Harnessing the power of living cells as a new therapeutic modality

Cell therapies are treatments where living cells are implanted into a patient in order to achieve a medical benefit. Cell therapy is a promising, rapidly advancing field with the potential to transform medicine across disease areas with significant therapeutic need.  

One potential application we are investigating is in heart failure, where the damage to heart muscle tissue caused by a heart attack is, at present, irreversible. In our early preclinical research, damaged heart tissue is injected with cardiac progenitor cells derived from pluripotent stem cells. These stem cells continue to differentiate and form new heart muscle cells, replacing the damaged heart tissue with healthy tissue. This therapeutic approach may have the potential to restore cardiac function and improve symptoms and overall survival in patients with heart failure. This research is part of a collaboration with Procella Therapeutics and is leveraging the stem cell technology developed at the Karolinska Institute.1

Our approach to cell therapy is also supported by ongoing research into other new modalities such as modified mRNA to stimulate tissue regeneration and repair in the heart, kidney and other organs.

By harnessing cell therapy, our aim is to develop the next wave of medicines that can halt or reverse the damage caused by some of the most complex diseases.

Johan Hyllner Head of Cell Therapy, BioPharmaceuticals R&D


1. Foo KS, Lehtinen ML, Leung CY et al. Human ISL1+ Ventricular Progenitors Self-Assemble into an In Vivo Functional Heart Patch and Preserve Cardiac Function Post Infarction. Mol Ther. 2018. 5;26(7):1644-1659.

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