SOURCE: Capricor

November 11, 2008 11:00 ET

Capricor Announces Preclinical Results

Cardiosphere-Derived Stem Cells More Effective at Treating Heart Attack Than Purified Stem Cells; Preclinical Studies Presented by Dr. Ruckdeschel Smith at the American Heart Association 2008 Scientific Sessions

NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire - November 11, 2008) - Capricor Inc. (www.capricor.com) announced today the results from preclinical studies showing that its cardiosphere-derived stem cells (CDCs), when transplanted into a well-established mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI), protect the heart significantly better against progressive degeneration following MI or heart attack than do highly purified cardiac stem cells or heart derived mesenchymal like progenitor cells.

Cardiac degeneration after a heart attack leads to progressive loss of cardiac function ending in heart failure and death. This promising study was conducted by Dr. Rachel Ruckdeschel Smith, Project Leader Regenerative Medicine, at Capricor, will be presented today at the American Heart Association's 2008 Scientific Sessions. The presentation will take place at the session entitled, Human Progenitor Cells and Myocardial and Vascular Regeneration, located in room 271-273, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

"This study confirms our previously published preclinical work that CDCs have a strong therapeutic effect when applied to animal models of heart attack," said Oliver Foellmer, President and CEO at Capricor. "Preparations for a clinical trial testing CDCs in patients with recent heart attack are already underway and we hope to file an IND with the FDA by the end of this year to investigate the beneficial impact that CDCs can have in patients."

In this preclinical study, Dr. Ruckdeschel Smith and research collaborators at Johns Hopkins Medical Center as well as the University of Rome, compared transplantation of human CDCs, highly purified human cardiac stem cells, and human heart derived mesenchymal like progenitor cells into immunodeficient mice that had induced myocardial infarcts. Many questions remain to be answered on how various stem cells act when delivered into a damaged heart. "Capricor's CDCs represent a mixed population of multiple progenitor lineages, acting synergistically to regrow heart muscle as well as cardiac vasculature," said Dr. Ruckdeschel Smith. "In contrast, purified cardiac stem cells and mesenchymal like cells from the heart, while maintaining an individual effect showed significantly less benefit than the CDCs, which contain both these progenitor populations."

About Cardiosphere-derived Stem Cells

CPI-003, Capricor's lead product candidate, is an autologous adult stem cell product for the treatment of myocardial infarction. The product contains multiple progenitor cells from the patient themselves, and is derived from a small heart muscle biopsy in an outpatient procedure. The cells are multiplied in the laboratory, and then reintroduced to the patient. This elegant autologous therapy represents the ultimate personalized medicine matching the patient both genetically and immunologically. CDCs have an excellent safety profile and clinical trials in cardiovascular indications are expected to initiate in 2009.

About Capricor Inc.

Capricor Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a leading biotechnology company that specializes in discovering, developing, and commercializing biotherapeutics for the treatment of heart diseases. Capricor's mission is to revolutionize the treatment of cardiac disease by translating novel stem cell science into therapeutics that halt and reverse the disease process for patients, their families, and society in general. Further information can be found at the company's web site at www.capricor.com.

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