Healthcare Industry News: Geron
News Release - October 17, 2011
Spinal Cord Injury Medical Leader Dr. Edward Wirth Joins InVivo Therapeutics as Chief Science OfficerMoves from Geron Corporation to Lead Human Studies in Biomaterial Scaffold for Acute Spinal Cord Injury
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- Ushering in a new era in the treatment of spinal cord injuries (SCI), InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. (OTC/BB:NVIV.ob ), announced today that world-renowned spinal cord injury (SCI) researcher Edward Wirth, M.D., Ph.D., will join InVivo as its Chief Science Officer (CSO) effective December 5, 2011.
As CSO, Dr. Wirth will lead InVivo’s first human clinical study for acute SCI using the Company’s proprietary scaffold without drugs or cells. With the 10-patient pilot study awaiting FDA approval to begin in early 2012, InVivo’s treatment represents a promising new hope for SCI patients.
“I’ve been impressed with the cutting-edge work and laboratory data developed by the InVivo team, and I firmly believe the use of InVivo’s platform of implantable biopolymer scaffold technologies is the future of SCI treatment,” Dr. Wirth said. “I am honored to join a group of world renowned scientists including 2008 Millennium Laureate Bob Langer and 1993 Nobel Laureate Sir Richard Roberts. I am focused on lending my expertise toward further development of this revolutionary technology. It has already shown outstanding promise in the lab, and in my opinion has enormous clinical potential.”
Dr. Wirth led the world’s first human embryonic stem cell clinical trial as Medical Director for Regenerative Medicine at Geron Corporation. He is one of the world’s foremost experts in SCI and regenerative medicine. Dr. Wirth has dedicated the last 20 years of his life to studying the crucial role that cell therapies may play in helping patients with devastating and irreversible SCIs.
Said InVivo Chief Executive Officer Frank Reynolds, “We believe Dr. Wirth’s confidence in our biomaterials for the treatment of SCI represents a shift in how spinal cord injuries will be treated going forward. Whether providing neuroprotection or supporting cells for regeneration, we believe that biomaterials will be at the forefront of the first effective treatments for the spinal cord.”
“Our research has consistently shown that in order to fully deliver on the promise of tissue regeneration, stem cells must have the structural support of biomaterials,” said InVivo Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Slotkin, M.D., clinical neurosurgeon and expert in complex spinal surgery. “Dr. Wirth joining our team is continued validation of this technology and paradigm shift. His valuable expertise will enable us to move quickly in bringing to market the next generation of SCI treatment technologies.”
Prior to his work with Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN ), Dr. Wirth held appointments at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and at the University of Chicago. From 1997 to 2002, Dr. Wirth led the team at the University of Florida that performed the first human embryonic spinal cord tissue transplants in the U.S., demonstrating the feasibility and safety of implanting embryonic spinal cord cells into patients. Dr. Wirth received a Ph.D. in neuroscience and an M.D. from the University of Florida, and earned a B.A. in physics from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.
For more information about InVivo Therapeutics’ technologies, visit www.invivotherapeutics.com.
About InVivo Therapeutics
InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. is focused on utilizing polymers as a platform technology to develop treatments to improve function in individuals paralyzed as a result of traumatic spinal cord injury. The company was founded in 2005 on the basis of proprietary technology co-invented by Robert Langer, ScD. Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Joseph P. Vacanti, M.D., who is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2011, the company earned the prestigious David S. Apple Award from the American Spinal Injury Association for its outstanding contribution to spinal cord injury medicine. The publicly traded company is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more details, visit www.invivotherapeutics.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s ability to sell additional shares of common stock and warrants to purchase common stock at additional closings, the Company’s ability to develop, market and sell products based on its technology; the expected benefits and efficacy of the Company’s products and technology in connection with spinal cord injuries; the availability of substantial additional funding for the Company to continue its operations and to conduct research and development, clinical studies and future product commercialization; and, the Company’s business, research, product development, regulatory approval, marketing and distribution plans and strategies. These and other factors are identified and described in more detail in our filings with the SEC, including our Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs and our current reports on Form 8-K. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements made by us.
Source: InVivo Therapeutics
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