LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAPR), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Deborah D. Ascheim, M.D., to the position of Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Ascheim, a heart failure cardiologist, has significant experience directing national and international clinical trials, funded by both the NIH and industry sponsors. She was most recently Professor of Health Policy and Medicine and was the director of the International Center for Health Outcomes and Innovation Research's Clinical Trial Unit at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Prior to her tenure at Mount Sinai, Dr. Ascheim was on faculty in the Department of Medicine and division of Cardiology at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University. While at Mount Sinai and Columbia, she served as either principal investigator or co-principal investigator for numerous high impact cardiovascular trials, including the NIH supported Cardiothoracic Surgical trials Network data coordinating center. She has been the principal investigator of an NIH supported trial of stem cells in LVAD patients, as well as an NIH CTRIP grant to evaluate targeted gene therapy for the treatment of heart failure. While at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, she also served as principal investigator or site principal investigator for a number of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device clinical trials. Since 1997, she has served on or chaired a variety of clinical trial committees for both the National Institutes of Health and industry. Dr. Ascheim received her M.D. from New York University School of medicine and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

"We are delighted that Dr. Ascheim is joining Capricor as Chief Medical Officer," said Linda Marbán, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Capricor. "She brings a breadth of experience in both clinical trial design as well as trial conduct. As Capricor's pipeline and its clinical activities progress, we feel that adding the Chief Medical Officer position is a very positive development. Dr. Ascheim has extensive experience with both early and late stage multinational clinical trials. She is highly respected in both the heart failure and clinical trial communities," added Dr. Marbán. 

About Capricor Therapeutics

Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAPR) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics. Our lead programs target post myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Company has two leading product candidates under investigation: CAP-1002, a cardiac cell therapy, and Cenderitide, a natriuretic peptide receptor agonist. CAP-1002 is in development for the treatment of post myocardial infarction (heart attack), advanced heart failure and Duchenne muscular dystrophy associated cardiomyopathy. Cenderitide is in development for the outpatient treatment of heart failure as well as potential other indications. In addition, the Company is conducting research and development on its exosomes platform technology for cardiac diseases and other potential indications. For additional information visit www.capricor.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release regarding the efficacy, safety, and intended utilization of Capricor's product candidates; the conduct, size, timing and results of discovery efforts and clinical trials; scope, duration, validity and enforceability of intellectual property rights; plans regarding regulatory filings, future research and clinical trials; plans regarding current and future collaborative activities and the ownership of commercial rights; future royalty streams, and any other statements about Capricor's management team's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "believes," "plans," "could," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates," "should," "target," "will," "would" and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. More information about these and other risks that may impact our business are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16, 2015, in our Registration Statement on Form S-1, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 6, 2015 and in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ending March 31, 2015, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 13, 2015. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: For more information, please contact:

         Corporate Contact
         Capricor Therapeutics, Inc.
         AJ Bergmann, Vice President of Finance
         +1-310-358-3200
         abergmann@capricor.com
         
         Media Relations
         Russo Partners
         Christopher Hippolyte
         +1-646-942-5634
         chris.hippolyte@russopartnersllc.com
         
         Investor Relations:
         Russo Partners
         Robert Flamm, Ph.D.
         +1-212-845-4226
         robert.flamm@russopartnersllc.com

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