“We’re talking about the number one cause of death in the world [for humans],” said study author Dr. Charles Murry, director of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM) at the University of Washington. And at the moment all of our treatments are … dancing around the root problem, which is that you don’t have enough muscle cells.”
After inducing heart attacks in macaques, the percent of blood their hearts pumped out with each beat dropped from roughly 70%, which is normal, to a weaker 40%. One month later, five monkeys who received human embryonic stem cells recouped 10.6 percentage points on average, versus only 2.5 in the control group. The paper titled, “Human embryonic stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes restore function in infarcted hearts of non-human primates” was published in Nature Biotechnology. Authors include WaNPRC’s Keith Vogel, Cliff Astley, Audrey Baldessari, and Jason Ogle. Learn more at CNN and GeekWire.