Athersys is confident its experimental stem cell therapy has the potential to help patients with the most severe type of lung injury associated with Covid-19. But investors who buy into the company’s optimism are ignoring significant risks about where they’re putting their dollars.

On Monday, Athersys said it would start a new Phase 3 clinical trial of its stem cell treatment, called MultiStem, after obtaining permission from the Food and Drug Administration. The randomized, placebo-controlled study will enroll Covid-19 patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS — a severe and potentially fatal consequence of the novel coronavirus.

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