NEW YORK, NY June 17, 2013 / -- IntelliCell BioSciences, Inc. ("Company") (OTC PINK: SVFC) announced today that Dr Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, MRCS (Eng) Director, Heart Transplant Program & Mechanical Circulatory Support, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Associate Professor of Surgery, Physiological Sciences & Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona College of Medicine has joined the Advisory Board.
Dr. Steven Victor, CEO of IntelliCell stated, "We are very pleased to have Dr Khalpey join our Advisory Board and help the company advance the use of its patented technology in the area of cardiac diseases. Dr Khalpey has the passion for regenerative medicine that will help propel the use of stem cells in the cardiothoracic world. We are excited to be able to work with such a brilliant cardiac surgeon and researcher. We believe that through our association with Dr. Khalpey and the UA, we will be able to help numerous cardiac and lung patients with unmet clinical needs.”
Dr Khalpey “I would rather not put you on the list for transplant, I would rather take your fat-derived stem cells, inject them into you and try to use the device as a bridge to regenerate your heart, rather than using transplanted tissue, where you have to be on immunosuppression for the rest of your life. I believe that with the use of cavitation technology to harvest the stromal vascular fraction from a lipoaspirate without chemicals and enzymes, we would be able to capture the appropriate stem cells with their micromatrix and microenvironment for use in patients with failing hearts and lungs.”
About Dr Zain Khapley according to the University of Arizona website
Born in Africa, Dr Khalpey completed his medical education in the UK and studied and worked extensively throughout Europe and the United States before deciding to pursue his organ transplantation research at the University of Arizona, the birthplace of the Total Artificial Heart.
"I think there's a rich history here, and I'm just building on the shoulders of what's already been achieved but also adding a translational angle to innovative surgical research," he said. "If I were to stand on the podium in 10 years, I'd want to be known as a translational surgeon bringing novel metabolic and cellular bench-side therapies to the clinical bedside for my transplant patients."
In addition to his clinical work at The University of Arizona Medical Center, where he recently was appointed director of the internationally renowned heart transplant program and mechanical circulatory support, Khalpey is involved in numerous research activities, focused mainly in three key areas: bridge to regeneration, organ reconditioning and organogenesis, or the creation of new organs.
The first area, bridge to regeneration, focuses on reducing the number of people who require heart transplants by improving stem cell treatments for failing hearts.
In patients requiring heart transplants, mechanical devices known as ventricular assist devices often are used to keep their failing hearts functioning while they wait for donor organs. The devices act as "a bridge to transplant." Khalpey would like to use those same devices instead as "a bridge to regeneration," as he aims to regenerate failing hearts with stem cell injections.
"I would rather not put you on the list for transplant," Khalpey said. "I would rather take your fat-derived stem cells, inject them into you and try to use the device as a bridge to regenerate your heart, rather than using transplanted tissue, where you have to be on immunosuppression for the rest of your life."
To date, clinical trials involving stem cell therapies for failing hearts have had limited success. Khalpey is involved in a series of clinical trials and studies exploring ways to improve the process. Among his efforts, he's working on transforming the cells from being pluripotent – able to differentiate into essentially any part of the body – to being multipotent – tailored to differentiate into only certain areas, such as the heart.
Khalpey's second research area, organ reconditioning, focuses on increasing the pool of donor lungs for patients requiring a lung transplant by taking donor lungs that would be thrown away and making them suitable for transplant.
He is currently developing the UA's Ex Vivo Lung Program, which will explore new ways to recondition lungs from DCD (donation after cardiac death) donors, using mechanical devices and designer drugs to manipulate the metabolism of the organs and optimize them for transplantation.
This summer, the UA will serve as a national trial site for the Expand trial, comparing the survival of DCD lungs resuscitated on a mobile ex vivo circuit versus normal lungs transplanted.
In the event that an organ can't be reconditioned, Khalpey hopes it can still be put to use in his third area of research – organogenesis, which aims to grow new organs by combining an otherwise unusable donor organ with a transplant patient's own stem cells.
The idea is that a donor heart or lung could be put into detergent and decellularized so that nothing but the organ's matrix – essentially its skeleton – remains. The organ would then be seeded with the stem cells of a patient awaiting transplant and left to grow inside a special bioreactor, developed by Khalpey and his former colleagues at Harvard and Harvard Bioscience in Boston.
"A bioreactor is like a sterile, intelligent, well-controlled and monitored incubator, where one feeds and 'cooks' this organ until it reaches a point of clinical integrity ready for implantation," Khalpey said.
Khalpey and his colleagues have already used the bioreactor to successfully grow a new pig heart and lungs and they now are experimenting with human organs. The Donor Network of Arizona has pledged all the hearts and lungs it would normally throw away to help with the research efforts. With the organs that can't be reconditioned, Khalpey plans to create a "biofarm" of frozen organ cytoskeletons for use in future organogenesis research.
Khalpley also serves as director of the department of surgery's CAPTURED Biobank. His goal is to create a bank of cardiac and thoracic tissue with a stem cell directory that could be used by medical researchers worldwide. Human stem cells would be harvested during operations, with patient consent, for future use in tissue engineered heart valves, lungs and other organs.
Finally, Khalpey also is looking at the long-range possibility of creating transplantable human hearts and lungs using a 3-D bioprinter.
Three-dimensional printing, which produces three-dimensional solid objects from digital models, has been used to create things such as architectural models, jewelry and dental crowns. Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has used the technology to engineer a lab-grown human bladder that was successfully transplanted into a patient in 2007.
Khalpey envisions doing the same thing with hearts and lungs, seeding a printed collagen or elastic organ structure with human stem cells and putting it into the bioreactor to develop.
Ultimately, Khalpey hopes his research will lead to new options for people who aren't now getting the transplants they need.
"The biggest problems right now for heart and lung transplantation are bridging the shortage of organs in the pediatric and adult arenas, increasing the donor pool and reconditioning or re-transplanting organs that have worn out due to chronic rejection," he said.
"I need to not just reform transplantation, I need to revolutionize it."
About IntelliCell BioSciences
IntelliCell BioSciences is a Regenerative Medicine company developing novel technologies that address the regenerative, curative and preventative conditions of disease states with high unmet clinical needs. The Company has several patent-pending applications and one published patent for an industry unique method of obtaining autologous stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells from the vasculature surrounding adipose tissue containing adult stem cells and a robust population of regenerative healing cells. The Company is also pioneering the development of autologous and allogeneic cells from living and non-living tissue donors for research purposes. IntelliCell is planning a series of in-human clinical studies with top tier universities for the treatment of osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, lower limb ischemic wounds, cardiac diseases and gum regeneration in the oral cavity as well as medical aesthetics. The Company has developed a first in class cGTP cellular processing facility in New York City, purpose built and designed to be fully integrated into an ambulatory surgery center. This processing lab will also be incorporated into select operating rooms and hospitals.
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IntelliCell BioSciences, Inc.
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