Vatican’s $1 Million Business Investment

NeoStemMicro cap NeoStem, Inc (NBS) has been working in the area of adult stem cells, making notable discoveries and picking up acquisitions along the way.  Its business model may have them in the red as of today, but there’s something about the company that has attracted the Vatican’s attention.  And money.  

The Vatican has placed a $1 million stake in NBS, and they are co-hosting a conference on adult stem cells in Rome this November.  According to this blog, the million dollars will help fund “an educational campaign” towards “cultural relevance of such a fundamental shift in medical treatment options, particularly with regard to the impact on theological and ethical issues,” said Rev. Tomasz Trafny of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

What is it the Vatican likes about this company?  Perhaps it’s the way it’s supporting a technology that has extradordinary promise in healing people.  Maybe it’s simply that the company provides an alternative to embryonic stem cells, and that fight needs to be supported.  Or it could be the way that it incorporates charitable institutions and education within its business plans.  Of course, there’s also the fact that despite its current financial status, it’s in excellent position to start making a profit within the near future.

It’s very rare for the Vatican to step into the world of finance with both feet.  We should pay attention when it does.

(Disclosure: I own no stock in NBS at present, though that may change.)

Eric Pavlat


Eric Pavlat is a convert from Unitarian Universalism who entered the Church in 1996. He lives in Maryland with his wife and six children. He is also a perpetually professed Lay Dominican in St. Pius V Pro-Chapter, located in Catonsville, MD.

He founded Democrats for Life of Maryland, Inc., in 2004, served one term as president, and stayed on the board of directors until 2010. He now considers himself more a Distributist than anything else. Eric teaches 10th grade honors and special education students in English literature, composition, and grammar at his alma mater, Parkdale High School.

  • Louie

    In interest of disclousure, I do own some Neostem stock. I brought some shares for my Roth account in August and some more earlier this month.

    I read that Pfizer was interested in investing in a company called Athersys, who was doing adult stem cell research and thought that it would be a good Catholic investment. In January and February of last year, I bought some Athersys (ATHX).

    During the summer, I heard about the Vatican investment in NBS, so I bought a little of that and also some of a company called Angiotech Pharmaceuticals (ANPIQ). All three stocks only make up a rather small portion of my rather small ROTH account.

    Now medical research can be a risky business. Research often doesn’t pan out but if it is successful, it can be very profitable. You must weigh the risk & rewards in light of your financial situation.

    How are they doing?
    I bought NBS at $1.74 and its 1.61 today. ATHX was purchased for $3.23 and is not 2.45. The real winner was ANPIQ. I paid 45 cents a share and it can now be had for two pennies.

    So if anybody manages to turn a small investment into a tidy fortune via one of these companies, please donate a percentage of your profet to Inside Catholic.

  • Eric Pavlat

    NBS hit $1.93 today. Please donate a percentage of your profit to Inside Catholic.