Exhibit 99.1


SAN DIEGO, November 7, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vital Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq: VTL), a biotherapeutic company that has been developing ELAD®, a cell-based therapy targeting the treatment of acute forms of liver failure, today announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.

Recent Developments

As reported in September, the Company’s VTL-308 clinical study of ELAD in the treatment of severe alcoholic hepatitis failed to meet either its primary or secondary endpoints. As a result, the Company ceased any further development of the ELAD System in the United States and Europe. As previously announced, the Company has also retained Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. as its strategic financial advisor to assist in the review of the Company's business and assets and to explore strategic opportunities for enhancing stockholder value, including the potential sale or merger of the Company. The Company cannot guarantee that this process will culminate in a transaction.

In an effort to preserve cash while the Company assesses its options, the Company underwent a reduction in force of approximately 85% of its workforce in September 2018. In furtherance of the goal to conserve cash, the Board of Directors also reduced its size from nine to four members.
In addition, recent work in the Company's normothermic liver perfusion program was highlighted in an October 31, 2018 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Company is performing this research and development with several universities and hospitals in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The objective of the program is to increase the viability and availability of donor livers that otherwise would not be deemed fit for transplantation by perfusing such livers with a solution containing C3A cell-conditioned media.

Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results

Cash Position

Cash and cash equivalents at September 30, 2018, totaled $17.8 million compared to $56.9 million at December 31, 2017. The Company expects its ongoing use of funds will change based on, among other things, the strategic options that it determines to pursue.

Results of Operations

Three Months Ended September 30, 2018

The Company reported a net loss of $11.9 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018, which compared with a net loss of $12.5 million for the same prior year period. This resulted in a net loss of $0.28 per share for the three months ended September 30, 2018, as compared to a net loss of $0.30 per share for the corresponding period in 2017, on both a basic and diluted basis.

Research and development expenses decreased to $6.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018 as compared to $9.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017.

15010 Avenue of Science, Suite 200, San Diego, California, USA 92128
Tel 858.673.6840 Fax 858-673-6843 www.vitaltherapies.com

The following information was filed by Vital Therapies Inc (VTL) on Thursday, November 8, 2018 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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