NEW YORK and MELBOURNE, Australia, April 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Regenerative medicine company Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB, USOTC:MBLTY) is pleased to announce that its Chief Executive Professor Silviu Itescu today received the inaugural 'Key Innovation Award 2013' from the Pontifical Council for Culture and The Stem for Life Foundation. This unique recognition was announced during the Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference currently being held in Vatican City.

The award was presented by Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, Head of the Science and Faith Department at the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Dr Robin Smith, President for the Stem for Life Foundation. Dr Smith said the award was being given "with admiration of Professor Itescu's leadership and ingenuity in translational science and clinical medicine within the field of adult stem cell therapy.

"In every emerging industry, there are always individuals who stand out as pioneers. Professor Itescu has distinguished himself as an innovator in the field of regenerative medicine, one that has brought hope and healing to a world struggling to manage chronic disease and serious medical conditions."

"I am honoured to have received such a distinguished award", Professor Itescu said. "It signifies important recognition of the contributions made by the dedicated team at Mesoblast striving to deliver safe and effective new therapies at the forefront of regenerative medicine".

Mesoblast's achievements using its allogeneic adult stem cell technology platform in various conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, will be highlighted at the conference by Dr Emerson C. Perin, Director, Clinical Research for Cardiovascular Medicine and Medical Director, Stem Cell Center, Texas Heart Institute, and Mesoblast's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Donna Skerrett.

The Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference, entitled Regenerative Medicine: a Fundamental Shift in Science & Culture, is being held within The Vatican, from 11-13 April 2013. The event is part of a five-year collaboration between The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture and its Foundation, called STOQ International (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest), The Stem for Life Foundation, a not-for-profit organization devoted to raising global awareness of the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells, and NeoStem Inc.

Mesoblast Limited

Mesoblast Limited is a world leader in the development of biologic products for the broad field of regenerative medicine. Mesoblast's patented Mesenchymal Precursor Cell (MPC) technology is being developed for an extensive range of major clinical diseases, including inflammatory and immunologic conditions of the joints and lungs, diabetes and kidney disease, orthopedic spine conditions, and cardiovascular disorders.

CONTACT: Julie Meldrum Global Head of Corporate Communications Mesoblast Limited +61396396036 +61419228128Source: Mesoblast