An investigational therapy derived from a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells improves heart function in some patients with progressive heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), according to the results of a Phase 2a study presented today as a late-breaking clinical trial at the SCAI 2012 Scientific Sessions.
Ixmyelocel-T is developed by culturing a patient’s bone marrow for 12 days to increase the numbers of immune cells including macrophages and monocytes, as well as mesenchymal cells, stem cells that can differentiate into several different cell types. The resulting cell treatment is then injected into the patient’s heart muscles to encourage growth of new tissue and improve inflammation.
“An increasing number of patients have progressive heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy, even after treatment with drug therapy and surgical intervention,” said Timothy Henry, MD, FSCAI, director of research and an interventional cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and the study’s principal investigator. “In this study, patients treated with ixmyelocel-T showed repair in damaged heart muscle and some reversal in heart failure symptoms.”
The trial included 22 ischemic (IDCM) and non-ischemic (NIDCM) patients with a New York Heart Association (NYHA) heart failure class of III or IV, or moderate to severe heart failure, and a left ventricular ejection fraction of 30 percent or less, which is a measure of how much blood leaves the heart with each pump. Patients were randomized to receive an injection of the treatment into their heart muscles or to a control group, and were followed at 3, 6 and 12 months.
After 12 months, no procedural complications and no difference in adverse events were reported among patients who received the treatment and the control group. IDCM patients who received the cell treatment had a lower mean number of major adverse clinical events (0.33 compared to 1.67 in the control group). IDCM patients who received the treatment were more likely to see improvement in NYHA class, six-minute walking distance and ejection fraction, compared to NIDCM patients who received the treatment and those in the control group.
“Treatment with ixmyelocel-T was well-tolerated and patients who received the cell therapy showed improved symptoms after one year,” said Dr. Henry. “The results provide a strong basis for a larger clinical trial of this treatment in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy.”
The study was sponsored by Aastrom Biosciences.