Athersys Inc. (NSDQ:ATHX) reported that results from a phase 1 trial of its stem cell therapy suggest its MultiStem technology could hold benefits for heart attack patients.
The positive results from a one-year follow-up on the trial will pave the way for Cleveland-based Athersys to begin a phase 2 trial on heart attack patients later this year, according to a statement from the company.
MultiStem is an off-the-shelf stem cell treatment derived from the bone marrow of adults and other nonembryonic sources. The technology has shown promise in reducing inflammation, protecting damaged tissue and forming new blood vessels.
The analysis of one-year data from the phase 1 trial "suggest that this therapy could provide a meaningful improvement in heart function to heart attack patients," said Dr. Marc Penn, co-principal investigator of the study and director of cardiovascular cell therapy at Cleveland Clinic.
Athersys listed several measures of heart function that showed improvement among patients in the trial, including left ventricular ejection fraction, which is the measurement of how much blood is being pumped out of the heart’s left ventricle with each contraction.
In addition to heart attacks, Athersys stem cell technology is being studied in clinical trials to treat conditions including stroke, inflammatory bowel disease and graft-versus-host disease.
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