A new study at Johns Hopkins University has shown that stem cells from patients' own cardiac tissue can be used to heal scarred tissue after a heart attack. This is certainly exciting news considering heart failure is still the No. 1 cause of death in men and women.
The study included 25 heart attack victims, 17 of whom got the stem cell treatment. Those patients saw a 50% reduction in cardiac scar tissue after one year, while the eight control patients saw no improvement.
The procedure involves removing a tiny portion of heart tissue through a needle, cultivating the stem cells from that tissue, and reinserting them in a second minimally invasive procedure, according to Bloomberg.
"If we can regenerate the whole heart, then the patient would be completely normal," said Eduardo Marban, director of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute who was the study's lead author. "We haven't fulfilled that yet, but we've gotten rid of half of the injury, and that's a good start."
Business section: Investing ideas
Interested in investing in the promise that stem cell therapy holds? For a look at the investing landscape, we compiled a list of the 10 largest companies involved in stem cell therapy.
Do you think this industry will see growth from stem cell research? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
2. Cleveland BioLabs
3. Gentium: Focuses on the development and manufacture of its primary product candidate, defibrotide, an investigational drug based on a mixture of single-stranded and double-stranded DNA extracted from pig intestines. Market cap at $128.29M. The company develops defibrotide for the treatment and prevention of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), a condition that occurs when veins in the liver are blocked as a result of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, that are administered prior to stem cell transplantation.
5. Harvard Bioscience: Develops, manufactures, and markets apparatus and scientific instruments used in life science research in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, and government laboratories in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $118.28M. Develops devices used by clinicians and researchers in the field of regenerative medicine, including bioreactors for growing tissue and organs outside the body, and injectors for stem cell therapy.
8. Osiris Therapeutics
7. Verastem: Market cap at $229.00M. Focuses on discovering and developing proprietary small molecule drugs targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs) in breast and other cancers.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
Kapitall's Alexander Crawford does not own any of the shares mentioned above.
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