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Athersys Extends Partnership with Bristol-Myers to Provide Drug Targets

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Athersys Inc. has announced that it has extended its existing alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to apply its patented RAGE technology to provide Bristol-Myers Squibb with additional validated drug targets for high-throughput screening and lead optimization in multiple therapeutic areas.

The agreement will extend the alliance for up to three years with a guaranteed minimum number of targets to be supplied by Athersys annually.

Under the terms of the extension, Athersys is entitled to receive license fees for targets delivered to Bristol-Myers Squibb, as well as milestone payments and royalties on compounds developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb using the Athersys technology.

The collaboration extension builds upon an on-going partnership and two previous agreements between the companies.

Athersys and Bristol-Myers Squibb originally entered into a research and development collaboration in January 2001 and then expanded the collaboration in July 2002.

Over the course of the partnership, Athersys has delivered multiple drug targets to Bristol-Myers Squibb from distinct target classes and in a variety of therapeutic areas.

These targets provide the foundation for several active drug development programs at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

As part of the extended partnership, the companies will continue to work closely together to facilitate certain drug development activities at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

"Athersys is delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb," said John Harrington, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Athersys.

"During the past several years, Athersys has continued to refine its proprietary technologies and provide our partners with access to important validated drug targets."

"This collaboration extension represents an important financial transaction for the company, and provides further validation for the technological foundation of our internal drug development programs."