NEW YORK and MELBOURNE, Australia, Feb. 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB; USOTC:MBLTY) today announced that it has been granted a key patent by the European Patent Office covering its proprietary adult Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs) for use in the treatment of cardiac and vascular conditions. European patent number EP1613335, entitled 'Perivascular Mesenchymal Precursor Cell Induced Blood Vessel Formation', provides Mesoblast with exclusive commercial rights in Europe initially through to 29 March 2024, with potential for extension based on duration of clinical development.

The granted patent covers the use of Mesoblast's allogeneic or 'off-the-shelf' MPCs for cardiac and vascular conditions, including acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure, angina, peripheral arterial disease, and cerebrovascular stroke.

Mesoblast is developing products to treat cardiac and vascular conditions using both highly purified and immunoselected MPCs as well as the culture-expanded Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) they give rise to. These cell types may be effective in cardiovascular disorders by release of factors which can act on target tissues to induce blood vessel formation and enhance vascular flow, prevent heart muscle death, reduce fibrous scar tissue, and modulate key inflammatory cells, including monocytes and T cells.

This new patent significantly extends and broadens Mesoblast's intellectual property position in European jurisdictions to cover its optimized MPC products for the treatment of cardiac and vascular diseases, beyond the previously granted patents EP1007631 and EP 1062321 which cover allogeneic MSC products for treating damaged heart muscle to improve heart function.

A Phase 3 trial using Mesoblast's MPCs has commenced in the United States in patients with New York Heart Association class II/III congestive heart failure. Additionally, Phase 2 trials are ongoing in Europe and the United States in patients with AMI using catheterdelivered MPCs and intravenously-delivered MSCs.

According to GlobalData, the 2014 prevalence of congestive heart failure in Europe is 12.2 million people, with approximately 1.3 million people newly diagnosed each year. GlobalData estimates that in 2014 nearly 660,000 Europeans will be hospitalized with an AMI and 365,000 with unstable angina. DataMonitor estimates that in 2014, more than 820,000 Europeans in the five major European markets (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Italy) will suffer an ischemic stroke, with approximately 1.3 million across all of Europe.

About Mesoblast

Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB; USOTC:MBLTY) is a world leader in the development of biologic products for the broad field of regenerative medicine. The Company's proprietary technologies include its highly purified, immunoselected Stro-1/Stro-3 positive Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs), culture-expanded Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), Dental Pulp Stem Cells (DPSCs), and expanded Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs). Mesoblast's protein technologies are based on factors derived from its proprietary cellular platforms, including Stromal Derived Factor-1 (SDF-1). Mesoblast's allogeneic or 'off-the-shelf' regenerative medicine products are being developed for the treatment of conditions with significant unmet medical needs. Product development focus is in four major and distinct areas - systemic diseases with an underlying inflammatory and immunologic etiology; cardiac and vascular diseases; orthopedic diseases of the spine; and improving outcomes of bone marrow transplantation associated with oncology or genetic conditions.

CONTACT: For further information, please contact: Julie Meldrum Global Head of Corporate Communications Mesoblast Limited T: +61 (0) 3 9639 6036 E: julie.meldrum@mesoblast.comSource: Mesoblast