Cell-based therapies for cardiac repair: a meeting report on scientific observations and European regulatory viewpoints

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In the past decade, novel cell-based products have been studied in patients with acute and chronic cardiac disease to assess whether these therapies are efficacious in improving heart function and preventing the development of end-stage heart failure. Cardiac indications studied include acute myocardial infarction (AMI), refractory angina, and chronic heart failure (CHF). Increased clinical activity, experience, and multiple challenges faced by developers have been recognized at the regulatory level. In May 2014, the Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT) discussed in an expert meeting various cell-based medicinal products developed for cardiac repair, with a focus on non-manipulated bone marrow cells, sorted bone marrow or apheresis, and expanded cells, applied to patients with AMI or CHF. The intention was to share information, both scientific and regulatory, and to examine the challenges and opportunities in this field. These aspects were considered from the quality, and non-clinical and clinical perspectives, including current imaging techniques, with a focus on AMI and CHF. The scope of this overview is to present the European regulatory viewpoint on cell-based therapies for cardiac repair in the context of scientific observations.

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