Stem cell and regenerative medicine company Cynata Therapeutics (ASX: CYP) has announced positive efficacy data from a study of its Cymerus mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a pre-clinical heart attack model.
Specifically, MSC treatment was shown to improve the recovery of cardiac functioning after a heart attack and reduce left ventricular end-systolic diameter (LVESD), compared to either placebo or bone marrow-derived MSCs.
LVESD reduction is associated with lower risk of further cardiac events after an initial attack.
Under the parameters of the pre-clinical study, test groups of rats were used to determine the effectiveness of MSC treatment post-heart attack.
The rats were treated with either Cymerus MSCs, bone marrow-derived MSCs or placebo MSCs four days after an induced attack and then assessed over a 28-day period.
MSCs were randomly assigned and all assessments performed in a blinded manner, meaning clinical staff were not aware of which treatment the animals had received.
Primary and secondary endpoints
The primary endpoint of the pre-clinical study was fractional shortening at Day 28.
Fractional shortening provides an estimate of the heart’s ability to contract effectively and is used as a measure of overall cardiac function.
An improvement in fractional shortening is indicative the heart’s pumping function recovery post-attack.
Treatment with Cynata’s Cymerus MSCs resulted in an improvement in fractional shortening at Day 28, with the improvement being “statistically significant” compared to the placebo and bone marrow-derived groups.
A secondary endpoint was a measure of LVESD, with higher values indicating poor heart function and lower values associated with improvements and a reduced risk of further cardiac events.
LVESD was found to be lower in the Cymerus MSC group compared to the placebo and bone marrow-derived groups.
Cynata Product Development vice-president Dr Kilian Kelly said the pre-clinical study shows Cymerus MSCs may have an important role to play in the treatment of a wide range of diseases.
“There is a huge unmet medical need associated with heart attacks, which cause over 8000 deaths and more than 50,000 hospitalisations each year in Australia alone,” he said.
“We are optimistic about the potential benefits that Cymerus MSCs could bring to patients who experience these life-changing events.”
At mid-morning, Cynata Therapeutics shares were up 1.20% to $1.26.