Study Underway to Repair Damaged Hearts with Stem Cells

NEW YORK, NY – A revolutionary new trial brings hope to the 735,000 Americans who suffer from heart attacks each year. Lenox Hill Hospital researchers are taking part in a national trial investigating whether damaged heart tissue can be safely and effectively regenerated with the help of adult cardiac stem cells. The hospital, which is the only site in the tri-state area conducting this research, is currently recruiting participants who have sustained moderate to severe heart damage due to a heart attack within the past year.

The “ALLSTAR” (ALLogenic Heart STem Cells to Achieve Myocardial Regeneration) trial, currently in its second stage, is sponsored by Capricor Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in developing cardiac therapies. Lenox Hill is investigating whether heart-derived adult stem cells directly infused into the area affected by a heart attack can repair heart muscle that has been damaged or has died, as a result of a heart attack. The infusion contains Capricor’s proprietary off-the-shelf stem cell product, CAP-1002, that is derived from donor heart tissue.

“This groundbreaking trial could provide us with the breakthrough we have been searching for for many years. A positive outcome would be a game-changer,” said Varinder Singh, MD, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Lenox Hill and site principal investigator. “The ability to essentially heal impaired and dead cardiac tissue would improve not just the odds of survival but could significantly enhance the quality of life for heart attack survivors.”

According to the CDC, every 43 seconds, someone in the US experiences a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when a part of the heart muscle does not receive adequate blood flow. As a result, the affected cardiac tissue dies, weakening that particular area of the heart and preventing the heart muscle from pumping blood as efficiently. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart muscle. This damage may lead to congestive heart failure, a leading cause of death and disability in the US. Approximately half of all people who develop heart failure die within five years of diagnosis.

The ALLSTAR trial is being conducted at 32 medical centers across the country with Lenox Hill being one of only two locations in New York State, and the sole site within New York City and the tri-state area. 

For more information on this trial, please contact Priscilla Chu at 212-434-3362 or visit 1.usa.gov/1UvcpsQ.

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