Despite current therapies, heart failure continues to be the leading cause of hospitalization and death in the United States and worldwide. People who are diagnosed face living with the grave statistic that nearly half of all patients will die within five years of the disease’s onset. This is a worse outcome than most forms of cancers. Conventional therapies to prevent and treat heart failure are inadequate as up to 40% of patients either respond poorly or do not respond at all to these treatments. Furthermore, the heart failure epidemic gets worse every year. Globally, there are numerous early- and mature-stage companies developing stem cells to remuscularize cardiac scar, which is the hallmark pathology in chronic heart failure. Remuscularizing scarred myocardium is widely considered to be the “holy grail” of heart failure therapy.
A well-known and extremely vexing problem for cardiac stem cell delivery is very low cell retention in the heart tissue. This is due to the rapid egress of cells from the beating heart via veins and lymphatics, immediately following their injection. Our solution, CFX™ Tandem, which is another application-specific formulation of CFX™, binds to all cells (including host cells) with high affinity like a sticky, but also therapeutically bioactive, glue. We have observed that co-injecting CFX™ Tandem with several stem cell types significantly enhances cell retention in the heart. CFX™ Tandem’s ability to modify macrophages into a pro-repair state likely changes the hostile, inflammatory tissue micro-environment into a healthier micro-environment for the stem cells to flourish and engraft.