Cytograft Tissue Engineering, Inc. (CTE)
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Latest From Cytograft Tissue Engineering, Inc. (CTE)
Bacterial cellulose used in the pulp and paper industry has found a new home in the creation of artificial blood vessels for cardiovascular repair. The synthetic material from Sweden's Arterion AB is noteworthy because it appears to function well in small-diameter bypass surgery. The replacement vascular graft also avoids the drawbacks of harvesting veins from the legs and arms. The company believes it can tailor the material to nearly any shape or mechanical property.
The once high-flying spine market has been brought down to earth recently as industrywide pressures from regulatory approval to payor reimbursement have altered the outlook on profits. These changes can be especially hard on specialized areas of the market such as the scoliosis field, where a great deal of innovation is still in the research stages at universities and start-up companies.
If there's one word that ought to sum up the goal of cell therapy today, it's sustainability. Certainly that's the hope of using living cells to restore health and function to diseased tissues so that they perform as the body intended them to. But more to the point, in today's tough financing environment for venture-capital-backed start-ups, sustainability is the watchword for companies facing 15- to 20-year development curves. Tissue-engineered three-dimensional organs are complex, decades-long projects. Embryonic stem cells are much simpler in concept but are far from a commercial reality. Between those two extremes of tissue-engineering, however, there exist some well-defined opportunities, notably in the treatment of blood vessel disease. Start-ups Pervasis and Cytograft are gaining clinical validation in those areas.
The Fifth International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease is one of the largest medical meetings focused solely on cell-based therapies for cardiac repair and regeneration. While the primary focus during this year's meeting was on cardiac repair, vascular restoration and construction, critical limb ischemia, and noncardiac applications were also presented. Despite a difficult investment environment, optimism remains high with some therapies undergoing approval assessment.