February 8, 2011

Athersys to Present at 13th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference

CLEVELAND, Feb. 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athersys, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHX) announced today that the Company is scheduled to present at the 13th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference, being held February 14 and 15, 2011, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Gil Van Bokkelen, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will provide a corporate and product development overview of the Company on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm EST. Investors may listen to a live audio web cast of Athersys' presentation by accessing the following link: http://www.veracast.com/webcasts/bio/ceoinvestor2011/19113487.cfm. A web cast replay of the presentation can be accessed via the Company's web site at www.athersys.com, under the "Investors Section."

About Athersys

Athersys is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The Company is developing MultiStem®, a patented, adult-derived "off-the-shelf" stem cell product platform for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation and oncology treatment support, ischemic stroke, and inflammatory bowel disease. The Company is also developing a portfolio of other therapeutic programs, including orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE®). Athersys has forged several key strategic alliances and collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as world-renowned research institutions in the United States and Europe to further develop its platform and products. More information is available at www.athersys.com.

The Athersys logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4548.

CONTACT: William (B.J.) Lehmann, J.D.

         President and COO

         Tel: (216) 431-9900

         bjlehmann@athersys.com



         Investor Relations:

         Lisa M. Wilson

         In-Site Communications

         Tel: (917) 543-9932

         lwilson@insitecony.com

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Source: Athersys, Inc.

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