updated 5/17/2011 9:17:07 AM ET 2011-05-17T13:17:07

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 17, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:ASTM), a leading developer of patient-specific, expanded multi-cellular therapies for the treatment of severe, chronic cardiovascular diseases, will present results from two studies of the company's bone marrow-derived cell therapy product, ixmyelocel-T, in poster presentations on May 19 and 21 at the 17th Annual International Society for Cellular Therapy Meeting in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The studies provide new insights about the role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and the function of MAC-1 integrin in the expansion of hematopoietic cells and mesenchymal stem cells.

In a study entitled "Autologous Bone Marrow-Derived Cells (ixmyelocel-T) Contain Mesenchymal Stem Cells Expressing B7H3 and Modulate Immune Response In Vitro," results demonstrate that MSCs in ixmyelocel-T express B7H3, a known inhibitor of T-cell activation on other cell types. The expression of B7H3 represents a potential mechanism for the immunomodulatory activity of ixmyelocel-T. In a second study entitled "Autologous Tissue Repair Cells (ixmyelocel-T) from Bone Marrow Require Mac-1 Integrin Function for Expansion of Both Hematopoietic Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells," findings indicate that MAC-1 expression has functional significance in the generation of the unique mixture of cell types in ixmyelocel-T, and that it may also play a role in engraftment and efficacy.

"These results provide both further validation and important new insights regarding the potential mechanism of action and the key components of our proprietary manufacturing process used to generate the unique combination of cells in ixmyelocel-T, our investigational cell therapy product currently advancing to phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of critical limb ischemia. Aastrom is working aggressively to advance this promising cell therapy to late stage clinical research and FDA review and approval," said Tim Mayleben, president and CEO of Aastrom Biosciences.

About Aastrom Biosciences

Aastrom Biosciences is developing patient-specific, expanded multi-cellular therapies for use in the treatment of severe, chronic cardiovascular diseases. The company's proprietary cell-processing technology enables the manufacture of ixmyelocel-T, mixed-cell therapies expanded from a patient's own bone marrow and delivered directly to damaged tissues. Aastrom has advanced ixmyelocel-T into late-stage clinical development, including a planned Phase 3 clinical program for the treatment of patients with critical limb ischemia and two ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. For more information, please visit Aastrom's website at www.aastrom.com .

The Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3663

This document contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning clinical trial plans and progress, objectives and expectations, clinical activity timing, intended product development, the performance and contribution of certain individuals and expected timing of collecting and analyzing treatment data, all of which involve certain risks and uncertainties. These statements are often, but are not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," "plans," "expects," "we believe," "we intend," and similar words or phrases, or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "potential," "could," "may," or similar expressions. Actual results may differ significantly from the expectations contained in the forward-looking statements. Among the factors that may result in differences are the inherent uncertainties associated with clinical trial and product development activities, regulatory approval requirements, competitive developments, and the availability of resources and the allocation of resources among different potential uses. These and other significant factors are discussed in greater detail in Aastrom's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements reflect management's current views and Aastrom does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release except as required by law.

CONTACT: Media and investor contact
         Bill Berry
         Berry & Company
         +1 (212) 253-8881
         bberry@berrypr.com
         
         Investor contact
         Danielle Spangler
         The Trout Group
         dspangler@troutgroup.com
         +1 (646) 378-2924

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