Howard T. Walpole, Jr., MD, MBA, FACC, FSCAI is the Chief Medical Officer at Okyanos Cell Therapy.
As Okyanos’s Chief Medical Officer, I want to provide you with some of my thoughts on why I think cardiac stem cell therapy could play an important role in the future management of coronary artery disease.
As an Interventional Cardiologist over the last 26 years, I have witnessed the impact of new technologies on many forms of cardiac disease. From the formative years of coronary artery bypass surgery in the 1960s to the development of catheter-based interventions in the 1970s and 80s as well as intracoronary stents in the 1990s, cardiac physicians now have a vast array of tools to reduce the effects of coronary artery disease. These procedures were developed to reduce obstructions in the large coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart.
Advances in medications have also had a positive impact on both prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease by reducing cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and improving blood flow in the small branches of the coronary arteries.
Despite these advances, there remains a growing pool of patients who continue to suffer from the symptoms of inadequate blood flow to the heart. In many cases, these patients also suffer from worsening heart function and symptoms of congestive heart failure. Advances in cardiac stem cell therapy have now presented a new option.
Cardiac stem cell therapy is one of the most promising innovations for treating congestive heart failure to date. Stem cells, derived from a person’s own adipose (fat) tissue or from bone marrow, have been shown to afford patients relief from CAD symptoms. It is too early to tell whether they will extend patients lives but the initial evidence is promising. Although not a cure for the underlying disease, cardiac stem cell therapy can stimulate new blood flow and reduce inflammation.It could be said that stem cells act as tiny “factories” in the process of healing. Our understanding of these mechanisms has improved greatly over the past decade.
At Okyanos, our new approach to patient care using cardiac stem cell therapy will contribute to the advancement of stem cell science by establishing a patient registry to study patient outcomes and share its findings with the research community. Ultimately, we believe the findings from our data will provide useful information as to the best cell types, dosage and delivery method for individual patients.
Okyanos has invested in cutting edge medical equipment including:
- A state-of-the-art cath lab providing real-time HD imaging of the heart during the procedure.
- A European Union-approved cell processing device
- A European Union-approved injection catheter to ensure the safest possible procedure.
Based on the PRECISE trial sponsored by Cytori Therapeutics, which you can learn about here, the Okyanos cardiac stem cell therapy treatment showed significant improvement in heart function and reduced heart damage.
These are exciting times in cardiology and I am honored to be part of a pioneering team, dedicated to treating people safely and effectively so they can live better and longer lives.
If you would like to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1-855-659-2667.