HOLLISTON, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:HART), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing regenerated organs for transplant, initially focused on the trachea, announces that a research team led by Paolo Macchiarini, MD, PhD at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has successfully transplanted a regenerated esophagus into a rat using a bioreactor developed by HART. Dr. Macchiarini has previously overseen several successful regenerated trachea transplants in human patients using a bioreactor developed by HART.
The research detailing the new procedure, “Experimental orthotopic transplantation of a tissue engineered oesophagus in rats,” was published today in Nature Communications and is available to read at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4562.
This research will also be presented at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Annual Meeting 2014 to be held April 26-30 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada.
David Green, CEO of Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, said, “We congratulate Professor Macchiarini and his research team for this breakthrough in the development of a regenerated esophagus for transplant. We are honored to have been able to support this work by adapting our trachea regeneration bioreactor specifically for the regeneration of the esophagus. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Professor Macchiarini in developing this technology with the goal of performing the first human transplant of a regenerated esophagus.”
Despite several attempts, it has been proven difficult to grow tissue to replace a damaged esophagus. In this new study, the researchers created the bioengineered organs by using esophagi from rats and removing all the cells. With the cells gone, a scaffold remains in which the structure as well as mechanical and chemical properties of the organ are preserved. The produced scaffolds were then reseeded with cells from the bone marrow. The cells adhered to the biological scaffold and started to show organ-specific characteristics within three weeks.
The cultured tissues were used to replace segments of the esophagus in rats. All rats survived and after two weeks the researchers found indications of the major components in the regenerated graft: epithelium, muscle cells, blood vessels and nerves.
“We believe that these very promising findings represent major advances toward the clinical translation of tissue engineered esophagi,” said Dr. Macchiarini.
About Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology
Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology makes regenerated organs for transplant. Our first product, the HART-Trachea, is intended to replace or repair a trachea that has been severely damaged by either trachea cancer or physical trauma. Our technology has been used in eight human trachea transplants to date approved under compassionate use exemptions, but none of our products are yet approved by a government regulatory authority for marketing. On November 1, 2013, HART was spun-off from Harvard Bioscience. The trademark “Harvard Apparatus” is used under a sublicense agreement with Harvard Bioscience, who has licensed the right to use such trademark from Harvard University.
Some of the statements in this press release are "forward-looking" and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These "forward-looking" statements include statements relating to, among other things, the planned commercialization efforts and marketing approvals of HART’s products as well as the success thereof and the availability of a market for the HART securities. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, including among other things, market conditions that may cause results to differ materially from the statements set forth in this press release. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to such statements to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any changes in the events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.