Asterias Expands Global IP Portfolio with New Patents, Including Key Additional Patent Protection for its Cancer Immunotherapy Program

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American:AST), a biotechnology company dedicated to developing regenerative medicine therapeutics to treat neurological conditions associated with de-myelination and cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer, today announced that it has strengthened its global IP portfolio over the past 12 months with the issuance of 46 new patents, including in the United States, Europe, Japan, Canada, China, Australia, Israel and South Korea.  Of the 46 patents, 38 are owned or jointly owned by Asterias and eight patents are exclusively licensed to the Company.

Included in the issued patents are those covering differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to hematopoietic progenitors and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to immature and mature dendritic cells, providing key patent protection to the Company’s allogeneic (non-patient specific) cancer immunotherapy AST-VAC2 program. Other issued patents cover various aspects of culture and expansion of undifferentiated stem cells, providing support for both AST-VAC2 and the Company’s AST-OPC1 product candidate which is currently being evaluated in the Company’s Phase 1/2a clinical program for severe spinal cord injury. Additional issued patents cover differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to various other lineages, including neural cells such as dopaminergic neurons, cardiomyocytes, and hepatocytes. 

“We are excited about these new patents as they provide additional protection for certain aspects of the AST-VAC2 manufacturing process and support scalable processes of culturing pluripotent stem cells,” said Michael Mulroy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Asterias.  “In addition to being important for our own programs, these patents and our entire patent portfolio could enhance shareholder value by providing future licensing and partnering opportunities with third parties.”

About Asterias Biotherapeutics

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company dedicated to developing cell-based therapeutics to treat neurological conditions associated with de-myelination and cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer. Asterias is presently focused on advancing three clinical-stage programs which have the potential to address areas of very high unmet medical need in the fields of neurology and oncology. AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) is currently in a Phase 1/2a dose escalation clinical trial in spinal cord injury. AST-VAC1 (antigen-presenting autologous dendritic cells) is undergoing continuing development by Asterias based on promising efficacy and safety data from a Phase 2 study in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), with current efforts focused on streamlining and modernizing the manufacturing process. AST-VAC2 (antigen-presenting allogeneic dendritic cells) represents a second generation, allogeneic cancer immunotherapy. The company’s research partner, Cancer Research UK, plans to begin a first-in-human (FIH) clinical trial of AST-VAC2 in non-small cell lung cancer. Additional information about Asterias can be found at


Statements pertaining to future financial and/or operating and/or clinical research results, future growth in research, technology, clinical development, and potential opportunities for Asterias, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates”) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the businesses of Asterias, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in Asterias’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Asterias disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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