SOURCE: Aldagen

December 11, 2007 09:00 ET

Aldagen's Adult Stem Cell Populations Shown to Regenerate Vascular Function and Repair Liver Damage

Key Preclinical Findings Presented at American Society of Hematology

DURHAM, NC--(Marketwire - December 11, 2007) - Aldagen, Inc. today announced that researchers presented results demonstrating that the potent adult stem cell population isolated using Aldagen's technology (ALDH(br) cells) is able to regenerate vascular function and repair liver damage in preclinical models. A total of seven abstracts related to Aldagen's technology were presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in Atlanta, Georgia. The data presented provides further insight into the possible mechanism of action of ALDH(br) cells in Aldagen's ongoing cardiovascular clinical studies. In addition, the data suggests a new clinical indication that Aldagen could potentially pursue.

Vascular repair

Researchers from the Robarts Research Institute, Washington University School of Medicine and the University of California Davis Medical Center, presented results demonstrating that ALDH(br) cells are able to initiate regeneration of functional blood vessels in a preclinical model of ischemic injury. Transplanted human ALDH(br) cells rapidly homed to the site of ischemic injury and were detected there for about a week. At the end of a week, the ischemic leg tissue showed significantly improved tissue perfusion, and new collateral vessels were found when the tissue was examined 21 days after transplant. The cell population appears to stimulate the formation of new vessels by increasing localized angiogenic activity by the mouse cells in the damaged region. The work is titled "Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-Activity Purifies Multiple Hemangiogenic Lineages That Accelerate Vascularization of Ischemic Tissue through Paracrine Support of Neovessel Formation."

Additionally, researchers from Aarhus University (Denmark), the University of California Davis Medical Center, Washington University School of Medicine and Robarts Research Institute presented results demonstrating that human ALDH(br) cells are able to increase the density of large caliber vessels in the central infarct area of mice given experimentally induced acute mycordial infarction (AMI). Such new blood vessel formation can contribute to repair of damaged heart tissue by allowing reperfusion. ALDH(br) cells homed more effectively to the damaged heart tissue than any of the cell populations studied. The authors propose that cytokines secreted from transplanted ALDH(br) cells that homed to the heart potentiated angiogenic activity of endogenous mouse cells. The work is titled "Adult Human Stem Cells Exert Therapeutic Effects to Repair Damaged Tissues in Xenograft Systems through Secretion of Trophic Factors Rather than Direct Incorporation and Expansion."

"It has previously been demonstrated in published preclinical studies that human ALDH(br) cells give rise directly to endothelial cells that build new blood vessels. We are excited that these animal studies add a new potential mechanism, local paracrine stimulation of endogenous stem cells, by which our products may affect vascular repair," stated Tom Amick, Chairman and CEO of Aldagen. Aldagen is currently testing two ALDH(br) cellular products, ALD-201 and ALD-301, in Phase I/II trials for the treatment of ischemic heart failure and critical limb ischemia respectively.

Liver Repair

Researchers from the University of California Davis Medical Center, Washington University School of Medicine and Robarts Research Institute presented a paper titled "Liver Engraftment by Transplanted Human Progenitor Cells with High Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity in a Novel Model, NOD/SCID/MPSVII Mice" demonstrating that human ALDH(br) cells, unlike other human adult stem cells, are able to home to damaged liver and differentiate at low frequency into cells with many of the characteristics of hepatocytes. Because of this, the authors suggest that ALDH(br) cells may have the ability to differentiate into a variety of cell types in this model. Furthermore, they postulate that ALDH(br) hematopoietic stem cells may release cytokines that potentiate liver repair in this preclinical model of acute liver damage.

"These findings may have implications in the development of stem cell therapies for the treatment of patients with acute or possibly chronic liver injury," commented Dr. Jan Nolta, Director of the Stem Cell Program, University of California Davis Medical Center and the senior author of the abstract, who has studied ALDH(br) cells extensively.

About Aldagen, Inc.

ALDAGEN is a biotechnology company advancing a pipeline of clinical-stage regenerative therapies. The Company has three product candidates in clinical development for chronic heart failure, critical limb ischemia and pediatric metabolic disorders and malignancies. ALDAGEN's therapeutics are produced by a proprietary technology platform that selects potent, adult stem and progenitor cells for therapeutic use. The platform yields a broad range of therapeutic cells that can be used rapidly, without culture or expansion. To learn more about ALDAGEN, please visit

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