Bioheart Announces Cell Therapies Program in the Middle East
Bioheart, Inc., announced plans for establishing two Centers of Excellence in the Middle East to provide its cell therapy procedures to patients suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) according to Dr. Karl E. Groth, Chairman and CEO. He and Peggy A. Farley, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, are now in that region holding discussions and performing site inspections.
Dr. Groth commented: "We feel that the Middle East region is a splendid second site for our Centers of Excellence. There is easy access to both of the sites that we are considering, Jordan and Turkey, from other countries in the Middle East as well as from Europe and South Asia."
In light of site selection, Dr. Groth said: "Increasing economic wealth in the Middle East and North Africa has been accompanied by urbanization. Cardiovascular disease, a corollary to urban life, has been increasing rapidly and is now the region's leading cause of death, accounting for 25 to 45 percent of total deaths.
Over the past few decades, daily per capita fat consumption has increased in most countries in the region, ranging from a 13.6 percent increase in the Sudan to a 143.3 percent increase in Saudi Arabia.
Ischemic heart disease is the predominant cause of cardiovascular disease, with about three ischemic heart disease deaths for every stroke death. Also more prevalent in the Middle East than in the rest of the world, rheumatic heart disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality, but the number of hospitalisations related to this problem is declining rapidly. Cell technologies have not been used for treatment of rheumatic heart disease, but one can reason that they would be effective."
The company has commenced work in Jordan on its REGEN trial, a Phase I Clinical Trial to test genetically modified MyoCell® in patients suffering from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). The first patient is expected to receive treatment in July.
Peggy Farley added: "The facilities and physicians in Jordan and Turkey are comparable to the best facilities and physicians in the United States. Once we introduce Bioheart's therapies into the Centers, patients with cardiac issues and limb ischemia will be able to access treatments that we have seen resolve those problems."
Mentioning Bioheart's future plans, she went on to add: "Bioheart has plans for establishing a cell manufacturing facility in Jordan as well. Once there are a sufficient number of cases that are treated at our Middle East Centers of Excellence, it makes sense to have a second manufacturing site. Jordan's capabilities in laboratory medicine and its research into gene and cell solutions for medical problems are superb—superior to most in the world."
Bioheart entered into its first Center of Excellence agreement with a leading treatment facilitator, Regenerative Medicine Institute of Tijuana, Mexico. Therapies for CHF and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) patients have been made available at the Hospital Angeles Tijuana, a fully equipped state-of–the-art private specialties hospital.
Commenting further, Dr. Groth concluded: "Bioheart's mission is to see cardiovascular disease treated such that its victims can return to normal lives. Effective treatment with our therapies should not be confined to any geographic area of the world. These are global problems and there should be global solutions."
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