Cytori’s stem cell therapy wins government research contract for treatment of burns

Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX), a biotechnology company…won a $4.7 million U.S. government contract to develop a stem cell therapy to treat burns caused by thermal or radioactive bombs…

“We’re seeing a lot of momentum,” Chief Executive Officer Christopher Calhoun said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “This contract is one more major thing that we are delivering on, and there is more to come…”

Cytori’s experimental therapy takes adipose tissue, or body fat, from a patient and through its device separates the adult stem and regenerative cells before transferring them to a burn wound. Money from the contract will be used to develop the device and take it through the U.S. regulatory approval process with the Food and Drug Administration, Calhoun said.

“These cells help to facilitate the healing of the injury,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this week. “They release growth factors that stimulate new blood flow.”

Testing the technology in a clinical trial and getting approval may take five years, Calhoun said. The company is currently testing its therapy for other soft tissue damage, as well as cardiovascular disease.

Once approved, the device will be deployed in hospitals across the country, and can be used for routine burns as well as a treatment for patients in wake of a “mass casualty event” that could injure 10,000 people…

If I understood the discussion with Calhoun on Bloomberg TV, similar governmental research for approval moved ahead in the EU almost 2 years ago. And, of course, government agencies here can nudge the FDA to get off their rusty dusty by starting their own trials of new techniques fighting illness and injury.

I watched the interview with Calhoun and was impressed. The science appears sound, contributing more to knowledge of the critical role stem cell research can play in cures for any number of ailments. Too bad we lost as much time as we did because of objections from the anti-science crowd led by religious fundamentalists. Absurd in a nation supposedly honoring separation of church and state.

Of course, that’s part of the ongoing struggle to defend freedoms won decades ago – on choice, civil rights, voting rights. Most Americans have hearts that are left of center on political and social questions. But, they don’t hurl their money or noise around like the right-wing does.

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