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Aastrom Biosciences Announces Strategic Change In Research And Development Programs To Focus On Dilated Cardiomyopathy And Other Rare Disease Indications

  • Focus shifted to Phase 2b ixCELL-DCM clinical study and the development of ixmyelocel-T for dilated cardiomyopathy, an orphan drug indication.
  • Company to stop enrollment and end Phase 3 REVIVE CLI study following strategic program review.
  • Corporate restructuring will significantly reduce operating expenses and capital requirements.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASTM), the leading developer of patient-specific expanded multicellular therapies for the treatment of severe chronic cardiovascular diseases, today announced a strategic change in its research and development programs to focus on the clinical development of its lead product, ixmyelocel-T, for the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Aastrom, which recently initiated the Phase 2b ixCELL-DCM clinical trial, previously received a U.S. orphan drug designation for the use of ixmyelocel-T in the treatment of DCM. As a result of the strategic change, Aastrom will stop enrollment and end the Phase 3 REVIVE clinical trial in patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI). In addition, the company is executing a corporate restructuring that will reduce staff and operating expenses by approximately 50 percent.

Nick Colangelo, president and chief executive officer of Aastrom, stated: "We completed our strategic review of the CLI program, including an evaluation of the challenges in enrolling patients in the REVIVE study and a recent determination that the CLI program would not be supported by a partner in a timeframe that would impact the pace of enrollment of the study. Based on this review, we have decided that the best path to commercialization of ixmyelocel-T is to focus aggressively on the DCM program. We will begin treating patients in the Phase 2b ixCELL-DCM clinical study within the next few weeks. In our earlier Phase 2a DCM clinical trials, ixmyelocel-T was well-tolerated and efficacy observations were consistent with improved function of impaired myocardium in patients with DCM. In addition, preclinical results demonstrated that ixmyelocel-T was protective of ischemic heart tissue in a murine model of heart failure. These findings strongly support the decision to focus our resources on the development of ixmyelocel-T for the DCM orphan indication."

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