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Mesoblast Selected for Fast Track Access to Potential Investment Incentives in Japan

NEW YORK and MELBOURNE, Australia, March 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB) (USOTC:MBLTY) today announced that it has been selected by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) as the only regenerative medicine company worldwide to receive fast track access to potential investment incentives across all levels of government in Japan. Mesoblast will receive a specially tailored market and government incentive roadmap aimed at providing a more attractive business environment.

JETRO reviewed thousands of companies worldwide with the capacity to generate large-scale investment and employment in Japan through the establishment of Japanese hubs for research and development, manufacturing, and commercialization. Ten companies across all industries, including Mesoblast, were chosen to receive fast track access to specific incentives and programs.

JETRO's Oceania Managing Director, Shuichi Hirano, said the JETRO initiative is a direct result of the Japan Revitalization Strategy, created by the Japanese Government in 2013, that placed the activation of foreign direct investment as an important economic policy and set a goal of doubling the current investment balance to 35 trillion yen in 2020.

"Japan is focused on becoming a dominant force in the regenerative medicine industry, which we believe holds great prospects to stimulate revenue and employment in Japan, as well as providing novel and cost-efficient solutions for patients with distinct, unmet medical needs," Mr Hirano said.

Mesoblast Chief Executive Silviu Itescu welcomed the recognition from the Japanese Government. "Japan is a major market for our cell-based therapeutics and offers near-term potential for product approvals and revenues. The selection of Mesoblast by JETRO as the only regenerative medicine company to receive investment priority status will guide the strategic direction of our commercial plans in Japan, in conjunction with our current and future strategic partners."

Mesoblast Limited

Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB) (USOTC:MBLTY) is a global leader in regenerative medicine. The Company has leveraged its proprietary technology platform, which is based on specialized cells known as mesenchymal lineage adult stem cells (MLCs), to establish a broad portfolio of late stage product candidates. Mesoblast's allogeneic or 'off-the-shelf' cell product candidates target significantly advanced stages of diseases where there are highly unmet medical needs, including cardiovascular conditions, orthopedic disorders, immunologic/inflammatory disorders and oncology/hematology conditions. The lead therapeutic product candidates under investigation include MPC-150-IM for chronic congestive heart failure, in partnership with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., MPC-06-ID for chronic discogenic low back pain, MSC-100-IV for acute graft versus host disease, and MPC-300-IV for biologic refractory rheumatoid arthritis and diabetic nephropathy.

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