Cytori Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CYTX) today announced that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled on the Company’s conjoined appeals (case no. 11-1268). The court upheld the FDA’s (Food and Drug Administration) previous determination that Cytori’s cell processing devices were not substantially equivalent to the cited predicate devices. Cytori will continue to pursue its intended pathway to regulatory approval via the PMA (Premarket Approval) route, such as the active ATHENA clinical trial for refractory heart failure. Cytori received IDE (Investigational Device Exemption) in January 2012 required to initiate the ATHENA clinical trial. “This decision reaffirms our primary regulatory pathway in the U.S.,” said Christopher J. Calhoun, Chief Executive Officer of Cytori. “Our priority remains unchanged, which is completion of clinical development of our Celution® System in refractory heart failure under the FDA’s PMA clinical trial-based pathway for class 3 medical devices. Such a pathway provides the necessary data for approval, adoption, and reimbursement and will raise an additional barrier-to-entry for potential competitors who would be required to pursue the same PMA pathway. As a result, this decision further clarifies the standard-of-evidence required for the field.” Cytori has been pursuing parallel pathways to market. One pathway has been to obtain therapeutic indications, such as those being pursued in our cardiac development. The other pathway has been to obtain clearance for laboratory equipment that would provide technology access to researchers, for which Cytori has achieved approval in Europe and Japan. Cytori appealed the decision based on a series of prior 510(k) clearances and a 2009 determination by the FDA, through a formal request for designation by the office of FDA’s combination products, that Cytori’s cell processing technology would be regulated as a medical device and not a biologic. The appeal was related to the subsequent 2011 decision by the FDA to deny the 510(k) clearance for laboratory versions of our cell processing technology.