Mayo Clinic has taken regenerative medicine beyond the laboratory and into clinical studies by completing the first trial of 45 patients – individuals who had experienced heart damage. These volunteers were injected with “smart stem cells” – adult stem cells reprogrammed and enhanced to be potential heart cells. This first trial was to determine safety and feasibility of the concept – and it did just that, though specific data is still being analyzed. Future trials to determine efficacy will involve upwards of 200 participants. Those studies will determine how well it works.
Lead Mayo investigator on the project is Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D. who describes the promise of heart regeneration.
The Mayo feasibility trials in coordination with Cardio3 Biosciences in Belgium, include seven clinical centers in Belgium, one in Serbia, with future trials to include sites in Switzerland and the UK. This initial clinical study is based on a decade of work at Mayo Clinic, summarized in the current Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which includes an editorial describing the findings as “landmark work”.