Cardiopoietic cell therapy for advanced ischaemic heart failure: results at 39 weeks of the prospective, randomized, double blind, sham-controlled CHART-1 clinical trial

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Cardiopoietic cells, produced through cardiogenic conditioning of patients’ mesenchymal stem cells, have shown preliminary efficacy. The Congestive Heart Failure Cardiopoietic Regenerative Therapy (CHART-1) trial aimed to validate cardiopoiesis-based biotherapy in a larger heart failure cohort.

Methods and results

This multinational, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study was conducted in 39 hospitals. Patients with symptomatic ischaemic heart failure on guideline-directed therapy (n = 484) were screened; n = 348 underwent bone marrow harvest and mesenchymal stem cell expansion. Those achieving > 24 million mesenchymal stem cells (n = 315) were randomized to cardiopoietic cells delivered endomyocardially with a retention-enhanced catheter (n = 157) or sham procedure (n = 158). Procedures were performed as randomized in 271 patients (n = 120 cardiopoietic cells, n = 151 sham). The primary efficacy endpoint was a Finkelstein–Schoenfeld hierarchical composite (all-cause mortality, worsening heart failure, Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire score, 6-min walk distance, left ventricular end-systolic volume, and ejection fraction) at 39 weeks. The primary outcome was neutral (Mann–Whitney estimator 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.47–0.61 [value > 0.5 favours cell treatment], P = 0.27). Exploratory analyses suggested a benefit of cell treatment on the primary composite in patients with baseline left ventricular end-diastolic volume 200–370 mL (60% of patients) (Mann–Whitney estimator 0.61, 95% CI 0.52–0.70, P = 0.015). No difference was observed in serious adverse events. One (0.9%) cardiopoietic cell patient and 9 (5.4%) sham patients experienced aborted or sudden cardiac death.


The primary endpoint was neutral, with safety demonstrated across the cohort. Further evaluation of cardiopoietic cell therapy in patients with elevated end-diastolic volume is warranted.

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