Meet Some of the Physicians
and Cervical Spinal Cord
Injury Patients in the
AST-OPC1 Clinical Trial
 

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December 19, 2017
Asterias Biotherapeutics Completes Enrollment of Entire SCiStar Study

FREMONT, Calif., Dec. 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT:AST), a biotechnology company pioneering the field of regenerative medicine, today announced enrollment and dosing of the last subject in the Company’s SCiStar Phase 1/2a clinical study of AST-OPC1 in motor complete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI).  The Company has enrolled a total of 25 subjects in the SCiStar study, plus five subjects from a previous Phase 1 safety trial.

“Completing all five cohorts of the SCiStar study in 2017 should allow the company to report 6-month and 12-month top-line readouts for the entire study in 2018,” commented Ed Wirth, Chief Medical Officer. “This is an important milestone in our AST-OPC1 program in spinal cord injury.  So far, the results from the SCiStar study have shown a very favorable safety profile and some early promising efficacy data, which we hope to build upon in 2018.  With the six- and twelve-month readouts from the third, fourth and fifth cohorts of the trial all projected to occur in 2018, we anticipate expanding the efficacy dataset for AST-OPC1 from the current six subjects in Cohort 2 to a total of 22 subjects by the end of 2018.  We intend to use information from the SCiStar study to inform the design of the program’s next study and advance our discussions with FDA under our recently awarded Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designation.”

Severe spinal cord injuries can be devastating to quality of life and the ability to function independently.  There are currently no approved therapies that improve the recovery of neurological function after suffering a severe SCI.  Lifetime healthcare and assistance costs for these patients can approach $5 million.

In October 2017, Asterias reported 12-month data from the study’s Cohort 2 (AIS-A 10 million-cell cohort), which included six subjects.  The 12-month data showed that all subjects maintained or improved upon the gains observed at 6 months.  By 12 months, 67% (4/6) of Cohort 2 subjects recovered 2 or more motor levels on at least one side, exceeding the company’s 12-month target of 45-50% of subjects achieving this level of improvement. As suggested by existing research, patients with severe spinal cord injuries that show two motor levels of improvement on at least one side may regain the ability to perform important daily activities, which significantly reduces the overall level of daily assistance needed for the patient and associated healthcare costs.  Asterias intends to report 6-month data from Cohort 3 (AIS-A 20 million-cell cohort) and Cohort 4 (AIS-B 10 million-cell cohort) in February 2018, and the 12-month data from Cohorts 3 and 4 in August 2018.  The company expects to report the six-month top-line readout for the entire study in June 2018 and 12-month top-line readout for the entire study in December 2018.

About the SCiStar Trial

The SCiStar trial is an open-label, single-arm trial testing three sequential escalating doses of AST-OPC1 administered at up to 20 million AST-OPC1 cells in patients with subacute motor complete (AIS-A or AIS-B) cervical (C-4 to C-7) SCI. These individuals have essentially lost all movement below their injury site and experience severe paralysis of the upper and lower limbs. AIS-A patients have lost all motor and sensory function below their injury site, while AIS-B patients have lost all motor function but may have retained some minimal sensory function below their injury site. AST-OPC1 is being administered 21 to 42 days post-injury. Patients will be followed by neurological exams and imaging procedures to assess the safety and activity of the product.

Asterias has received a Strategic Partnerships Award grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which has provided $14.3 million of non-dilutive funding for the Phase 1/2a clinical trial and other product development activities for AST-OPC1.

Additional information on the Phase 1/2a trial, including trial sites, can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov, using Identifier NCT02302157, and at the SCiStar Study Website (www.SCiStar-study.com).

About AST-OPC1

AST-OPC1, an oligodendrocyte progenitor population derived from human embryonic stem cells originally isolated in 1998, has been shown in animals and in vitro to have three potentially reparative functions that address the complex pathologies observed at the injury site of a spinal cord injury. These activities of AST-OPC1 include production of neurotrophic factors, stimulation of vascularization, and induction of remyelination of denuded axons, all of which are critical for survival, regrowth and conduction of nerve impulses through axons at the injury site.

In a previous Phase 1 clinical trial, five patients with neurologically complete, thoracic spinal cord injury were administered two million AST-OPC1 cells at the spinal cord injury site 7-14 days post-injury. Based on the results of this study, Asterias received clearance from FDA to progress testing of AST-OPC1 to patients with cervical spine injuries in the current SCiStar study, which represents the first targeted population for registration trials.  Asterias has completed enrollment of this study. Results to date have continued to support the safety of AST-OPC1.  Additionally, Asterias has recently reported results suggesting reduced cavitation and improved motor function in patients administered AST-OPC1 in the SCiStar trial.

About Asterias Biotherapeutics

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company pioneering the field of regenerative medicine. The company's proprietary cell therapy programs are based on its pluripotent stem cell and immunotherapy platform technologies. 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 www.asteriasbiotherapeutics.com.

Contacts:
Investor Relations
(510) 456-3892
InvestorRelations@asteriasbio.com
or
EVC Group, Inc.
Michael Polyviou/Greg Gin
(646) 445-4800
mpolyviou@evcgroup.com

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Asterias Biotherapeutics

Asterias Biotherapeutics Tel: (510) 456-3800