NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amorcyte, LLC, a subsidiary of NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE MKT:NBS) ("NeoStem" or the "Company"), today announced a significant expansion in its claims granted to protect the use of CD34+ cells, acquired from blood or bone marrow, to impart a therapeutic benefit to tissue sustaining an ischemic injury. "We received notification that claims granted in the United States have now been granted by the Japanese Patent Office. Additionally, we received recently a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent Office that further expands the scope and protection of our existing CD34+ product patents here in the U.S.," said Andrew Pecora, M.D. FACP CPE, Chief Medical Officer of NeoStem. "Collectively, our newly granted and issued claims will support commercialization of AMR-001 globally, if approved, and afford the potential to broaden the scope of AMR-001's development to include repair of ischemic tissue anywhere in the body." The Japanese Patent Office granted Amorcyte's patent entitled "Compositions and Methods of Vascular Injury Repair." Japan represents another major market to grant patent protection for Amorcyte's product, AMR-001, a CD34+ CXCR4+ cell therapy developed to preserve heart muscle and prevent major adverse cardiac events following acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Related patent applications are being pursued in other global markets. AMR-001 is currently being evaluated in a U.S. Phase 2 clinical trial (PreSERVE AMI) intended to preserve cardiac function and prevent adverse clinical events after a large myocardial infarction. "The option to pursue our AMR-001 product for the Japanese cardiovascular market with the backing of strong domestic intellectual property protection represents a significant opportunity for NeoStem," said Robin L. Smith, M.D., Chairman and CEO of NeoStem. "Heart disease is the second most prevalent cause of mortality in Japan, according to a meta-analysis published by the American Heart Association. A long-term study (MIYAGI – AMI Registry Study) showed that the incidence of AMI in Japan has significantly increased over the last thirty years, from 7.4 per 100,000 persons/year in 1979 to 27.0 in 2008. Furthermore, Japan's large population of 127 million, together with its wealth (24th out of all nations in terms of per capita GDP), makes it a market that can adopt novel therapeutics like AMR-001 that can potentially extend and improve quality of life as a standard of care."