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CYTOTHERAPEUTICS AND MEMBRANA JOIN FORCES TO DEVELOP NEW MEMBRANES FOR ENCAPSULATED CELL THERAPY

 PROVIDENCE, R.I., and WUPPERTAL, Germany, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- CytoTherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTII) and Akzo Faser AG, Business Unit Membrana (Membrana), the world's largest manufacturer of membranes for biomedical applications, announced today that they have signed an exclusive alliance directed at the development and manufacture of membranes for cell-containing devices that can be implanted into the body to treat diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) and other chronic disorders. Through this alliance, CytoTherapeutics will gain from Membrana sole access to all its existing, as well as novel, membranes for cell and gene therapy to be used in ongoing clinical development and worldwide commercialization efforts.
 CytoTherapeutics and Membrana will share the cost of jointly developing new membranes, which will be manufactured by Membrana and provided exclusively to CytoTherapeutics for use in the fields of encapsulated cell and gene therapy. CytoTherapeutics will also maintain its own membrane development and manufacturing programs.
 "This alliance integrates CytoTherapeutics' interdisciplinary programs in biomaterials, cell biology and implantation with Membrana's expertise in the design and manufacture of technical and biomedical membranes with broad-reaching applications," commented Thomas G. Wiggans, president and chief operating officer of CytoTherapeutics. "The agreement will further enhance our long-term development and manufacturing capabilities for proprietary applications of membrane technology for cell and gene therapy."
 Dr. Gunter H. Vitzthum, director and general manager of Membrana said, "By forging an exclusive relationship with CytoTherapeutics, we will be able to apply our more than 30 years experience in technical and biomedical membrane development and manufacturing to the unique and growing field of cell and gene therapy."
 CytoTherapeutics is developing cell-containing implants that are designed to secrete stable, therapeutic levels of specific proteins which may be effective for a variety of chronic disorders. The implant membranes are designed to enable nutrients and oxygen to pass through and sustain the cells within the implant and permit the encapsulated cells to secrete relevant therapeutic agents. The membranes protect the encapsulated cells from the host's immune response. The company currently has one product, its CereCRIB(TM) implant for chronic pain, in human clinical trials in Switzerland.
 Akzo Faser AG, Business Unit Membrana, located in Wuppertal, Germany, is a part of AKZO (NASDAQ: AKZOY), a diversified Dutch multi-national corporation with annual sales of approximately $10 billion. Membrana is a pioneer in the application and development of membrane technology for medical therapies, and is the world's largest producer of medical-grade membranes.
 CytoTherapeutics is a leader in the development of implantable delivery systems for biologically active and gene therapy products for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases and other chronic disorders. The company's CNS products in development include its CereCRIB implant for the treatment of severe, chronic pain and its NeuroCRIB(TM) implant for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The company is also developing applications of its CRIB(TM) technology for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.
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 /CONTACT: Michael J. Lysaght, Ph.D., vice president of CytoTherapeutics, 401-272-3310, ext. 2121; Gunter H. Vitzthum, Ph.D., director and general manager of Akzo Faser AG, Business Unit Membrana, 011-49-202-6099-232/
 (CTII AKZOY)


CO: CytoTherapeutics, Inc.; Akzo Faser AG, Business Unit Membrana; AKZO ST: Rhode Island IN: MTC SU: PDT

DJ-JL -- NE009 -- 9726 12/02/93 10:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 2, 1993
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