The Holliston, Mass.-based company said that the regenerative implant was used in a 75-year old male patient, who has a life-threatening cancerous mass in his chest. Surgeons removed the portion of his esophagus affected by the cancer and Biostage’s implant was used to reconstruct the organ.
The patient is alive three months after his surgery on May 4, according to Biostage.
“We are encouraged by the ongoing success of the Cellspan esophageal implant in our first in-patient case, and we look forward to additional opportunities to provide an alternative solution to patients in need of an esophageal replacement,” president & CMO Dr. Saverio La Francesca said in prepared remarks. “Our large-animal preclinical data has been promising, so we are invigorated by the apparent reaffirmation of the regenerative properties of our technology and the clinical benefits in this extremely complex case.”
To create the company’s implant, the patient’s own stem cells are collected and seeded onto a scaffold that mimics the dimensions of an esophagus. The scaffold is ready to be implanted after spending 3 to 5 days in a bioreactor. Biostage hypothesizes that their Cellspan implants provide biological cues to the patient’s tissues, stimulating growth responses and tissue regeneration.
“The Cellspan esophageal implant has the potential to significantly improve quality of life for a patient who has undergone an esophageal resection, as it improves upon the current standard of care for the treatment of esophageal cancer,” CEO Jim McGorry added. “Regeneration of the esophagus in a high-risk patient and under extremely trying conditions, such as evidenced to date in this case, indicates that the regenerative properties of the implant may be reproducible in other patients.”