A Medical Device Daily

Cytori Therapeutics (San Diego) said it was awarded a $250,000 NIH grant to develop fat-derived regenerative cells as a treatment for vascular disease.

Regenerative cells within fat tissue include adult stem cells and other cell types that have been shown to increase blood flow in and around damaged and oxygen-deprived tissues, according to Cytori. As a result, these cells hold potential for the treatment of vascular conditions such as peripheral arterial disease, atherosclerosis, and critical limb ischemia, the company noted.

"This grant allows Cytori to expand the number of therapeutic applications for adipose-derived regenerative cells," said Marc Hedrick, MD, president of Cytori. "Due to the shared mechanism of these cells in vascular and heart disease, this research will complement and provide valuable insight into our clinical-stage development of treatments for cardiovascular disease."

The grant work will study fat-derived regenerative cells in preclinical vascular disease models. This will involve looking into which cells within fat tissue are optimal for remodeling and promoting growth of both small and larger blood vessels. In addition, the research will explore the capacity of fat-derived regenerative cells in patients with a history of smoking, hypertension, and diabetes.

"We look forward to this grant building on the success of our earlier NIH grant," said John Fraser, principal scientist for Cytori. "That research led to the clinical trials we are now performing in cardiovascular disease. Successful completion of the new grant may potentially qualify us for additional funding at a higher level that we believe will lead to similar clinical opportunities in other disease states."

Cytori develops regenerative medicine products.

In contracts news:

• Cepheid (Sunnyvale, California) said it has received two Veterans Affairs Federal Supply Service Schedule (VA/FSS) contracts for its GeneXpert System and the Xpert MRSA test for the rapid detection of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The two contracts, VA/FSS 65 VII and GSA 66, respectively cover the purchase of Xpert MRSA tests and GeneXpert systems. The contracts are expected to streamline the acquisition process and ensure VA hospitals and other federal agencies can buy GeneXpert systems and Xpert MRSA test kits without individual negotiations as they wait for funding for the next fiscal year, according to Cepheid.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), in January, issued a directive requiring all VHA facilities to implement MRSA surveillance programs of all patients. While this directive does not mandate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, it advises molecular-based testing wherever feasible, the company said.

Cepheid also noted that the Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN) 12, known as Great Lakes Health Care System, plans to screen every patient admitted to and discharged from intensive care units and projects to complete about 40,000 Xpert MRSA tests a year. VISN 12 provides healthcare services to 1.1 million veterans in Illinois, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana.

According to the company, the GeneXpert system is designed to produce accurate results in a timely manner with minimal risk of contamination. Three clinical diagnostics for the GeneXpert system have received FDA clearance for marketing in the U.S. including Xpert MRSA for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Xpert EV for enteroviral meningitis, and Xpert GBS for Group B Streptococcus.

Cepheid makes fully integrated systems for genetic analysis in the clinical, industrial and biothreat markets.

No Comments