NIH awards funding to biotech firm for heart disease

ugment conventional therapies such as artery bypass grafting and angioplasty. Ateriocyte's unique combination of blood cell types has shown encouraging results in animal studies.

Laughlin is director of the Allogeneic Transplant Program at University Hospitals of Cleveland and associate professor of medicine and pathology at Case Western Reserve University. Pompili is director of Interventional Cardiology at University Hospitals of Cleveland and associate professor of medicine and director of coronary care services at Case Western Reserve University. The company is based on technologies developed by the founders and Steven Haynesworth, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case. Don Brown, a former executive of Viacell and Schering-Plough, is the company's chief executive officer. The university invested $250,000 in Arteriocyte through its Case Technology Ventures fund.

The grant is part of the NIH's Small Business Technology Transfer Award program, which is designed to help the transfer of innovative technologies from an academic setting to the commercial sector and rapidly translate research discoveries made in the laboratory into therapy for patients.

Blocked or damaged blood vessels are a major cause of illness and death around the world. Atherosclerosis, for example, can lead to congestive heart failure and heart attacks. About 5 million people in the U. S. have heart failure and the number is growing. Each year, another 550,000 people are diagnosed for the first time. It contributes to or causes about 300,000 deaths each year. About 1 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 65 is diagnosed with congestive heart failure each year. Existing therapies include drugs, gene therapy, and vascular interventions for relief of arterial obstructions. In 2003, approximately 750,000 coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgeries were performed worldwide and approximately 1.8 million balloon angioplasty procedures were perfor

Contact: George Stamatis
Case Western Reserve University

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