Advanced Tissue Sciences' Product Stimulates New Blood Vessel Formation in Damaged Heart Tissue

(March 10 -- PRN) - These studies demonstrated the ability of a metabolically active, tissue-engineered epicardial patch to induce blood vessel formation and improve cardiac function.

LA JOLLA, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., (Nasdaq: ATIS) announced that data providing the first demonstration of tissue engineering's ability to stimulate blood vessel formation in the heart will be presented today at a scientific conference. Formation of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis, is critical to the regeneration of damaged cardiac tissue in vivo. The data will be presented at the 7th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology in Tucson, Arizona in a presentation entitled "Dermagraft, as an Epicardial Patch, Stimulates Angiogenesis in Ischemic Heart Tissue."

The data being presented today were generated in preclinical studies conducted in conjunction with researchers at the University of Arizona. These studies demonstrated the ability of a metabolically active, tissue-engineered epicardial patch to induce blood vessel formation and improve cardiac function. New blood vessel formation occurred as early as 14 days after application of the product. In addition, maturation of these blood vessels occurred over time. The epicardial patch, a living, human-based, tissue-engineered product, secretes a variety of growth factors and matrix proteins, including at least three factors that are key to blood vessel formation and maintenance: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and angiopoietin-1.

"The angiogenic effects induced by Dermagraft in these studies exceed the results achieved in previous studies reported to date using either a single growth factor or gene therapy," stated Dr. Stuart K. Williams, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Arizona. "Dermagraft has the ability to secrete angiogenic factors continuously and directly onto the damaged heart. In clinical applications, this has the potential to reduce chest pain and improve heart function. Tens of millions of patients worldwide could benefit from this unique technology."

"We believe that our human approach to tissue engineering can deliver significant advantages over current alternative therapies," said Gail K. Naughton, Ph.D, President and Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc. "The data presented today build on previous work reported by our own scientists and clinicians from the Wound Healing Research Unit, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, demonstrating Dermagraft's ability to generate new blood vessels in vitro and in diabetic foot ulcer patients. Compared to other potential new therapeutics, further development of Dermagraft for cardiac applications may benefit from the fact that it has been in clinical use since 1991, is currently manufactured commercially and is demonstrating a safe clinical profile in wound healing applications."

Advanced Tissue Sciences is a tissue engineering company utilizing its proprietary core technology to develop and manufacture human-based tissue products for tissue repair and transplantation. The Company has two joint ventures with Smith & Nephew. The first covers the application of Advanced Tissue Sciences' tissue engineering technology for skin wounds and includes Dermagraft for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, TransCyte for the temporary covering of second and third-degree burns, and future developments for venous ulcers, pressure ulcers, burns and other non-aesthetic wound care treatments. The second joint venture is developing tissue-engineered orthopedic cartilage, initially focusing on the repair of cartilage in knee joints. The Company also has a strategic alliance with Inamed Corporation for the development and marketing of several of Advanced Tissue Sciences' human-based, tissue-engineered products for aesthetic and certain reconstructive applications. In addition, the Company is developing products for cardiovascular applications.

The discussions contained in this press release relating to research, development, or commercialization of the Company's products that are not strictly historical may be "forward-looking" statements which involve risks and uncertainties. No assurances can be given that the Company will successfully develop any such products, complete clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals (or that any such approvals will be on a timely basis), be able to manufacture, compete with other companies already currently active in the field of angiogenesis or other areas where the Company may apply its products, or successfully commercialize such products. These and other risks are detailed in the Company's publicly available filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission such as Advanced Tissue Sciences' Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 1999. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revision to these forward- looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date hereof.

CONTACT: Jana Stoudemire, Senior Director, Corporate Communications of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc.,

NOTE - ATIS is supplying this material to Bioheart as a pellet material to us. We will load into these pellets our immature myoblasts and other ingredients. Animal studies will begin this month at U of Arizona.


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