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Multistem found relevant for autoimmune disease, transplantation and vascular disease.

CLEVELAND, Ohio, April 10, 2013 - -Athersys, Inc. (ATHX) announced die publication of articles in two journals that describe the potential for multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs), or MultiStem cells, to provide benefit in autoimmune disease and in peripheral vascular disease (PVD), respectively.

The articles also describe specific biological mechanisms by which this cell dierapy delivers benefit in these areas and illustrate the strong scientific foundation supporting MultiStem cell therapy. These findings may support clinical investigation in these areas and represent important, additional commercial opportunities for the company's MultiStem franchise.

The Journal of Immunology article (April 1, 2013, epub ahead of print), authored by scientists at King's College, London, Pfizer Inc. and Athcrsys, describes the results of a study using allogeneic islet transplantation (an approach for treating Type 1 diabetes) as a model to assess the ability of MultiStem cells to control the T cell responses that play an important role in autoimmune disease and allograft rejection. The MultiStem cells suppressed T cell proliferation and Th 1 and Thl 7 cytokine production, increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 production, suppressed autoreactive T cell activity, and supported the proliferation of regulatory T cells, which resulted in durable control of potentially damaging inflammatory T cells. Aberrant T cell activity contributes significantly to a number of inflammatory and immune-mediated conditions, including Type 1 diabetes, graft-versus-host disease, solid organ transplantation, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases, such as scleroderma, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

The Circulation article (2013; 127:710-719), authored by investigators at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) together with scientists from Athersys, describes the results of a study using advanced imaging technologies to evaluate the administration of MultiStem cell therapy in a rodent hind-limb ischemia model. Ultrasound imaging of the ischemic limb following MAPC treatment showed more complete recovery of blood flow and greater expansion of microvascular blood volume in MAPC-treated animals. In addition, the study confirmed that this effect was in part related to endothelial activation and enhanced recruitment of endogenous proangiogenic cells resulting from the MAPC treatment. Critical limb ischemia (CLI), an advanced from of PVD, is characterized by severe decline of blood flow causing persistent and severe pain in the lower extremities and eventually leads to ulcerations and gangrene resulting in amputations and a significant death rate. CLI may affect more than five million people in the U.S., Europe and Japan, and this is expected to increase with an aging population and the growing prevalence of diabetes.

"These publications further illustrate the mechanisms through which MultiStem therapy may provide benefit to patients," said Dr. Robert Deans of Athersys. "These latest results further confirm that MultiStem cells are not one dimensional-they have die capacity to act in a dynamic manner and convey therapeutic effects through multiple modes of action depending on the disease or condition. This is a central paradigm that distinguishes cell therapy from single modality drugs and biologies, and represents an important potential advancement in the treatment of disease."

Since 2012, Athersys researchers and investigators at collaborating institutions have published seven articles in quality peer-reviewed journals, further describing the MultiStem cells' mechanisms of action and potential applications, as well as the breadth and quality of its third party research collaborations.

MultiStem cell therapy is a patented product that has shown the ability 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. MultiStem has demonstrated therapeutic potential for the treatment of inflammatory and immune disorders, neurological conditions, and cardiovascular disease, as well as other areas, and represents a unique "off-the-shelf stem cell product that can be manufactured in a scalable manner, may be stored for years in frozen form, and is administered without tissue matching or the need for immune suppression. The product is extensively characterized for safety, consistency and potency. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships with Pfizer Inc. to develop MultiStem for inflammatory bowel disease and with RTI Biologies, Inc. to develop cell therapy for use with a bone allograft product in the orthopedic market.

Contact: http://www.athersys.com
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Title Annotation:Preclinical Research
Publication:Stem Cell Business News
Date:Apr 22, 2013
Words:681
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