RTI Biologics and Athersys Announce Collaboration in the Orthopedic Market

RTI Biologics and Athersys Announce Collaboration in the Orthopedic Market
Applying Complementary Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Technologies
 

ALACHUA, Fla. & CLEVELAND, Sep 13, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- RTI Biologics Inc. (RTI), a leading provider of orthopedic and other biologic implants, and Athersys Inc. (Athersys), a leader in regenerative medicine and cell therapy research and development, announced today an agreement under which Athersys will provide RTI access to its Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cell (MAPC) technologies.

Under the agreement, RTI has licensed Athersys' technology to isolate and preserve cells from organ and tissue donors. This will enable RTI to develop and commercialize MAPC technology-based biologic implants exclusively for certain orthopedic applications. With this license, RTI expands its capabilities for accessing the fastest growing segment of the bone graft substitutes market, while Athersys extends the application of its robust stem cell technology platform to an important segment of the orthopedic market.

"We are very excited about our collaboration with Athersys and the potential to apply its MAPC and related technologies in the orthobiologics market," said Brian K. Hutchison, RTI's chairman and CEO. "After significant research into stem cells and the evaluation of multiple technologies, we have determined that the MAPC technology offers the greatest potential to create high quality, innovative implants for our surgeons and their patients. Licensing this technology is an important step in enhancing and further differentiating RTI's orthobiologics offering, an area of strategic focus for the company."

"We are enthusiastic about our relationship with RTI and this application of our proprietary stem cell technologies to the orthopedic market," said William Lehmann, Jr., president and COO of Athersys. "Our primary focus is the development and commercialization of expanded, 'off-the-shelf' cell products, such as MultiStem(R), for the treatment of certain cardiovascular, central nervous system-related, inflammatory and immune system disorders, diseases and conditions. This collaboration allows for the utilization of our already developed stem cell technologies in an additional area. Further, it provides potential near term revenues from the orthopedic market."

Under the agreement, Athersys will receive a $3 million license fee and is also eligible to receive payments up to a cumulative total of $37.5 million as follows: $2 million contingent upon successful achievement of certain development and commercialization milestones, and an additional maximum total of $35.5 million contingent upon achievement of certain cumulative revenue milestones, which will reflect the ultimate commercial success of the product in this fast growing market. In addition, Athersys will receive tiered royalties from the distribution of implants using Athersys' technologies.

RTI plans to make MAPC technology-based biologic implants available to its customers for use in orthopedic surgeries in the first half of 2012.

About RTI Biologics Inc.

RTI Biologics Inc. is a leading provider of sterile biological implants for surgeries around the world with a commitment to advancing science, safety and innovation. RTI prepares human donated tissue and bovine tissue for transplantation through extensive testing and screening, precision shaping and using proprietary, validated processes. These allograft and xenograft implants are used in orthopedic, dental, hernia and other specialty surgeries.

RTI's innovations continuously raise the bar of science and safety for biologics -- from being the first company to offer precision-tooled bone implants and assembled technology to maximize each gift of donation, to inventing validated sterilization processes that include viral inactivation steps. Two such processes -- the BioCleanse(R) Tissue Sterilization Process and the Tutoplast(R) Tissue Sterilization Process -- have a combined record of more than two million implants distributed with zero incidence of allograft-associated infection. These processes have been validated by tissue type to inactivate or remove viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores from the tissue while maintaining biocompatibility and functionality.

RTI's worldwide corporate headquarters are located in Alachua, Fla., with international locations in Germany and France. The company is accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks in the United States.

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