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Prof. William Wijns Appointed to Chair the Scientific Committee That Will Oversee the CHART-1 Data Analysis and Dissemination Plan.

MONT-SAINT-GUIBERT, Belgium, Feb. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celyad (Euronext Brussels:CYAD) (Paris:CYAD) (NASDAQ:CYAD), a leader in the discovery and development of engineered cell therapies, with clinical programs in cardiovascular disease and immuno-oncology, today announced that Prof. William Wijns, as Chairman of the CHART-1 Steering Committee, will oversee the scientific committee in charge of the data analysis and data dissemination plan for the trial. In order to avoid any potential conflict of interest Prof. Wijns will resign from the Board of Celyad.

Prof. William Wijns has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Company since 2007 and is also a co-founder of the Company. From April 2016, he will step down from the Board to chair the independent experts’ committee. Prof. Wijns does not have any remaining interest in the company.

Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad: “William has been at the heart of the C-Cure® program since 2004. It is of critical importance that the data that CHART-1 will generate are analyzed with the most stringent standards and be immune to any possible interpretation of conflict of interest. Now that our lead clinical program in cardiovascular disease is close to delivering its results, we thought that William’s extensive expertise, and his present or past roles at the European Society of Cardiology, the World Heart Federation, the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions as well as (Euro)PCR would guarantee a rigorous scientific analysis of the CHART-1 data, as well as a sound and extensive data dissemination plan.”

Prof. William Wijns: “It is great to see the fruition of many years of research, from the early concepts that our team at the Cardiovascular Research Center Aalst pioneered back in the early 2000, through the development of the bench research conducted at Mayo Clinic by Prof Andre Terzic and Dr Atta Behfar, and on to the clinical development lead by Dr Jozef Bartunek and all the other CHART-1 steering committee members. We are looking forward to the analysis of this groundbreaking trial and Celyad’s decision to appoint an independent scientific committee ensures that this is done to the highest standards. I am honored and pleased to accept this function, and the consequence of that decision is the natural move to step down as Board member of Celyad. I am grateful for the support of the management and the Board of Celyad that, through the years, has led the company to its current position of leader in the cell therapy space. I am excited by my new role, which will see the culmination of many years of research of this promising technology.”

About Prof. William Wijns

Prof. Wijns graduated in 1976 from the University of Louvain in Belgium where he trained as a cardiologist until 1981. Since 1994, Prof. Wijns has been the co-Director of the Cardiovascular Center Aalst and active as an interventional cardiologist. More recently, he has been involved with the clinical applications of non-invasive coronary angiography with the use of multislice computed tomography as well as innovative therapies for cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure. He has authored 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals and holds several positions in national and international professional and scientific organizations. He is currently Deputy Editor of the European Heart Journal (impact factor 14,723). Prof. Wijns previously worked at the Thorax Center in Rotterdam, where he was actively involved with the first applications of nuclear cardiology, thrombolysis and coronary dilatation, and the University of Louvain in Brussels, where he directed the cardiac PET program and became Clinical Professor of Cardiology. His research there focused on the regulation of coronary blood flow and cardiac metabolism in ischemic heart disease. In the past five years, he has held board memberships in the European Society of Cardiology and the World Heart Federation. He is currently Chairman of PCR, co-Director of Africa PCR and EuroPCR, the official congress of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions.

About CHART-1

CHART-1 (Congestive Heart failure Cardiopoietic Regenerative Therapy) is a patient prospective, controlled multi-centre, randomized, double-blinded Phase III clinical trial comparing treatment with C-Cure® to a sham treatment. The trial has recruited 240 patients with chronic advanced symptomatic heart failure in Europe and Israel. The primary endpoint of the trial is a composite endpoint including mortality, morbidity, quality of life, Six Minute Walk Test and left ventricular structure and function at nine months post-procedure. The next milestone in the clinical trial will be the release of the full clinical data set, anticipated for mid-2016.

For more information, please contact:

For Europe : Consilium Strategic Communications
Amber Fennell, Chris Gardner, Chris Welsh, and Laura Thornton - T: +44 (0)20 3709 5700 – celyad@consilium-comms.com
For the U.S. : The Ruth Group
Lee Roth (Investors), and Kirsten Thomas (Media) - T: +1 646 536 7012 / 7014 - celyad@theruthgroup.com
For France : NewCap
Pierre Laurent and Nicolas Mérigeau - T: + 33(0)1 44 71 94 94 - celyad@newcap.eu
For Belgium : Comfi
Gunther De Backer: t.: +32 (0)2 290 90 90 – gunther@comfi.be
Celyad
Christian Homsy, CEO and Patrick Jeanmart, CFO : T : +32 (0)10 39 41 00 investors@celyad.com

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About Celyad

Founded in 2007, and based in Belgium, Celyad is a leader in engineered cell therapy with clinical programs initially targeting indications in cardiology and oncology. Celyad is developing its lead cardiovascular disease product candidate, C-Cure®, for the treatment of ischemic heart failure, and has completed enrollment of a Phase III trial in Europe and Israel. In addition, the Company is developing a novel portfolio of CAR T-cell therapies that utilize human Natural Killer cell receptors for the treatment of numerous blood and solid cancers. Its lead oncology product candidate, NKR-2 T-cell, entered a Phase I clinical trial in April 2015.

Celyad’s ordinary shares are listed on Euronext Brussels and Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CYAD and Celyad’s American Depositary Shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol CYAD.

To learn more about Celyad, please visit www.celyad.com

Forward looking statements

In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the potential safety and feasibility of NKR-2 T-cell therapy and C-Cure and the clinical potential of the Company’s technology platform generally and the timing of future clinical trials, which reflect our current expectations and projections about future events, and involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

In particular it should be noted that the 30-day safety data described in the release are preliminary in nature and the Phase 1 trial is not completed. There is limited data concerning safety and feasibility of NKR-2 T-cell therapy. These data may not continue for these subjects or be repeated or observed in ongoing or future studies involving our NKR-2 T-cell therapy, C-Cure or other product candidates. It is possible that safety issues or adverse events may arise in the future.

These forward-looking statements are further qualified by important factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including risks associated with conducting clinical trials; the risk that safety, bioactivity, feasibility and/or efficacy demonstrated in earlier clinical or pre-clinical studies may not be replicated in subsequent studies; risk associated with the timely submission and approval of anticipated regulatory filings; the successful initiation and completion of clinical trials, including Phase III clinical trials for C-Cure® and Phase I clinical trial for NKR-2 T-cell; risks associated with the satisfaction of regulatory and other requirements; risks associated with the actions of regulatory bodies and other governmental authorities; risks associated with obtaining, maintaining and protecting intellectual property, our ability to enforce our patents against infringers and defend our patent portfolio against challenges from third parties; risks associated with competition from others developing products for similar uses; risks associated with our ability to manage operating expenses;, and risks associated with our ability to obtain additional funding to support our business activities and establish and maintain strategic business alliances and business initiatives. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other risks can be found in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including in the Company’s prospectus filed with the SEC on June 19, 2015 and future filings and reports by the Company. Given these uncertainties, the reader is advised not to place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of publication of this document. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements in this document to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, unless required by law or regulation.

C3BS-CQR-1, C-Cure®, NKR-2 T-cell, C-Cathez TM, OnCyte, Celyad, Cardio3 BioSciences and the Cardio3 BioSciences, Celyad, C-CathezTM, CHART-1, CHART-2 and OnCyte logos are signs internationally protected under applicable Intellectual Property Laws. Mayo Clinic holds equity in Celyad as a result of intellectual property licensed to the Company.

Source: Celyad