Athersys Files Shelf Registration Statement to Replace Prior Shelf

CLEVELAND, March 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athersys, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHX) announced today that it has filed a shelf registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The new shelf registration statement will replace a similar registration statement filed in January 2013. Athersys currently does not have any immediate plans to offer or sell the securities under this registration statement. As with the prior registration statement, the replacement registration statement is intended to provide Athersys with financial flexibility to raise capital, over the next three years, from the offering of up to 20,000,000 shares of common stock and/or warrants. When declared effective, a shelf registration statement gives a company advance regulatory approval to sell securities in one or more separate offerings in amounts and at prices and terms to be determined at the time of the sale. If the securities are issued, Athersys may use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including, but not limited to, research and development costs, payment obligations and capital expenditures. A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC, but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state. Any offer of these securities will be made solely by means of the prospectus included in the registration statement and any prospectus supplement that may be issued with respect to such offering. A copy of the prospectus included in the registration statement may be obtained on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov . In addition, when available, copies of the prospectus, and any prospectus supplement relating to a particular offering, may be obtained by contacting Athersys, Inc., attention: Laura Campbell, 3201 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2634, lcampbell@athersys.com. About Athersys Athersys is a clinical stage 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 platform for disease indications in the cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory and immune disease areas. The Company currently has several clinical stage programs involving MultiStem, including for treating inflammatory bowel disease, ischemic stroke, damage caused by myocardial infarction, and for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease. Athersys has also developed a diverse portfolio that includes other technologies and product development opportunities, and has forged strategic partnerships 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. More information is available at www.athersys.com . The Athersys, Inc. logo is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4548 Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the expected timetable for development of our product candidates, our growth strategy, and our future financial performance, including our operations, economic performance, financial condition, prospects, and other future events. We have attempted to identify forward-looking statements by using such words as "anticipates," "believes," "can," "continue," "could," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," "potential," "should," "suggest," "will," or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are only predictions and are largely based on our current expectations. A number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could affect the accuracy of these statements. Some of the more significant known risks that we face that could cause actual results to differ materially from those implied by forward-looking statements are the risks and uncertainties inherent in the process of discovering, developing, and commercializing products that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, such as the uncertainty regarding market acceptance of our product candidates and our ability to generate revenues, including MultiStem for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, acute myocardial infarction, stroke and other potential indications, including lysosomal storage disorders and the prevention of graft-versus-host disease. These risks and uncertainties may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from any future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Other important factors to consider in evaluating our forward-looking statements include: our ability to raise additional capital; final results from our MultiStem clinical trials; the possibility of delays in, adverse results of, and excessive costs of the development process; our ability to successfully initiate and complete clinical trials and obtain all necessary regulatory approvals; changes in external market factors; changes in our industry's overall performance; changes in our business strategy; our ability to protect our intellectual property portfolio; our possible inability to realize commercially valuable discoveries in our collaborations with pharmaceutical and other biotechnology companies; our ability to meet milestones under our collaboration agreements; our collaborators' ability to continue to fulfill their obligations under the terms of our collaboration agreements; the success of our efforts to enter into new strategic partnerships and advance our programs; our possible inability to execute our strategy due to changes in our industry or the economy generally; changes in productivity and reliability of suppliers; and the success of our competitors and the emergence of new competitors. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. CONTACT: William (B.J.) Lehmann, J.D. President and Chief Operating Officer Tel: (216) 431-9900 bjlehmann@athersys.com Investor Relations: Lisa M. Wilson In-Site Communications Tel: (917) 543-9932 lwilson@insitecony.com