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Potential Therapeutic Value of Adult Stem Cell Therapy Platform, Athersys (ATHX)

ATHX announced 9/20/10 the publication of a key study in the October issue of Experimental Neurology conducted by researchers at Athersys, the University of Texas Medical School, the Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Science and Biomedical Devices, and Texas A&M University.

  • This study demonstrates that intravenous injection of MultiStem(NYSE:R), Athersys’ multipotent adult progenitor stem cell therapy product, provides neurovascular protection after traumatic brain injury (NYSE:TBI) in an established preclinical model of brain injury.

The publication outlines how the administration of MultiStem enabled the preservation of the “blood brain barrier”, and also reduced the effects and extent of the brain injury.

The paper, Intravenous multipotent adult progenitor cell therapy for traumatic brain injury: Preserving the blood brain barrier via an interaction with splenocytes,” describes a series of preclinical in vivo and in vitro experiments evaluating the effect of intravenous injection of MultiStem on neurovascular protection after traumatic brain injury.

  • Traumatic brain injury causes a reduction in splenic mass that correlates with an increase in circulating immune cells that subsequently leads to increased blood brain barrier permeability, thereby worsening the neurological deficit associated with the injury;
  • The findings showed that the intravenous injection of MultiStem preserved splenic mass and the integrity of the blood brain barrier, which in turn, can potentially reduce the neurobehavioral deficit associated with traumatic brain injury.

This study provides further validation of MultiStem as an allogeneic adult stem cell therapy with broad potential therapeutic value for the treatment of a variety of conditions, and corresponds with findings from our other studies in other neurological areas.

  • MultiStem’s multiple modes of action, consistent safety profile, and potential for off-the-shelf administration, represents a significant opportunity to help treat serious and life-threatening diseases, including ischemic injury, conditions involving the immune system, and certain types of trauma;
  • ATHX looks forward to further exploring the clinical utility of MultiStem across various indications, and advancing key programs.

Traumatic brain injury is the cause for more than 50,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (NASDAQ:CDC). The CDC also estimates that there are 275,000 hospitalizations for moderate to severe traumatic brain injury and nearly 1.4 M emergency room visits for mild traumatic brain injuries each year, accounting for almost 1/3 of all emergency room visits. These injuries yield significant direct and indirect medical costs – an estimated $60 B in the U.S. alone, according to the CDC’s website.