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Athersys (ATHX) All I Smell Is A Pre-clinical Rat Model And Further Executive Awards After All These Months

Given all the awards - the stock has progressively degraded for the past months

The "pre-clinical" research, conducted using a standard heart transplant model, also demonstrated that the transplanted organ retained its immunologically privileged state during a subsequent transplantation procedure into a naive <animal> recipient, illustrating the durability of the effect. The risk of rejection and the requirement for long-term immunosuppression are key challenges in donor organ transplantations, which … "could" … be addressed by administering the clinical MAPC product, MultiStem(NYSE:R), to transplant patients.

"The immunological attributes of MAPCs make them a promising candidate for providing immunomodulatory support after organ transplantation," explained Marc Dahlke, M.D., Ph.D., a lead investigator in the study that appears in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine. "In contrast to other cell types, MAPCs can be expanded in a manner that makes them amenable to large scale production, potentially making them an optimal choice for routine clinical use - especially in the so-called 'third party' scenario in which the cell donor is unrelated to the organ donor and recipient."

When long-term accepted heart grafts were recovered from the MAPC-treated … animals … and re-transplanted into yet another group of untreated … animals (genetically identical to the first group of recipients), they engrafted successfully, without triggering rejection, even when no immune suppressive drug was administered. This <animal> finding demonstrates that an immune-privileged state, or "regional immune tolerance," had been induced in the graft that can be carried into another untreated animal.

"In the <animal> group with no treatment, the grafts were rejected in less than two weeks; short-term immunosuppressive drug treatments kept them intact just a few days longer. However, ratsgiven a combination of short-term immunosuppressive treatment and MAPCs exhibited a high percentage of prolonged survival, even after treatment with immune suppressive drugs was stopped, indicating a promising pathway for clinical immunotherapy - still TOO EARLY!

The full article can be accessed at: http://www.stemcellstm.com/content .

The research effort was led by a team of renowned transplant specialists at the University Hospital in Regensburg, Germany, working in collaboration with scientists from Athersys and the U.S. National Center for Regenerative Medicine, located in Ohio. Other members of the team included scientists from Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The Bottom Line: Is that the best ATHX can do since the Q1/13 <5/14/13> earnings were announced. Who cares - it is still too … early to propose this data as relevant! But, the key words were … <ATHX> is <still> working in collaboration with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) to complete an ongoing P2 clinical trial in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Genzyme (Sanofi) did the same work … 10 years ago … with hearts and islet cells. Works beautifully in mice, however … Seriously … old news!

But, management did … accelerate vesting of awards <6/18/13> in the event of involuntary termination of a participant's employment <by the Company> without cause, and to clarify that restricted stock units may vest over the restriction period. And, on 6/20/13 … entered into <further> incentive agreements with each of its named executive officers establishing an incentive program , which provided the officers financial participation in the event of certain merger or acquisition or asset sale transactions. One-time grants of restricted stock units (RSUs) in the following amounts were granted to the named executive officers for their past service and performance, and in exchange for the termination of their incentive agreements:
695,040 for Dr. Van Bokkelen; 570,551 for Dr. Harrington; 573,640 for Mr. Lehmann; 491,162 for Dr. Deans; and 369,607 for Ms. Campbell. The RSUs will vest ratably and quarterly over a three-year term. In addition, the named executive officers were granted routine, annual stock-based awards in 6/13.

ATHX closed at $1.65 and has progressively degraded since 4/30/13 and still NO further partners and an increasing burn rate. I would hide on a Caribbean Island!

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.