their association with cancer treatment and response to treatment.  In May AEMD announced that UC, Irvine Medical Center approved an IRB to commence the study.  AEMD noted on the Q2 call that this study has commenced and has now enrolled three patients so far.        

- Advance additional collaborations for Hemopurifier in cancer and infectious diseases.  As a reminder, Hemopurifier has shown potential utility in HCV, HIV, Ebola, other pandemic diseases, bioterror applications, cancer and other areas.  AEMD is clearly focused on deepening and broadening the potential applications that their device may have utility for.  In June the company announced an agreement with the India’s National Institute of Virology to commence testing of Hemopurifier for treatment of Chikungunya.  Management also noted on the Q2 call that they have initiated a research project with the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases to investigate the use of Hemopurifier in Venezuelan equine encephalitis.  AEMD has had a relationship with the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases for over ten years and this latest announcement appears to be further progress towards working with the center for applications of AEMD’s technology in addressing biological threats.  

- Initiate the U.S. HCV feasibility study and transition Dr. Stephen Fadem from principal investigator of the study to a medical advisory role within the company.  Subsequent to the Q1 call that transition was made and Dr. Ronal Ralph was brought on as the new principal investigator.  AEMD expects to hire two sub-principal investigators to help further accelerate the trial schedule.  And while progression of the study has been drawn out longer than initially anticipated, AEMD noted on the Q2 call that they expect to have the new study team trained after Thanksgiving and begin new patient enrollment in January.  


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About Aethlon Medical, Inc. (AEMD)
Aethlon Medical creates affinity biofiltration devices to treat life-threatening diseases. Our lead therapeutic candidate is the Aethlon Hemopurifier®, a first-in-class device that targets the rapid elimination of infectious viruses and cancer-promoting exosomes from the circulatory system of treated individuals. U.S. clinical progression of Hemopurifier therapy is being advanced under an FDA approved clinical study. We also provide government contracting services to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency related to the development of a biofiltration device to treat sepsis. Additional information can be found online at www.AethlonMedical.com or you can connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.


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