Research & Technology
What is Cell Therapy?
Regenerative medicine is defined as the process of replacing or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore normal function. Among the categories of therapeutic technology platforms within this field are cell therapy, tissue engineering, tools, device diagnostics and aesthetic medicine. All living complex organisms start as a single cell that replicates and then individual groups of cells differentiate (mature into complex cell types), thereby yielding the diversity of organs and organ systems in an adult organism. Cell therapy is a process that uses cells to prevent, treat or cure disease, or to regenerate damaged or aged tissue. Since the 1970s, bone marrow and blood and umbilical cord-derived stem cells have been used to restore bone marrow, as well as blood and immune system cells damaged by the chemotherapy and radiation historically used to treat many cancers. Notably, this approach holds curative potential for patients with otherwise fatal conditions.
There are two general classes of cell therapies: autologous and allogeneic. When cells are collected from a person (donor) and transplanted or used to develop a treatment solely for that same person (recipient or patient) with or without modification, the treatment paradigm is known as “autologous” cell therapy. For long-term repair of cardiovascular tissues, evidence indicates that the repair cells must remain in the target tissue for a period of time. Since autologous cells are not destroyed by the immune system, autologous cell therapy can be expected to result in long-term residence of the administered cells. When the donor and the recipient are not the same individual, the procedures are referred to as “allogeneic” cell therapy.
Various cell therapies are in clinical development for an array of human diseases, including autoimmune, oncologic, cardiovascular, neurologic and orthopedic diseases, among other indications. While no assurances can be given regarding future medical developments, we believe that the field of cell therapy holds the promise to better the human experience and minimize or ameliorate the pain and suffering from many common and often life-threatening diseases. The FDA has been investing significant resources into policies and organizational changes to advance the cell and gene therapy fields in recent years through what the agency has labeled its “comprehensive regenerative medicine policy framework,” as first announced in late 2017 and incrementally developed since that time through various agency actions.
Our Process: CD34+ cell technology for ischemic repair
The CD34+ cell was discovered as a result of the deliberate search for a stem cell capable of stimulating the development and/or repair of blood vessels. All tissues in the body maintain their function by replacing cells over time. In addition to the maintenance function, the body must also be capable of building new blood vessels after injury. A CD34+ cell is a stem cell that has the ability to stimulate new blood vessel formation at the level of the microvasculature. No other native cell discovered to date has demonstrated this same capability.
Our proprietary CD34+ cell technology has led to the development of therapeutic product candidates designed to address a number of conditions caused by ischemia. Ischemia occurs when the supply of oxygenated blood to healthy tissue is restricted. Through the administration of CD34+ cells, we seek to promote the development and formation of new microvasculature and thereby increase blood flow to the impacted area. We believe that a number of conditions caused by underlying ischemic injury can be improved through our CD34+ cell technology including but not limited to, Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction (CMD), Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), No-Option Refractory Disabling Angina (NORDA) and Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD).