Stem cell treatment for heart attack promising: study

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Peter Sands

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals and Athersys Inc. announced that heart attack patients participating in their phase I stem cell clinical trial displayed improved heart function. The treatment was tolerated well at all dosages. Patients displayed mild to moderate side effects, according to Angiotech.
Trial data indicated that patients receiving the treatment showed improvements in their heart function compared to patients receiving standard, non-stem cell care. This update of the early-stage clinical trial was based on four months of data following the treatment.
According to the companies, a subsequent clinical study is in the works, which is expected to begin in 2011.
Athersys also said their MultiStem product received orphan drug status in the U S for the prevention of a medical condition that causes an immunological attack in patients undergoing bone-marrow transplants.
Orphan drug status is a designation given by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for drugs that treat an ailment affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans. It grants the drug manufacturer marketing exclusivity for a seven-year period in the United States, following approval.
Canada-based Angiotech saw its shares climb 10% on Sept. 23 to 57 Canadian cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange. U.S. Athersys went up 0.5 percent at $3.18 on the NASDAQ.

Source:  Reuters

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