Angiotech Pharmaceuticals and partner Athersys announces completion of
patient enrollment in phase I study of Multistem(R) in acute myocardial
infarction

VANCOUVER, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - Athersys, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHX) and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANPI; TSX: ANP) announced that Athersys has completed patient enrollment for its phase I clinical trial of MultiStem(R), its allogeneic stem cell therapy product, administered to individuals following acute myocardial infarction (AMI), more commonly referred to as a heart attack. Top line results of the trial are expected to be announced midyear, upon completion of the four-month patient follow-up visits and analysis of results.

Angiotech and Athersys entered into an agreement in May 2006 to co-develop and commercialize MultiStem(R), Athersys' non-embryonic stem cell platform technology, for use in the indications of AMI and peripheral vascular disease. Upon completion of the Phase I trial, Angiotech will assume lead responsibility for further clinical development. Angiotech also owns marketing and commercial rights with respect to this product candidate.

"Myocardial infarction remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States," said William Hunter M.D., President and CEO of Angiotech. "We believe the data reported to date and the completion of Phase I enrollment in this program affirms the value of our partnership with Athersys, and we are looking forward to working with Athersys to formulate the next clinical development steps for this important product candidate."

The phase I clinical trial is an open label, multi-center dose escalation trial evaluating the safety and maximum tolerated dose of a single administration of allogeneic MultiStem cells following an AMI. Following standard treatment, enrolled patients receive MultiStem delivered via a catheter that enables rapid and efficient delivery of MultiStem into the damaged region of the heart. The study is being conducted at multiple cardiovascular treatment centers in the United States, including the Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System, and includes patients in three treatment cohorts or dose groups, as well as a non-treated registry group.

In preclinical studies conducted by Athersys and independent cardiovascular research teams, administration of MultiStem following an ischemic injury to the heart has been associated with a number of benefits, including an increase in ejection fraction, or volume of blood pumped from the heart, a reduction of inflammation in the region of ischemic injury and increased angiogenesis, each believed to help augment recovery and healing.

    
    Forward Looking Statements
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Statements contained in this press release that are not based on historical fact, including without limitation statements containing the words "believes," "may," "plans," "will," "estimates," "continues," "anticipates," "intends," "expects" and similar expressions, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All such statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to our objectives and priorities for the remainder of 2009 and beyond, our strategies or future actions, our targets, expectations for our financial condition and the results of, or outlook for, our operations, research and development and product and drug development. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Many such known risks, uncertainties and other factors are taken into account as part of our assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements and include, among others, the following: general economic and business conditions in the United States, Canada and the other regions in which we operate; market demand; technological changes that could impact our existing products or our ability to develop and commercialize future products; competition; existing governmental regulations and changes in, or the failure to comply with, governmental regulations; availability of financial reimbursement coverage from governmental and third-party payers for products and related treatments; adverse results or unexpected delays in pre-clinical and clinical product development processes; adverse findings related to the safety and/or efficacy of our products or products sold by our partners; decisions, and the timing of decisions, made by health regulatory agencies regarding approval of our technology and products; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development, to expand manufacturing and commercialization activities; and any other factors that may affect our performance. In addition, our business is subject to certain operating risks that may cause any results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release to differ materially from our actual results. These operating risks include: our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; our ability to successfully complete pre-clinical and clinical development of our products; changes in our business strategy or development plans; our failure to obtain patent protection for discoveries; loss of patent protection resulting from third-party challenges to our patents; commercialization limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; our ability to obtain rights to technology from licensors; liability for patent claims and other claims asserted against us; our ability to obtain and enforce timely patent and other intellectual property protection for our technology and products; the ability to enter into, and to maintain, corporate alliances relating to the development and commercialization of our technology and products; market acceptance of our technology and products; our ability to successfully manufacture, market and sell our products; the availability of capital to finance our activities; our ability to restructure and to service our debt obligations; and any other factors referenced in our other filings with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities or the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). For a more thorough discussion of the risks associated with our business, see the "Risk Factors" section in our annual report for the year ended December 31, 2008 filed with the SEC on Form 10-K, as amended, and our quarterly reports for the first, second and third quarters of 2009 filed with the SEC on Form 10-Q.

Given these uncertainties, assumptions and risk factors, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, we disclaim any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this press release to reflect future results, events or developments.

(C)2010 Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About Angiotech Pharmaceuticals

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company. Angiotech discovers, develops and markets innovative treatment solutions for diseases or complications associated with medical device implants, surgical interventions and acute injury. To find out more about Angiotech (NASDAQ: ANPI, TSX: ANP), please visit our website at www.angiotech.com.

About MultiStem(R)

MultiStem is a patented and proprietary cell therapy product consisting of a special class of stem cells that are obtained from the bone marrow or other tissue sources of healthy, consenting adult donors, and which have the demonstrated ability to produce a range of factors, as well as form multiple cell types. MultiStem appears to promote tissue repair and healing in multiple ways, such as through the production of multiple therapeutic factors produced in response to signals of inflammation and tissue damage. Athersys believes that MultiStem represents a unique "off-the-shelf" stem cell product based on work that demonstrates the ability to deliver multiple mechanisms of therapeutic benefit, administration of the product without tissue matching or immunosuppression, and its capacity for large-scale production. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships with Pfizer to develop MultiStem for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and with Angiotech to develop MultiStem in AMI and other cardiovascular indications. In 2008, Athersys received the Frost & Sullivan North American Product Innovation of the Year Award for MultiStem, which cited the product as having best-in-class potential among stem cell and regenerative medicine technologies.

About Athersys

Athersys is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The Company is developing MultiStem(R), a patented, adult-derived "off-the-shelf" stem cell product platform for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation and oncology treatment support, ischemic stroke, and inflammatory bowel disease. The Company is also developing a portfolio of other therapeutic programs, including orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders, utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE(R)). Athersys has forged several key strategic alliances and collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as world-renowned research institutions in the United States and Europe to further develop its platform and products.

SOURCE Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

For further information: For further information: Sharrifah Al-Salem, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (415) 293-4414, Sharrifah.Al-Salem@FD.com

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