Cardium Therapeutics and its subsidiary InnerCool Therapies reported on preclinical data demonstrating a new and expanded benefit of early rapid cooling for the potential treatment of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), as presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) 2006 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The companies also announced their plans for a new clinical study to further assess the safety and potential usefulness of early cooling for heart attack patients, which is expected to be co-sponsored in Sweden and to begin within the next several months.
The research reported at TCT was conducted by a team of interventional cardiologists led by Drs. Goran Olivecrona and David Erlinge at the Lund University Hospital, Sweden. In the recently completed study in a preclinical porcine heart attack model, researchers evaluated rapid cooling, induced by a combination of cold saline infusion along with InnerCool Therapies' endovascular Celsius Control System, prior to or coincident with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures, which are used to restore blood flow in the heart. The data showed that cooling prior to PCI reduced overall infarct size (reflecting tissue damage) by an additional 40%. These findings strongly support the use of early rapid cooling in planned clinical studies, and suggest that InnerCool's endovascular cooling system may have the potential to enable interventional cardiologists to dramatically reduce tissue damage following a heart attack.
Based on these findings, InnerCool plans to sponsor a study on the use of early rapid cooling following heart attack, which is expected to be co-sponsored and conducted by the interventional cardiology center at Lund University Hospital, Sweden. The planned study will be a randomized human clinical trial designed to evaluate the potential use of InnerCool's hypothermia system in the treatment of heart attack patients. This study will randomize approximately twenty patients who present within six hours of their heart attack for PCI alone or PCI plus the new early rapid cooling protocol. The hypothermia arm will include iced saline infusion plus use of the InnerCool Celsius Control System catheter prior to reperfusion in patients undergoing PCI. The trial will employ cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide an accurate assessment of the damage to the heart within days of the injury. The trial is expected to begin this year and to complete enrollment and treatment within about six months.
“We are excited by the data from this important preclinical study conducted at the Lund University Hospital in Sweden. The findings suggest that early rapid cooling prior to standard PCI reperfusion holds great promise as a potential means of reducing damage to the heart following a heart attack,” stated Christopher J. Reinhard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cardium Therapeutics and InnerCool Therapies.