Dallas, Texas 01/15/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX), the $217 million market capped drug maker has announced last week that the patent office in Japan has granted a slew of patent approvals covering its inventions in the field of “proprietary cell therapy technology”. The approved patents cover the multistem cells related to “non-embryonic, multipotent stem cells” and the treatments which are derived out of such stem cell therapies to treat immune dysfunctions. Another patent that was approved by Japan Patent office was for Cleveland based drug firms third patent related to treatment of damaged brains like stroke and accidental impacts by using multipotent stem cells.
Sharing his happiness at receiving patent protection on their discoveries, Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) President and Chief Operating Officer, William Lehmann has been quoted as saying, “These patents will provide the Company important protection for its cell therapy products in Japan and their use in a number of significant disease areas, including stroke, IBD, GvHD and others. We have created an accelerated development path for stem cell therapies. Recognizing these developments, Japan’s sizable pharmaceutical market, and the expected growth in demand for more effective treatments of age- and lifestyle-related diseases and conditions, we consider Japan a high priority market for us.”
It is appropriate to note that Japan had enacted a new legislation which is designed to encourage bio tech firms to develop safe treatments by using stem cells. The new law provides legal cover for treatments based on stems cells as “regenerative medicine products”. The law also makes it easy for the Japanese regulators to award conditional approvals as long as safety of the treatment procedures has been proved without doubt by clinical trials. This law allows drug makers to take more time to test out the efficacy of the stem cell treatment in due course.
Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) benefited from the changes brought in to the patent approval process by this new law in Japan and hence was awarded the three patents.