If necessity is the mother of invention, Athersys Inc. is twice born. The company was founded on the basis of human microchromosome technology it believed was necessary for gene therapy applications, but has since developed a gene expression platform technology that it believes is necessary for high-throughput drug discovery and protein production.

While gene therapy has not yet caught up to microchromosomes as vectors, the new platform allows Athersys to favor its younger self.