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Athersys and Angiotech announce authorization of Phase I intramyocardial stem cell U.S. clinical trial in acute myocardial infarction
Date:12/20/2007

CLEVELAND, OH and VANCOUVER, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Athersys, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHX) and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANPI, TSX: ANP), announced today that Athersys has received authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin a Phase I clinical trial evaluating the safety of MultiStem(R) in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The companies believe that this represents the first clinical study of a scalable, allogeneic cell product injected directly into and around the zone of myocardial injury from an intra-coronary approach. This approach is designed to provide the clinician with a readily usable, "off-the-shelf" cell therapy that combines the benefits of efficient, localized delivery and enhanced cell retention in the area of greatest need.

Angiotech and Athersys entered into an agreement in May 2006 to co-develop and commercialize MultiStem(R), Athersys' non-embryonic stem cell platform technology, for use in the indications of AMI and peripheral vascular disease. Upon completion of the Phase I trial, Angiotech will assume lead responsibility for further clinical development. Angiotech also owns marketing and commercial rights with respect to this product candidate.

"Stem cell therapy offers the promise of restoring the functionality of damaged heart tissue, helping patients return to a more normal lifestyle following serious heart attacks. We believe that the MultiStem(R) technology has demonstrated significant promise in the preclinical setting and has the potential to be an effective "off-the-shelf" cell therapy product for the interventional cardiologist," commented Dr. Jeff Walker, Senior VP, Research and Development for Angiotech.

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SOURCE Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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