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Harvard Bioscience Comments on Regenerated Trachea Recipient Hannah Genevieve Warren's Passing

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HOLLISTON, Mass., July 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:HBIO), a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of tools to advance life science research and regenerative medicine, commented on the July 6 passing of two-year-old Hannah Genevieve Warren, who, born without a trachea, received the first transplant of a regenerated trachea in the United States this past April. She has died from unrelated complications.

Hannah's initial surgery involved a trachea transplant that utilized the "InBreath" tracheal scaffold and bioreactor system manufactured by Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc. (HART), Harvard Bioscience's wholly owned regenerative medicine technology subsidiary.

Approximately two months after the initial trachea transplant surgery, Hannah underwent surgery to correct her esophagus, which never properly healed following the initial surgery. Hannah died from complications arising from this subsequent operation.

David Green, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience, commented: "We are greatly saddened by the news of Hannah's passing and offer our most heartfelt condolences to her family and supporters. Hannah was a brave little girl who was a pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine. As we continue to advance our programs in regenerative medicine, she will serve as an inspiration as we seek to save the lives of other patients in need of replacement organs."

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet in Huddinge, Stockholm, who led the team performing the trachea surgery, noted that the implanted trachea was not the cause of Hannah's death, pointing out that the girl's native tissue was very fragile. He said he would continue with similar operations.

A statement released by Hannah's family said, "Born without a trachea, she gave us over 34 months of ever-lasting memories. We are humbled and blessed. She is a pioneer in stem-cell technology and her impact will reach all corners of our beautiful Earth. Her new trachea was performing well, but her lungs went from fairly good, to weak, to poor."

A statement released by the Children's Hospital of Illinois noted that "while regenerative medicine remains in the early stages for pediatric patients, insights from Hannah's surgery will benefit and serve other children and adults in the years to come."

Until this year Hannah had spent her life in a newborn intensive care unit in a Korean hospital, breathing through a tube inserted in her mouth. The April surgery had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under rules that allow experimental procedures when the patient otherwise has little hope of survival.

About Harvard Bioscience

Harvard Bioscience ("HBIO") is a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialized products, primarily apparatus and scientific instruments, used to advance life science research and regenerative medicine. Our products are sold to thousands of researchers in over 100 countries primarily through our 850 page catalog (and various other specialty catalogs), our website, through distributors, including GE Healthcare, Thermo Fisher Scientific and VWR, and via our field sales organization. HBIO has sales and manufacturing operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Spain with additional facilities in France and Canada. For more information, please visit www.harvardbioscience.com.

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CONTACT: David Green President and CEO dgreen@harvardbioscience.com Tel: 508 893 8999 Tom McNaughton CFO tmcnaughton@harvardbioscience.com

Source:Harvard Bioscience, Inc.