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Biostage Appoints Harout DerSimonian, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer to Oversee Cell Biology, Materials Science and Other Research Underlying its Organ Implant Development

HOLLISTON, Mass., July 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Biostage, Inc. (Nasdaq: BSTG), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers and other life-threatening conditions of the esophagus, bronchus and trachea, announced today that Harout DerSimonian, Ph.D. has joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer, a new position at Biostage. Dr. DerSimonian will direct and manage the cell biology, materials science and other scientific research that forms the basis of Biostage's Cellframe™ technology platform.

Harout DerSimonian

Dr. DerSimonian has over 20 years of experience in developing immunotherapy and cell therapy programs and was instrumental in directing the science that enabled the first FDA-approved clinical trial using autologous human stem cells for cardiac repair. Throughout his career, he has played a critical, senior role in designing and implementing therapeutic programs at leading global institutions.  Dr. DerSimonian is a former assistant professor and post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and completed his post-doctoral training at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. DerSimonian holds a Ph.D. in immunology from Tufts University and a B.A. in biology from Hartwick College.

Biostage CEO Jim McGorry commented, "The complexity of what we are doing, combined with the number of potential applications of our technology, necessitate that Biostage augment the leadership and management of our scientific research. Harout has the necessary cellular and molecular technology expertise, along with an impressive record of achievement in cell therapy programs to support our path to commercialization for our Cellframe technology. Dr. DerSimonian will be responsible for leading our scientific efforts and supporting the translation of our laboratory preclinical research findings for our Cellspan™ Esophageal Implant to advance the preparation of our IND for submission with the FDA. He is a proven translational research scientist and we believe a very important addition to our team."

Dr. DerSimonian stated, "I am excited to contribute to the advancement of Biostage's groundbreaking Cellframe technology. Already the company has demonstrated outstanding progress in pre-clinical research in regenerative medicine that provides an exciting window on an array of potential medical solutions and scientific pathways."

About Biostage, Inc.: 
Biostage is a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants utilizing the company's new Cellframe™ technology which combines a proprietary biocompatible scaffold with a patient's own stem cells to create Cellspan™ organ implants. Cellspan implants are being developed to treat life-threatening conditions of the esophagus, bronchus and trachea with the hope of dramatically improving the treatment paradigm for patients. Based on its preclinical data, Biostage has selected life-threatening conditions of the esophagus as the initial clinical application of its technology.

Cellspan implants are currently being advanced and tested in preclinical studies. This testing is intended to expand the base of preclinical data in support of Biostage's goal of filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. FDA in late 2016. The IND will seek approval to initiate clinical trials for its esophageal implants in humans.

Forward-Looking Statements 
Some of the statements in this press release are "forward-looking" and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These "forward-looking" statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the development expectations and regulatory approval of our products, including those utilizing our Cellframe technology, by the FDA, EMA, MHRA or otherwise, which expectations or approvals may not be achieved or obtained on a timely basis or at all; or success with respect to any collaborations, clinical trials and other development and commercialization efforts of our products, including those utilizing our Cellframe technology, which such success may not be achieved or obtained on a timely basis or at all. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from the statements set forth in this press release, including, among other things, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our products, plus other factors described under the heading "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 or described in our other public filings. Our results may also be affected by factors of which we are not currently aware. The "forward-looking" statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Biostage expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to such statements to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any changes in the events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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SOURCE Biostage, Inc.