Texas Hospital First in World to Treat Heart Patient with New Adult Stem Cell Therapy


April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009 - On March 30, the Heart Hospital of Austin, TX became the first hospital in the world to treat a patient enrolled in a groundbreaking Phase II study designed to test the effectiveness and safety of administering adult stem cells intravenously to repair damaged heart tissue after a heart attack.
Cardiologist Roger Gammon, M.D. treated a 58-year-old Central Texas man with the experimental adult stem cell treatment, just days after the patient’s first heart attack.
"We are excited to be the first to treat a patient in this groundbreaking study and to lead the way in this important research," stated Dr. Gammon.
Prochymal is being evaluated for its ability to treat heart damage caused by a heart attack. The active ingredient in the new treatment is adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). The cells in the drug are from normal, healthy adult volunteer donors and are not from a fetus, embryo or animal. MSCs reportedly have the ability to develop into other types of cells and generate new tissue, including heart muscle. Prochymal is a product of Osiris Therapeutics Inc.
"There's a lot of enthusiasm in the cardiovascular community about the potential of stem cell therapies for treating heart disease. Earlier studies have established confidence in the safety of the therapy, but more research is needed to study its effectiveness," said Dr. Gammon.
In this prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study, Heart Hospital of Austin and Austin Heart researchers will study patients to determine the effectiveness and safety of Prochymal for treating heart damage resulting from a heart attack. Heart Hospital of Austin is one of approximately 40 institutions in the United States and Canada participating in the study. Patients who participate in the study must receive the treatment within seven days of a heart attack. The stem cell treatment is administered intravenously and typically takes less than an hour to complete.
Prochymal is currently an investigational therapy and is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
For more information: www.hearthospitalofaustin.com