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Analyst: Differences Between Two Possible COVID-19 Therapies Noteworthy
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The factors that set Athersys' stem cell product MultiStem apart from a competitor's therapeutic are provided in a Dawson James Securities report.

In a Dec. 21 research note, Dawson James Securities analyst Jason Kolbert reports the differences between Athersys Inc.'s (ATHX:NASDAQ) MultiStem and Mesoblast's Remestemcel following the announcement that the trial of Remestemcel in COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) likely will not show efficacy of statistical significance.

This information is pertinent because Athersys also has a clinical trial underway in the same indication, in which two doses of its stem cell product, MultiStem, will be evaluated, the analyst noted. The open-label study, MACOVIA, currently is in the enrollment phase. The primary endpoint will be the number of ventilator-free days the patients have through day 28.

Kolbert presents three major differences between MultiStem and Remestemcel, as provided to him by Athersys management.

1) Cell type used: Whereas Mesoblast uses mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), Athersys uses multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs), which "have been shown to have superior scalability" as well as "a different expression profile and greater therapeutic activity than traditional MSCs, which could translate to a higher effective differential, above and beyond the difference in dosing," Kolbert relayed.

Also, the potency of MSCs tends to wane after multiple passages whereas that of MAPCs does not. Rather, hundreds of thousands to millions of individual doses can be produced from the MAPCs of a single donor.

2) Number of cells per dose: One Remestemcel dose contains about 150 million cells. In contrast, one MultiStem dose contains about eight times as many, or 1.2 billion, cells.

3) Timing of dose administration: In its COVID-19 ARDS study, Mesoblast administered its doses within 72 hours of the ARDs diagnosis whereas in the MACOVIA study, Athersys will dose patients sooner, within 48 hours. Mesoblast's longer time to delivering Remestemcel may be negatively impacting its efficacy.

Kolbert reiterated that Dawson James' models on Athersys' MultiStem do not include ARDS. The firm has a Buy rating and a $7 per share target price on the Ohio-based biotech. Athersys' current share price is $1.92.

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Disclosures for Dawson James Securities, Athersys Inc., December 21, 2020,

The Firm does not make a market in the securities of the subject company(s). The Firm has NOT engaged in investment banking relationships with ATHX in the prior twelve months, as a manager or co-manager of a public offering and has NOT received compensation resulting from those relationships. The Firm may seek compensation for investment banking services in the future from the subject company(s). The Firm has received other compensation from the subject company(s) in the last 12 months for services unrelated to managing or co-managing of a public offering.

Neither the research analyst(s) whose name appears on this report nor any member of his (their) household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies. The Firm and/or its directors and employees may own securities of the company(s) in this report and may increase or decrease holdings in the future. As of November 30, 2020, the Firm as a whole did not beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of the subject company(s) of this report. The Firm, its officers, directors, analysts or employees may affect transactions in and have long or short positions in the securities (or options or warrants related to those securities) of the company(s) subject to this report. The Firm may affect transactions as principal or agent in those securities.

Analysts receive no direct compensation in connection with the Firm's investment banking business. All Firm employees, including the analyst(s) responsible for preparing this report, may be eligible to receive non-product or service specific monetary bonus compensation that is based upon various factors, including total revenues of the Firm and its affiliates as well as a portion of the proceeds from a broad pool of investment vehicles consisting of components of the compensation generated by investment banking activities, including but not limited to shares of stock and/or warrants, which may or may not include the securities referenced in this report.

Analyst Certification: The analyst(s) whose name appears on this research report certifies that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect his (their) personal views about any and all of the subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of the research analystís compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendations or views expressed by the research analyst in this research report; and 3) all Dawson James employees, including the analyst(s) responsible for preparing this research report, may be eligible to receive non-product or service specific monetary bonus compensation that is based upon various factors, including total revenues of Dawson James and its affiliates as well as a portion of the proceeds from a broad pool of investment vehicles consisting of components of the compensation generated by investment banking activities, including but not limited to shares of stock and/or warrants, which may or may not include the securities referenced in this report.





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