HOLLISTON, Mass., Nov. 29, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:HBIO), a global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of tools to advance life science research and regenerative medicine, announces that its "InBreath" bioreactor was used for the world's second successful transplantation of a synthetic tissue-engineered windpipe at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. The patient, Mr. Christopher Lyles, is making a good recovery. This transplant follows the world's first synthetic trachea transplant in June 2011, for Mr. Andemariam Beyene, which was reported in a peer- reviewed article in The Lancet on November 24, 2011 at http://www.thelancet.com/. The tracheas in both procedures were grown in Harvard Bioscience's bioreactors that were produced in its regenerative medicine device business.
Mr. Lyles, a 30-year old U.S. citizen, had been suffering from late-stage tracheal cancer that would have been inoperable before this transplantation surgery became possible. He is recovering well, is not taking immunosuppressive drugs and is expected to be discharged from the hospital within a month. To view a news segment on Mr. Lyles prior to his trip to Sweden and learn about his story, visit: http://www.wbaltv.com/r/29778764/detail.html . To see pictures of the procedure that was used for Mr. Lyles' transplant, visit: http://www.digitalbucket.net/browse/d399e20e41851bf7/Lyles%2520Transplant%2520Static%2520Images and to view a short video of the procedure visit: http://vimeo.com/32527358 . The password in both cases is stockholm11. Mr. Lyles progress can be followed at: www.facebook.com/regeneratelife.
The operation was performed on November 17, 2011 at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, by Professor Paolo Macchiarini of Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, and colleagues. Professor Macchiarini led an international team including Nanofiber Solutions of Columbus, Ohio, who designed and built the nanofiber tracheal scaffold, and Harvard Bioscience, who produced a specifically designed bioreactor used to seed the scaffold with the patient's own stem cells. The cells were grown on the scaffold inside the bioreactor for two days before transplantation into the patient. Because the cells used to regenerate the trachea were the patient's own, there has been no rejection of the transplant, and the patient is not taking immunosuppressive drugs.
David Green, President of Harvard Bioscience, commented: "We would like to congratulate Dr. Macchiarini and his team for successfully completing the world's second synthetic trachea transplant. This proves that the procedure is not a 'one off' but can be repeated. This is a significant achievement for regenerative medicine, and we are honored to participate with the use of our 'InBreath' bioreactor. It is important to note that although this is the second successful trachea transplant, it is the first procedure on a U.S. patient and with a U.S.-made scaffold. This was made possible thanks to our collaboration with Nanofiber Solutions. With the success of these procedures, it is rewarding to see science fiction turned into medical reality, and we look forward to further progress in regenerative medicine."
Ross Kayuha, CEO of Nanofiber Solutions, commented: "We wish to congratulate Dr. Macchiarini and his surgical team. It is an honor to contribute to this life-saving procedure, and we wish Mr. Lyles good health and a long life. Successfully implanting a synthetic trachea using a patient's own stem cells is a significant milestone for regenerative medicine, and we look forward to participating in the space through our collaboration with Harvard Bioscience."
Harvard Bioscience Regenerative Medicine Strategy:
Harvard Bioscience's strategy in regenerative medicine is: to create devices, not discover pharmaceuticals, as this reduces risk compared to a therapeutics company; to build these devices using its existing technologies and brands, as this reduces the investment needed to get to market; and to develop devices with a significant disposable revenue stream, as this is both clinically desirable and allows Harvard Bioscience to participate on a per-procedure basis and not just on the sale of an instrument. The company estimates that the nascent market for regenerative medicine devices could potentially grow to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.