Ventrix, Inc. announced today that its VentriGel™cardiac repair scaffold safely and effectively mitigated left ventricular remodeling and improved cardiac function in pigs after myocardial infarction, or a heart attack. The findings, made during pre-clinical studies, were published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Based on these and other results, Ventrix will initiate a clinical trial for VentriGel later this year.
“These results give us strong validation that VentriGel has the potential to prevent the development of congestive heart failure in patients who are recovering from heart attack,” said Adam Kinsey, Ph.D., CEO of Ventrix. “We will continue to develop VentriGel for this indication, for which there is a very acute need and large market potential.”
As medical management and surgical tools have advanced, more and more patients are surviving heart attacks. However, damage to the heart during myocardial infarction can lead to a growth of dense scar tissue which cannot contribute to the pumping function of the heart. Over time, the heart wall will thin causing heart failure. Currently, the only successful treatments for end-stage heart failure are heart transplantation or left ventricular assist devices.
In the study, the VentriGel scaffold was injected into pigs two weeks following heart attack via a minimally-invasive catheter. Three months after injection, more cardiac muscle and less scar tissue was found in the VentriGel-treated group compared to controls that did not receive VentriGel. This led to significant improvements in contractility and cardiac function and prevented heart failure in treated animals. Ejection fraction, one measure of cardiac function, was significantly greater after delivery of VentriGel.
VentriGel is a biomaterial scaffold designed specifically for the repair of damaged myocardium (heart muscle). It is injected via catheter in a minimally-invasive procedure that does not require surgery or general anesthesia.
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