NellOne Therapeutics Inc. believes it can help patients restore muscle mass and function thanks to a gene called Nell-1. If early studies bear out, the company’s research could yield protein therapeutics capable of regenerating muscle around joint replacements and even in hearts damaged by heart attacks. An in vitro study of heart muscle cells showed the protein could
protect those cells and prevent them from dying in the very kind of low-oxygen situation that typifi es the conditions that heart muscle cells encounter during a heart attack. NellOne has chosen to develop its technology as a wound-healing therapy initially, because that research is farthest along and the path to market is shorter than for a cardiovascular indication.