Regenerative Medicine Research is Foundation Toward Cell Therapy to Help Stress Urinary Incontinence
The technology developed by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Johnny Huard, PhD, professor in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, and Pathology, director of the Stem Cell Research Center, and the Henry J. Mankin Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery Research, involving the use of autologous muscle-derived cells for treating stress urinary incontinence and other diseases has been the focus of his research since the early 1990’s. With a series of Seed Grants from the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative for research projects between 1997 and 2001 and under a license agreement with the University of Pittsburgh, Cook MyoSite, Inc. was founded by Dr. Huard and Michael Chancellor, MD. In 2006, Pittsburgh-based Cook MyoSite began physician-independent new drug trials for an application to treat stress urinary incontinence. Today, Dr. Huard’s discoveries with muscle-derived cells are helping participants with stress urinary incontinence in clinical trials being conducted in Canada.
As reported by Mark Roth, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Deborah Bishop, 54, is “90 percent” normal on her urinary leakage, she said — all because of an injection of her own stem cells that she received 3 years ago.
The cells, known officially as autologous muscle-derived cells, were taken out of her thigh, multiplied several times over in the lab, and then injected into the muscles around her urethra, the opening at the neck of the bladder.
The idea is that the stem cells will create new cells that will strengthen the muscles that control urination. Even though the initial trials were focused on testing the safety of the procedure, 60 to 70 percent of the women have shown a significant decrease in their urinary leakage, said Ryan Pruchnic, Cook MyoSite’s director of operations.
The latest trials with the stem cells are the first to enroll women who will either get real stem cells or placebo injections. Cook MyoSite hopes to have solid results and be able to bring the procedure to market by 2015, Mr. Pruchnic said.