Athersys-Pfizer IBD phase 2 trial to wrap up by end of the year

Stem cell therapeutics developer Athersys’ (NASDAQ:ATHX) phase 2 clinical study investigating the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease with partner Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is expected to complete patient enrollment by the end of 2012.

Top-line results of the inflammatory bowel disease trial are likely to be available in early 2013, Athersys CEO Gil Van Bokkelen said in a conference call with analysts announcing the company’s first-quarter financial results.

The drug the two companies are developing is based on Athersys’ MultiStem technology, an off-the-shelf stem cell treatment derived from the bone marrow of adults or other nonembryonic sources. The technology has shown promise in reducing inflammation, protecting damaged tissue and forming new blood vessels.


Pfizer is bearing all the costs of the 126-patient inflammatory bowel disease study, Van Bokkelen said last year.

A key benefit of working with Pfizer on the study is the opportunity for Athersys to forge future partnerships with the deep-pocketed pharmaceuticals giant.

Athersys is investigating MultiStem for several other applications, including heart attack, stroke, traumatic brain injury and blood diseases.

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