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Featured Company News – Athersys Signs Agreement with Nikon CeLL Innovation for Commercial Manufacturing of MultiStem in Japan


By Pro-Trader Daily

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / October 13, 2017 / Pro-Trader Daily takes a look at the latest corporate events and news making the headlines for Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHX), following which we have published a free report that can be viewed by signing up at The international biotechnology Company announced on October 11, 2017, that it has entered into a manufacturing services agreement with Nikon CeLL innovation Co. Ltd (NCLi) for the commercial production of its stem cell therapy, MultiStem in Japan for ischemic stroke. NCLi is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nikon Corporation, which offers varied process development and manufacturing services, ranging from pre-clinical to commercial manufacturing of cell and gene therapies. For immediate access to our complimentary reports, including today’s coverage, register for free now at:

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An Unmet Medical Need

Stroke is a major cause of death and serious disabilities worldwide. This medical area, which significantly impairs the quality of life of patients, represents a critical unmet clinical need. Presently, around 17 million people suffer a stroke globally. In fact, on an average, someone or the other has a stroke every 40 seconds in the US. Strokes have significant long-term costs as most patients need extended hospitalization, prolonged physical therapy or rehabilitation as well as long-term institutional or family care.

Ischemic strokes

Ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow in the brain that cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients. It can lead to long-term as well as permanent disability due to the huge neurological damage caused. However, as of now, limited therapeutic options are available for ischemic stroke victims. These include administration of the clot dissolving agent tPA, or thrombolytic, or surgical intervention using mechanical reperfusion to remove the clot. These therapies need to be conducted within several hours of the occurrence of the stroke which is not always attainable. Due to this limited time window, only few stroke victims can be treated while most just receive supportive or palliative care.

MultiStem, A Meaningful Cell Therapy for Patients

  • Athersys’ MultiStem cell therapy product is a patented, adult-derived off-the-shelf stem cell product. The patented regenerative medicine product promotes tissue repair and healing in a number of ways; one of which is through the production of therapeutic factors produced in response to signals of inflammation and tissue damage.
  • MultiStem therapy’s potential for multidimensional therapeutic impact differentiates it from traditional biopharmaceutical therapies, which are mostly focused on a single benefit.
  • It has a unique “off-the-shelf” feature, which means it can manufactured in a scalable manner; it can be stored for years in frozen form, and is administered without tissue matching or the need for immune suppression.
  • MultiStem therapy has validated its safety and efficacy profile in both preclinical and clinical settings. This demonstrates that the therapy could prove to be very beneficial for patients, especially for those suffering from serious diseases and conditions with unmet medical need.
  • Initially, MultiStem cell therapy was focused on disease indications in the neurological, cardiovascular, and inflammatory and immune disease areas. But over time, Athersys has forged strategic partnerships and a broad network of collaborations to further advance the MultiStem cell therapy toward commercialization of the therapy for a variety of indications.

MultiStem Extends Stroke Treatment Window

  • The most important impact of therapeutic treatment with MultiStem is that it can extend the stroke treatment window to 36 hours from the 3-4.5 hours currently, with the existing standard of care.
  • As a result, more stroke patients would be able to receive treatment than under the current standard of care. This will also significantly improve patient recovery.

Terms of the Agreement

As per the agreement, Athersys and NCLi will engage in technology transfer activities at NCLi’s facility in Japan. On the other hand, NCLi will commence contract manufacturing support for commercial development of the product in Japan and expanded clinical trial activity.

Athersys’ collaborator, HEALIOS K.K. (Healios), has an exclusive license to develop and market MultiStem in Japan for ischemic stroke. As of now, Healios is conducting TREASURE, i.e. its registrational clinical study in Japan.

Positive Remarks from Athersys’ CEO

Van Bokkelen, Chairman and CEO at Athersys, expressed his excitement about the collaboration with NCLi for establishing the manufacturing infrastructure for MultiStem in Japan. He believes that NCLi would bring to the partnership its important capabilities such as its widespread investment in facilities and technology. Thus, this move would put Athersys and Healios in a good position to achieve their goals in the Japanese market.

He also mentioned that post successful study outcome and subsequent product registration, MultiStem cell therapy would represent the first major advancement in the treatment of acute stroke, achieved in the last twenty years. And this alliance with NCLi would prepare Athersys for impending success by developing critical capabilities needed to take full advantage of this meaningful opportunity.

Last Close Stock Review

On Thursday, October 12, 2017, the stock closed the trading session at $2.25, declining 5.86% from its previous closing price of $2.39. A total volume of 1.50 million shares have exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3-month average volume of 1.09 million shares. Athersys’ stock price skyrocketed 36.36% in the last three months, 49.01% in the past six months, and 7.14% in the previous twelve months. Furthermore, since the start of the year, shares of the Company have soared 47.06%. At Thursday’s closing price, the stock’s net capitalization stands at $251.60 million.

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