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In Deal with Pfizer, Athersys Will Employ Gene Expression Technology to Provide Human Cell Lines

NEW YORK, Dec. 13 — Athersys has struck a deal with Pfizer to provide human cell lines that express protein drug targets, the company said Thursday. By the terms of the deal, Athersys will receive licensing fees for each validated line it delivers, milestone payments on candidate therapeutics, and royalties on any products developed.

The Pfizer deal is the fourth collaboration that Athersys has arranged for its RAGE platform, a gene expression system that produces proteins from human genes without cloning or cDNA libraries.

The companies did not reveal the classes of targets that will be the focus of this partnership.

“This is an application of the technology that we can use as a tool for near term revenue as we build our own internal pipeline,” said Kathryn Garvey, director of strategic planning and investor relations at Athersys. “We’re also showing that we’re attracting large pharma and biotech companies to this platform — we’re getting interest from the kind of companies we’d like to partner with.”

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