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Athersys and Healios Announce R&D Day

CLEVELAND and TOKYO, Jan. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HEALIOS K.K. (“Healios”) (Tokyo Stock Exchange:4593) and Athersys, Inc. (“Athersys”) (NASDAQ:ATHX) announced today that the companies will host a joint R&D Day event in New York City on Thursday, February 4, 2016. The presentations will take place at the Harvard Club of New York City, 35 West 44th Street, New York, NY. The event will be held in the Cambridge Room and will begin at 4:30 PM EST and conclude at 6:30 PM EST, with a reception to immediately follow. Advanced registration is required by e-mail at irevent@athersys.com or online at www.athersys.com.



On January 8, 2016, a joint release was issued by Athersys and Healios announcing a partnership and license agreement focused on the development and commercialization of Athersys’ novel cell therapy, MultiStem®, for the treatment of ischemic stroke and potentially other indications in Japan. MultiStem is a proprietary, patented, off-the-shelf stem cell therapy that is being developed by Athersys for treating ischemic stroke and other areas of significant unmet medical need.

The R&D Day will include corporate presentations from the management teams of both Healios and Athersys, in which they will be discussing the partnership, development plans, core capabilities and technologies. Presentations will include an expert panel on Stroke and Neurology with discussions by leaders in the field, including Ken Uchino, MD, Cerebrovascular Center, Cleveland Clinic; Larry Wechsler, MD, Henry B. Higman Professor of Neurology/Neurosurgery and Chair, Department of Neurology and Vice President, Telemedicine, Physician Services Division, University of Pittsburgh; and Robert William Mays, PhD, Vice President Regenerative Medicine & Head of Neuroscience Programs at Athersys, Inc.

Advanced registration is required as space is limited. Participants may register by e-mail at irevent@athersys.com or online at www.athersys.com.

About Ischemic Stroke

Stroke represents an area where the clinical need is particularly significant, since it represents a leading cause of death and serious disability, and significantly lowers quality of life for many stroke victims. Currently, there are more than 15 million people that suffer a stroke globally and more than two million stroke victims each year in the United States, Europe and Japan, combined. Ischemic strokes, which represent the most common form of stroke, are caused by a blockage of blood flow in the brain that cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients and can result in tissue loss and neurological damage, as well as long-term or permanent disability. Unfortunately, current therapeutic options for ischemic stroke victims are limited, since the only available therapies, administration of the clot dissolving agent tPA, or “thrombolytic,” or surgical intervention using mechanical reperfusion to remove the clot, must be conducted within several hours of the occurrence of the stroke. As a consequence of this limited time window, only a small percentage of stroke victims are treated with the currently available therapy—most simply receive supportive or “palliative” care. The long-term costs of stroke are substantial, with many patients requiring extended hospitalization, extended physical therapy or rehabilitation (for those patients that are capable of entering such programs), and many require long-term institutional or family care.

About MultiStem

MultiStem cell therapy is a patented regenerative medicine product that has shown the ability to promote tissue repair and healing in a variety of ways, such as through the production of therapeutic factors produced in response to signals of inflammation and tissue damage. MultiStem therapy’s potential for multidimensional therapeutic impact distinguishes it from traditional biopharmaceutical therapies focused on a single mechanism of benefit. The product 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. Based upon its efficacy profile, its novel mechanisms of action, and a favorable and consistent safety profile demonstrated in both preclinical and clinical settings, MultiStem therapy could provide a meaningful benefit to patients, including those suffering from serious diseases and conditions with unmet medical need. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships and a broad network of collaborations to develop MultiStem cell therapy for a variety of indications, with an initial focus in the neurological, cardiovascular and inflammatory and immune disorder areas.

About Athersys, Inc.

Athersys is an international biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The Company is developing its MultiStem cell therapy product, a patented, adult-derived "off-the-shelf" stem cell product, initially for disease indications in the cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory and immune disease areas, and has several ongoing clinical trials evaluating this potential regenerative medicine product. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships and collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as world-renowned research institutions to further develop its platform and products. More information is available at www.athersys.com.

About HEALIOS K.K.

Healios is committed to becoming the leading regenerative medicine company in Japan, and is leading the field in developing iPS cell-based products for regenerative medicine. The company was founded in 2011 and listed on the stock exchange (Tokyo Security Exchange Mothers: 4593) in 2015. In Japan, the company is developing a product for treatment of age-related macular degeneration (an intractable ocular disease) jointly with Suimitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. In fields other than ophthalmology, the company has started R&D of products for regenerative medicine capable of creating functional human organs (three-dimensional organs) jointly with Yokohama City University. The company is providing products for regenerative medicine as a solution to the significant global issues associated with the “aging of society.” See the website(https://www.healios.co.jp/)for details.

Contact: Athersys, Inc. William (B.J.) Lehmann, J.D. President and Chief Operating Officer Tel: (216) 431-9900 Fax: (216) 432-2461 bjlehmann@athersys.com HEALIOS K.K. Corporate Communication Group Tel: 81-(0) 3-5777-8308 Fax: 81-(0) 3-3434-7231 pr@healios.jp

Source:Athersys, Inc.; Healios