IMRE Corp. received encouraging data about a potential use of itsProsorba column in treating heart transplant rejection, but isn'tplanning to develop the device in that indication at this time, theSeattle company said Wednesday.
A study in three patients conducted at two institutions in Dallasdemonstrated the column's effectiveness in acute vascular rejection.Results appear in the Surgical Issue of the journal Circulation,mailed Wednesday.
The Prosorba column reversed acute vascular rejection in all threepatients by removing antibodies that cause rejection of the heart,according to the publication. Two of the patients were alive morethan two years after the treatment; the third died two months aftertreatment due to an unrelated infection.
"It's beneficial to know it can be useful in other organ transplantareas," Lois Yoshida, IMRE vice president and chief administrativeofficer, told BioWorld. "The Prosorba column treats the immunesystem, not a specific disease. We believe there is broad applicationfor this technology."
The column already is being marketed for immunethrombocytopenic purpura, an immune bleeding disorder. It is beingtested in an initial-effectiveness study on 15 rheumatoid arthritispatients. And IMRE has investigational device exemptions from theFDA in kidney transplantation, lupus and multiple sclerosis, Yoshidasaid.
She said IMRE has enough money to take it into the first quarter of1995, so it won't start any new trials until it raises money. Yoshidasaid the company is "exploring various funding opportunities," andwould begin a kidney transplant trial before going any further inheart transplants.
IMRE's stock closed Wednesday at $2.25 per share, up 19 cents. _Jim Shrine
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