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Amarantus Obtains Exclusive Option to License University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute's Intellectual Property for the Treatment of Retinal Diseases Using MANF and CDNF

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SAN FRANCISCO and MIAMI, Dec. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:AMBS), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics related to neurodegeneration and apoptosis, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive option agreement with the University of Miami to license the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute's method of use intellectual property surrounding the use of MANF and CDNF for the treatment of retinal diseases. The option agreement includes all intellectual property covering the use of the MANF-Family of proteins (MANF and CDNF) for retinal diseases including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, inherited retinal disorders (including Retinitis Pigmentosa), sporadic retinal disorders, other degenerative retinal disorders, and retinal injuries. This option agreement follows previously announced positive data for MANF in the S334ter Type 3 genetic mouse model of Retinitis Pigmentosa. The Company owns composition of matter patents and various composition and method of use patent applications for MANF and derivative sequences for protein therapeutic, gene therapy and certain cell therapy applications.

"The potential for MANF to treat diseases and injuries of the retina represents a tremendous commercial opportunity resulting from the strategic shift initiated last year to identify drugable orphan indications," said Gerald E. Commissiong, President & CEO of Amarantus. "As we look to complete the reprioritization of the MANF pipeline towards orphan diseases, this agreement marks a critical milestone that enables the Company to gain worldwide control of the patent prosecution process for both MANF and CDNF in this key set of indications. We believe we are now in the unique position to have control over the commercial development over both MANF and CDNF in retinal indications and are absolutely thrilled to have positioned the Company in this manner from an intellectual property standpoint in the neurotrophic factor space."

"The data generated in this set of key experiments using a highly relevant genetic mouse model of Retinitis Pigmentosa reproducibly demonstrates the neuroprotective activity of intravitreal MANF injection in protecting cellular degeneration, a key unmet need in this orphan indication," said David A. Lowe, PhD, newly appointed Board member of Amarantus whose advisory firm NeuroAssets is now developing MANF on behalf of the Company. "As we complete the clinical development plans and identify the best dosing regimen for MANF intervention to demonstrate a robust result in a well-controlled clinical trial setting in Retinitis Pigmentosa, we are pleased that we will be working with the leading ophthalmology unit in the country, with access to well characterized patients and a deep understanding of the progression of this terrible progressive degenerative retinal disorder."

The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami has been ranked No. 1 nationally in ophthalmology in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" rankings for 10 consecutive years. Founded in 1962, Bascom Palmer is the largest ophthalmic care, research and educational facility in the southeastern United States. Its staff treats more than 250,000 patients and performs more than 13,000 surgeries annually. At the forefront of innovation in ophthalmology for more than five decades, the institute's physicians and scientists are internationally recognized for their expertise in every eye disorder, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, dry eye, eye cancers and eye diseases in children.

About Amarantus

Amarantus is a development-stage biotechnology company founded in January 2008. The Company has a focus on developing certain biologics surrounding the intellectual property and proprietary technologies it owns to treat and/or diagnose Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other human diseases. The Company has an exclusive worldwide license to the Lymphocyte Proliferation test ("LymPro Test®") for Alzheimer's disease and owns the intellectual property rights to a therapeutic protein known as Mesencephalic-Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor ("MANF") and is developing MANF-based products as treatments for brain disorders. The Company also is a Founding Member of the Coalition for Concussion Treatment (#C4CT), a movement initiated in collaboration with Brewer Sports International seeking to raise awareness of new treatments in development for concussions and nervous-system disorders. The Company also owns intellectual property for the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease ("NuroPro") and the discovery of neurotrophic factors ("PhenoGuard"). For further information please visit www.Amarantus.com, or connect with the Company on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

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CONTACT: Investor/Media Contacts Russell Miller, Director of Investor Relations Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. 408.737.2734 x 109 ir@amarantus.com

Source:Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc.