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Athersys Reports First Quarter 2013 Results

CLEVELAND, May 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athersys, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHX) today announced its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2013. "Our focus remains on the advancement of our lead clinical programs, MultiStem for ulcerative colitis with our partner, Pfizer, and MultiStem for ischemic stroke, and on the development of new business collaboration opportunities," said Gil Van Bokkelen, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are also engaged in preparations for the next stage of MultiStem clinical development, including planning and development to support manufacturing scale-up. As a result, we should be well placed to move forward productively and efficiently following achievement of our current objectives."

"We are proud to be recognized as a leader in regenerative medicine, especially regarding research to characterize how cell therapy could provide benefit in various diseases, conditions and injuries, as evidenced by the publication record of our scientists and collaborating investigators. At the same time, we are encouraged by the recent, promising clinical results in the orthopedic and autoimmune areas from other companies in the field," added Dr. Van Bokkelen. "We believe the cell therapy field has transformational potential, and we intend to help lead the way in making these new technologies a medical reality."

Highlights include:
  • Received authorization from the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ("MHRA") authorizing the inclusion of U.K. stroke centers in our ongoing Phase II clinical study of MultiStem ® cell therapy to treat ischemic stroke;
  • Continued Phase II clinical study with partner, Pfizer Inc., involving administration of MultiStem cells to patients suffering from ulcerative colitis. Initial results from this double blind, placebo-controlled trial are expected in the fourth quarter of 2013;
  • Published two articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Journal of Immunology and Circulation, demonstrating relevance of MultiStem for autoimmune disease, transplantation and vascular disease;
  • Continued partnering discussions focused on our 5HT2c agonist program for potential treatment of obesity and other conditions such as schizophrenia, and on certain cell therapy programs;
  • Recorded revenues of $0.3 million and a net loss of $9.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, reflecting in part certain non-cash expenses related to the warrant repricing that occurred in February and the recent increase in market price of our shares; and
  • Began the period with $25.5 million in cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2012 and ended the quarter with $21.3 million.

First Quarter Results

For the three months ended March 31, 2013, total revenues were $0.3 million compared to $2.7 million in the comparable period in 2012, reflecting a $2.4 million decrease in our Pfizer contract revenues. The Pfizer-related contract revenues included the amortization of collaboration payments over an estimated performance period that ended in June 2012. Grant revenue remained relatively consistent for the periods presented, but may fluctuate from period to period based on the timing of grant-related activities and the award of new grants.   

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