Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, – Cardio3 BioSciences SA (C3BS) (NYSE Euronext Brussels and Paris: CARD), a leader in the discovery and development of regenerative, protective and reconstructive therapies for the treatment of cardiac diseases, and member of a research consortium under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission's Research and Innovation today announces that it has obtained a second FP7 grant ; €6.8m for a project to develop restorative therapies for acute myocardial infarction.
The objective of this research program titled “Advanced Materials for Cardiac Regeneration” or AMCARE is to develop materials to regenerate cardiac tissue following heart attacks. It consists of developing and coupling natural materials and new minimally-invasive drug delivery systems to enhance the delivery of the body’s own stem cells to the heart to promote healing after a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, killing an estimated 17 million people each year. The European Society of Cardiology estimates that one in every six men and one in every seven women in Europe will die from a myocardial infarction. The heart receives its own blood supply from the coronary arteries, and during a myocardial infarction a blockage in these arteries leads to decreased heart blood flow resulting in heart cell death due to prolonged lack of oxygen and nutrients. The multimodal therapies being developed in the AMCARE programme aim to modify the underlying pathology of the post-myocardial infarction disease state, specifically by replacing lost heart cells with functionally competent viable cells using stem cells derived from the patient’s own bone marrow.
This first-in-class, pan-European consortium has been awarded a grant of €6.8 million. It is composed of ten partners with complementary profiles and skills from five European Countries, led by Dr Garry Duffy.
Cardio3 BioSciences is the exploitation manager of the consortium and as such is in charge of exploiting the outcome of this research project. Cardio3 is also in charge of the development of one advanced drug delivery system (C-CathGel).
Dr Christian Homsy, CEO of Cardio3 BioSciences comment: “We are proud to be part of the AMCARE Consortium which represents a major interdisciplinary effort between stem cell biologists, experts in advanced drug delivery, research scientists, clinicians and research-active companies working together to develop novel therapeutics to address the challenges of treating acute heart disease. Being chosen as the exploitation manager demonstrates the confidence and the recognition of our peers in the expertise we have built over the past years. This is also the second significant FP7 program for which Cardio3 BioSciences is a Partner and Exploitation Manager.”
Dr Garry Duffy, Department of Anatomy and Tissue Engineering Research Group RCSI, Co-ordinator of the AMCARE consortium, commented on the research funding, “We are delighted to lead the AMCARE programme and to translate new collaborative research for the benefit of patients with heart disease. Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction, and through AMCARE we will develop new technologies to enhance stem cell therapies for these patients by increasing targeting and ease of delivery using advanced biomaterials. Coronary artery revascularisation therapies are effective at restoring blood flow to the heart following a myocardial infarction, however residual heart scarring may remain permanently. Elimination of myocardial scarring and restoration of full cardiac function post-MI using stem cell therapies could eliminate the cascade of events that lead to heart failure.”
FP7 is the EU's main instrument for supporting innovative research in Europe, and has two main strategic objectives: to strengthen the scientific and technological base of European industry and to encourage its international competitiveness, while promoting research that supports EU policies.
The project is funded by the European Union's ‘Seventh Framework' Programme (FP7/ http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/home_en.html) under Grant Agreement n° NMP3-SME-2013-604531 from November 2013 to October 2018.