Athersys Receives U.S. Patent Covering the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease With Adult Stem Cells
CLEVELAND, Jan. 4, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athersys, Inc. (ATHX) announced today that it has been granted U.S. patent 8,075,881 that covers the use of non-embryonic multipotent stem cells for the treatment of cardiovascular conditions including myocardial infarction, or heart attack, congestive heart failure, myocardial ischemia and other heart conditions. The patent also provides protection for multiple techniques for delivering the stem cells to treat the conditions. Athersys also announced the issuance in 2011 of more than 25 patents in the U.S. and other countries covering non-embryonic multipotent stem cells, their production, and usage.
The issued patents cover Athersys' proprietary MultiStem® product platform, which is an investigational stem cell therapy that has demonstrated therapeutic potential to treat a broad range of indications in the cardiovascular, neurological, and inflammatory and immune condition disease areas. Athersys currently has four clinical stage programs in acute myocardial infarction, ulcerative colitis, hematopoietic stem cell transplant support and ischemic stroke using its MultiStem product candidate.
"Cardiovascular disease represents an important opportunity area for MultiStem therapy, and the '881 patent provides the company with additional protection for its product candidates in this high value area," said William (B.J.) Lehmann, President and COO of Athersys. "Additionally, this and the other patents granted over the past year further expand and strengthen our stem cell intellectual property (IP) estate."
These patents form part of Athersys' broad IP portfolio of more than 50 granted patents and more than 160 global patent applications around its stem cell technology and MultiStem product platform. The current IP estate, which incorporates additional filings and may broaden over time, could provide coverage for Athersys' product candidates, manufacturing processes and methods of use through as late as 2030.
MultiStem is a proprietary cell therapy product consisting of a special class of stem cells that are obtained from the bone marrow or other tissue sources of healthy, consenting adult donors, and which have the demonstrated ability to produce a range of factors, as well as form multiple cell types. MultiStem therapy appears to promote tissue repair and healing in a variety of ways, such as through the production of multiple therapeutic factors produced in response to signals of inflammation and tissue damage. Athersys believes that MultiStem represents a unique "off-the-shelf" stem cell product based on work that demonstrates the ability to deliver multiple mechanisms of therapeutic benefit, administration of the product without tissue matching, and its capacity for large-scale production. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships with Pfizer Inc. to develop MultiStem for inflammatory bowel disease and with RTI Biologics to develop cell therapy for use with a bone allograft product in the orthopedic market.
Athersys is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The Company is developing MultiStem®, a patented, adult-derived "off-the-shelf" stem cell product platform for disease indications in the cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory and immune disease areas. The Company currently has several clinical stage programs, including for treating damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation and oncology treatment support, ischemic stroke, and inflammatory bowel disease. The Company also has developed a portfolio of other therapeutic programs, including orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders, utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE®). Athersys has forged several key strategic alliances and collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as world-renowned research institutions in the United States and Europe to further develop its platform and products. More information is available at www.athersys.com .
The Athersys, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4548
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the expected timetable for development of our product candidates, our growth strategy, and our future financial performance, including our operations, economic performance, financial condition, prospects, and other future events. We have attempted to identify forward-looking statements by using such words as "anticipates," "believes," "can," "continue," "could," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," "potential," "should," "suggest," "will," or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are only predictions and are largely based on our current expectations. A number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could affect the accuracy of these statements. Some of the more significant known risks that we face that could cause actual results to differ materially from those implied by forward-looking statements are the risks and uncertainties inherent in the process of discovering, developing, and commercializing products that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, such as the uncertainty regarding market acceptance of our product candidates and our ability to generate revenues, including MultiStem for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, acute myocardial infarction, stroke and other disease indications, and the prevention of graft-versus-host disease. These risks may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Other important factors to consider in evaluating our forward-looking statements include: our ability to raise additional capital; final results from our MultiStem clinical trials; the possibility of delays in, adverse results of, and excessive costs of the development process; our ability to successfully initiate and complete clinical trials; changes in external market factors; changes in our industry's overall performance; changes in our business strategy; our ability to protect our intellectual property portfolio; our possible inability to realize commercially valuable discoveries in our collaborations with pharmaceutical and other biotechnology companies; our ability to meet milestones under our collaboration agreements; our collaborators' ability to continue to fulfill their obligations under the terms of our collaboration agreements; our possible inability to execute our strategy due to changes in our industry or the economy generally; changes in productivity and reliability of suppliers; and the success of our competitors and the emergence of new competitors. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: William (B.J.) Lehmann, J.D. President and Chief Operating Officer Tel: (216) 431-9900 firstname.lastname@example.org Investor Relations: Lisa M. Wilson In-Site Communications Tel: (917) 543-9932 email@example.com