April 8, 2015

Athersys Phase 2 Ischemic Stroke Clinical Trial Results to be Presented at European Stroke Conference

Dr. David Hess to Present the Preliminary Results

CLEVELAND, April 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athersys, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHX) announced today that Dr. David Hess, a stroke specialist and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Medical College of Georgia Regents University, and the lead principal investigator in the study, will present the preliminary results from its Phase 2 clinical trial administering MultiStem® for the treatment of ischemic stroke. The presentation will take place at the European Stroke Organization Conference (ESOC) 2015 on Sunday, April 19th starting at 8:50 am in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Dr. Hess' presentation will be in the Boisdale Room of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, in the conference venue.

Athersys' double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial is being conducted at leading stroke centers across the United States and in the United Kingdom to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its proprietary MultiStem cell therapy in adults who have suffered a severe ischemic stroke and are treated 24-48 hours following the stroke. Dr. Hess served as the lead clinician for the Phase 2 clinical trial, which also included clinical research teams from Oregon Health Sciences University, Houston Methodist Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Stoke on Trent, among others. Trial enrollment was completed in December 2014 and this will be the first presentation of the unblinded results.

The ESOC conference was organized by the European Stroke Organization, a European-based society of international stroke researchers and clinicians, national and regional stroke societies and lay person organizations. The ESOC conference will include a comprehensive series of keynote lectures, symposia, teaching courses and various workshops, covering the entire field of stroke management, prevention and recovery and provides attendees with a unique opportunity to network with colleagues from all over the world to enhance their research and career development and learn about the latest scientific research and developments in the field.

About Athersys

Athersys is an international biotechnology 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 its MultiStem® cell therapy product, a patented, adult-derived "off-the-shelf" stem cell product, initially for disease indications in the cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory and immune disease areas, and has several ongoing clinical trials evaluating this potential regenerative medicine product. Athersys has forged strategic partnerships and collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as world-renowned research institutions to further develop its platform and products. More information is available at www.athersys.com.

CONTACT: William (B.J.) Lehmann, J.D.

         President and Chief Operating Officer

         Tel: (216) 431-9900

         bjlehmann@athersys.com

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Source: Athersys, Inc.

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