Healthcare Industry News:  cell therapy 

Regenerative Medicine Cardiology Venture Capital

 News Release - December 17, 2010

Cardiac Stem-Cell Pioneer Capricor Raises nearly $2 Million from Broadview Ventures, Private Investors

Funds to Advance Clinical Development of New Stem Cell Treatments for Heart Patients

LOS ANGELES--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- Capricor, Inc. today announced its most recent capital infusion of nearly $2 million from Broadview Ventures and private individual investors. The funds will be used toward the development of U.S. clinical trials for cardiac therapies based on Capricor’s proprietary mix of stem cells derived from cardiac tissue, which aim to regenerate damaged areas of the heart and improve heart function.

Broadview Venture’s investment follows previous funding of Capricor by government grants and private investors, and represents an important milestone for the biotechnology company and its promising cardiac stem cell therapies. Capricor intends to begin clinical trials at sites throughout the U.S. in early 2011.

"We are thrilled that Broadview Ventures recognizes our vision and potential," said Linda Marbán, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO, Capricor. “Broadview sees the value of our proprietary mix of cardiac-derived stem cells – cells that are naturally destined to become heart cells that can help restore cardiac function. We look forward to beginning clinical trials to measure the effectiveness of our therapies in improving quality of life for people living with heart disease.”

Christopher H. Colecchi of Broadview Ventures, added, "We see great promise in Capricor’s stem cell therapies in development. Capricor’s scientific approach is a unique path to regeneration. Unlike other approaches using stem cells from tissues other than the heart, these cells don’t need to be taught to function in cardiac tissue; they already know their role. To us, that’s exciting and represents a high-potential investment.”

Capricor’s restorative mixture represents a family of heart-derived stem cells that provide mutual support and structure for each other, working better than any stem cells individually. This is similar to the constitution of normal heart tissue, as it represents a variety of distinct but related cells that are genetically programmed to work in concert with each other. Together with the sourcing of cells from cardiac tissue, this concept underlies the patented Capricor approach, with vast implications for creating a dramatically different paradigm in heart disease treatment in the U.S. and around the world.

“In our view, Capricor’s investment appeal lies in its strong and growing IP portfolio that can lead to a robust pipeline of cardiac stem cell therapies. Also, Capricor’s structure allows it to maintain minimal infrastructure and a low burn rate,” added MartÍn Landaluce, Financial Director of Fondation Leducq and Fondation Leducq representative to Broadview Ventures.

Capricor’s team of world-renowned cardiac stem cell researchers and advisory board members, including founder Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., are recognized for their scientific accomplishments. The team conducted pre-clinical research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Rome, demonstrating the effectiveness of Capricor’s experimental biological stem cell heart therapy in animal models. This research was published in various peer-reviewed journals. Today, Capricor has a research partnership in Los Angeles with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

“Defying conventions, our team is creating bold, new approaches to stem cell therapy for the heart,” noted Capricor CEO Linda Marbán. “Our proprietary cardiac stem cell mixture is an example of an ingenious and elegant avenue to leverage pre-destined heart cells for improved regeneration.”

About Capricor

Los Angeles-based Capricor is a biotechnology company that aims to create powerful, yet easy-to-administer cardiac stem cell treatments to regenerate the heart and improve its function. Its products strive to bring improved quality of life to the millions of people suffering from heart disease. Capricor is the only stem cell company working to develop and commercialize cardiac stem cell therapies that are based on Cardiospheres™, its proprietary mixture of cells from the heart itself. Where most other organizations derive stem cells from a range of pre-cursor and non-cardiac tissues and then attempt to differentiate those cells to become and support heart tissue, Capricor’s work begins and ends with the heart. By leveraging its research partnerships with esteemed institutions such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Johns Hopkins, the company is on a path to beginning Phase II/III clinical trials for its lead candidate in early 2011.

For more information, visit Capricor.com.

About Broadview Ventures

Broadview Ventures, Inc., conceived by the Leducq Family Trust in 2008, is dedicated to accelerating the development of promising technology in cardiovascular and neurovascular disease through targeted investment in and support of early-stage technology ventures. Broadview will achieve its objectives through investments, licensing agreements and consortium funding arrangements, as well as professional, management and consulting support.

By making funding available at a critical moment in the development of new technology, the Leducq Family Trust joins other leaders in venture philanthropy in seeking creative ways to support translational research, in order to bring the advancements of science to the care of patients.

For more information, visit Broadviewventures.org.


Source: Capricor

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