Brennan Coulter
Aug 2, 2012

Lost love? Broken heart? Fix it with stem cells!

Jokes aside, new research has finally uncovered a drug that can generate unlimited numbers of new heart cells from stem cells. Called ITD-1, the new compound is a major medical breakthrough of massive importance because "heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country... [and] we can't replace lost cardiac muscle.” says Mark Mercola, Ph.D., director of Sanford-Burnham's Muscle Development and Regeneration Program and senior author of the study. “[Traditionally] the only way to effectively replace lost heart muscle cells—called cardiomyocytes—is to transplant the entire heart. Using a drug to create new heart muscle from stem cells would be far more appealing than heart transplantation." Unfortunately 15 years of work haven’t been enough to make ITD-1 ready to to treat patients yet. However, three of the project’s leads have begun work with San Diego biotech company ChemRegen, Inc. to refine ITD-1 for commercial use; hopefully this heart-mending-drug isn’t far off.

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