A Trial of Giving Stem Cells Orders

One approach to stem cell therapy is to try to order existing stem cells to do more work, accomplished by introducing signaling molecules into the body - a drug, in other words. This methodology has reached the point of early clinical trials, as indicated in this press release: "Clinical-stage regenerative medicine company Juventas Therapeutics Inc. [has] started enrolling patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of its leading stem cell factor for treating heart failure. In preclinical studies of heart failure in pigs, JVS-100, as the factor is known, significantly increased cardiac function by promoting cell survival and increasing blood vessel formation in damaged hearts. JVS-100 works by encoding Stromal Cell-derived Factor-1 (SDF-1), a growth factor that in adults recruits stem cells from the bone marrow to create new blood vessels. The JVS-100-treated pigs showed significant improvements in cardiac function. ... We've led with heart failure because that's where our preliminary data was, and it's a great clinical opportunity. We also have strong data in the area of peripheral vascular disease and cosmetic wound healing. ... The factor can increase blood flow for patients who have peripheral vascular disease and accelerate wound closure and prevent scarring for patients who have had cosmetic surgery [so] we're looking to move both those toward clinic in the near future."

Link: http://www.medcitynews.com/2010/04/juventas-therapeutics-starts-phase-1-trial-for-heart-failure-therapy/

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