This article was originally published in Start Up
Bioheart has an exclusive license to patents covering the culturing of myogenic cells such as myoblasts, for the purpose of muscle regeneration. The company's goal is a cell therapy that uses autologous myocytes to replace damaged heart muscle cells, potentially offering a therapy that can reverse the course of congestive heart failure.
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In March 2009, Belgium's Cardio3 BioSciences announced that a patient with chronic heart failure had for the first time received its C-Cure, a stem cell-based therapy developed to help heal damaged heart tissue. The procedure involved transplantation of the patient's own bone-marrow cells, which had been cultured and implanted according to specialized protocols. The company claims it has proved that its cells become cardiac myocytes, and are also part of the new vessels that are generated post-therapy. The Cardio3's scientists could also demonstrate that the implanted cells did not cause arrhythmia and thus were electrically linked to the rest of the tissue in the heart.
In heart failure, neither drugs nor devices can address a cascade of interrelated biomolecular and hemodynamic processes. These ultimately result in increased heart muscle fatigue, adverse ventricular remodeling, continuing loss of left ventricular ejection fraction, and all the other conditions that have created, in 2006, a heart failure product industry with $2.8 billion in product revenues, according to Current and Emerging Technologies for the Management of Heart Failure in the US, a report recently published by Medtech Insight. Looking to the future, there are currently a number of academic research institutions and biotechnology companies focused on the prophylaxis, containment, and potential reversal of the progression of heart failure with cellular transplants and gene therapy designed to accomplish myocardial tissue repair.
Wound Solutions Ltd. looks to the paradigm of patient self-care in diabetes to address the gaps in chronic wound care, where the feedback provided by blood glucose monitoring encourages changes in behavior. A small device that is placed under a compression bandage helps patients with venous leg ulcers comply with the steps they should be taking to support wound healing, in the process, collecting data that helps clinicians make informed therapy decisions.