Cytori Selected by Fraunhofer Society to Develop New Stem Cell-based Treatments for Stroke
The goal of the collaboration is to advance adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells into clinical trials for stroke. The underlying damage in stroke is brought about by a loss of blood flow to the brain. Because adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells have been shown to improve tissue outcome during injury resulting from a reduction in blood flow, it is believed that these cells could represent a novel approach for reducing stroke-induced damage.
"Our interest in stroke is based on several factors," said Kai Pinkernell, M.D., head of research for Cytori. "First, stroke represents a tremendous unmet medical need, whereby vascular blockages in the brain can result in loss of brain function. Second, because stroke is brought about by a loss of blood supply, we can apply what we already know about restoring blood flow and reducing tissue damage in cardiovascular disease. Third, timing is thought to be critical in the treatment of stroke and the Celution® 800 System can make a patient's own stem and regenerative cells available in real-time."
The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology will contribute their extensive scientific expertise in neural repair. "In combining the competencies of both partners in regenerative medicine, we will have the promising opportunity to develop a novel therapeutic strategy that might have the potential to beneficially influence functional recovery following ischemic stroke." stated Dr. Johannes Boltze, head of the Neurorepair Research Group at Fraunhofer IZI. "For this, a step-wise experimental approach including small and large animal studies adhering to the strict STAIR-criteria for stroke therapy development will be utilized." Cytori will contribute their knowledge in adiposederived stem and regenerative cell biology as it relates to cardiovascular conditions. At the end of the two year term, Cytori will have the opportunity to advance the work into clinical trials and through to commercialization.
"This is the third grant within the last nine months for which we have the privilege to participate," added Dr. Pinkernell.
"In addition to the financial support, these grants represent significant validation from government and private organizations in the US, Japan and Germany as a testament to the global interest in regenerative medicine and how adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells may play an important role. As the pioneer in this field, we look forward to working in collaboration with organizations from around the world to bring novel therapies to patients as quickly and safely as possible."
Fraunhofer Institut für Zelltherapie und Immunologie
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society.
The Fraunhofer-Institute for Immunology and Cell Therapy (IZI) founded in April 2005 is member of the Fraunhofer-Life Sciences Alliance. Its objective being to find solutions to specific problems at the interfaces between medicine, life sciences and engineering for partners active in medicinerelated industries and businesses. The Institute's core competencies are to be found in regenerative medicine, or more precisely in cell-therapeutic methods of regenerating non-functioning tissue and organs through to the biological substitution with tissue cultivated in vitro (tissue engineering). In order for the living organism to accept the tissues without any difficulty, it is necessary to study cellular and immunological defense and control mechanisms and take these into account during process and product development. These core competencies entail a multiplicity of tasks to be solved by new products and processes. The Institute works especially closely with hospital institutions, performing quality tests and clinical studies on their behalf. Additionally it also provides assistance in obtaining manufacturing licenses and certifications.