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Athersys gets support to advance its MultiStem regenerative medicine program for heart attack
CLEVELANDóAthersys Inc. recently announced that it has received a SBIR Fast Track grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which will support a Phase II clinical study evaluating the administration of its MultiStem therapy to patients who have suffered a heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
The grant is expected to provide as much as $2.8 million in support over the course of the study in connection with study progress and milestone achievement.
"We are pleased to receive this SBIR award as it will support us in moving our AMI program forward into Phase II development," said Dr. Anthony Ting, senior director of cardiovascular and pulmonary at Athersys. "The Phase II clinical study will build on the promising results demonstrated previously in our AMI Phase I trial completed in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, Columbia University Medical Center, Henry Ford, and other leading cardiovascular centers, and is intended to establish definitive proof-of- concept. We expect to initiate the study early next year."
In January 2012, Circulation Research published results of Athersys' Phase I clinical study, which found that the administration of MultiStem was safe and well tolerated in patients who had recently suffered an AMI and also suggested that MultiStem can help improve heart function.
MultiStem cell therapy is a patented regenerative medicine product that has shown the ability to promote tissue repair and healing in a variety of ways, the company says, such as through the production of multiple therapeutic factors produced in response to signals of inflammation and tissue damage. MultiStem has reportedly demonstrated therapeutic potential for the treatment of inflammatory and immune disorders, neurological conditions, and cardiovascular disease, as well as other areas, and represents what the company calls "a unique 'off-the-shelf' stem-cell product that can be manufactured in a scalable manner, may be stored for years in frozen form, and is administered without tissue matching or the need for immune suppression."