Thursday, December 15, 2011
Midwest's First Liver Cell Transplant for Baby with Life-Threatening Urea Cycle Disorder Performed
For the first time in the Midwest, a baby with urea cycle disorder (UCD) has received an investigational liver cell therapy as part of a clinical trial sponsored by international biotechnology firm Cytonet. The liver cell transplantation performed at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago is the second of its kind in the United States.
UCDs are congenital and often life-threatening disorders of ammonia metabolism in the liver. Neurotoxic ammonia accumulates in the body and may lead – depending on the severity of the disease – to massive damage of the nerves and the brain and can be fatal. Children who remain untreated rarely experience normal physical and mental development. The only cure is liver transplantation, which can be an extremely difficult procedure for very young children and neonatal patients. Additionally, there is a shortage of suitable organs available for transplantation.
The clinical trial that will enroll 20 patients across 14 centers in the U.S. and Canada was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010, following an analysis of interim results of an ongoing trial in Germany involving newborns with UCD.
"We hope to improve the landscape of UCD treatment and are committed to continuing to identify patients who might benefit from this kind of therapy," says Dr. Wolfgang Rudinger, CEO and CSO of Cytonet. "A challenge is enrolling patients since UCD only affects about 400 babies born in the United States each year and diagnosis poses several challenges."
Read more: http://pr-canada.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=486653&Itemid=55