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Athersys Inc. (ATHX) Tacks Two New Patents to its Intellectual Property Portfolio

Biopharmaceutical company Athersys Inc. yesterday announced the addition of two patents to its broad intellectual property portfolio, now consisting of 14 granted patents and more than 120 global patent applications around its stem cell technology and MultiStem product platform.

Athersys was recently granted U.S. patent 7,659,118 that covers the company’s MultiStem technology and non-embryonic multipotent stem cells, including their isolation, expansion, and related pharmaceutical compositions. The company has also been granted EP patent EP1218489B1 that covers non-embryonic pluripotent stem cells, including their isolation, expansion and usage.

In its trials, MultiStem® has demonstrated therapeutic potential to treat a broad range of diseases, including heart attacks, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), bone marrow transplant support and ischemic stroke. In December 2009, Athersys announced it had secured a strategic partnership with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to collaboratively develop and focus on MultiStem for IBD.

“These patents further expand our stem cell IP estate and offer additional validation of the strength and breadth of the Athersys IP portfolio,” William (B.J.) Lehmann, president and COO of Athersys stated in the press release. “We believe that these patents are especially important as they extend the coverage of the composition, isolation, differentiation and scalable manufacturing of non-embryonic stem cells that are core to our technology and product portfolio.”

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