In patients who have suffered from a heart attack, a large portion of heart cells die, which may cause heart failure and significant mortality and morbidity. The aim of the collaboration with the global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is to develop new ways of regenerating parts of the heart muscle that have been damaged by a heart attack, using Procella Therapeutics’ stem cell technology, as well as novel catheter injection methods, using Smartwise’s Extroducer catheter.

The Extroducer catheter was developed at the Karolinska Institutet for potential uses in cancer treatment and tissue repair in various organs and was subsequently coated with Bactiguard technology. Both Procella and Smartwise are SWIB Holding (SWIBCo) subsidiaries.

“We are excited about how this convergence of expertise from AstraZeneca and SWIBCo will help drive an innovative regenerative approach that addresses a critical unmet need in treating cardiovascular disease and, at the same time, supports specialist life sciences innovation in the Nordic region,” said Regina Fritsche-Danielson, Vice President, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism at AstraZeneca’s IMED Biotech Unit.

“This collaboration has the potential to pioneer the treatment of heart failure. By combining the global excellence of AstraZeneca in novel cardiac regenerative medicine therapy with our scientific expertise, we aim to make this unique therapy accessible to patients around the world,” said Jonathan Clarke, MD, CEO of Procella and Smartwise.

AstraZeneca will pay an undisclosed upfront access fee and fund the research collaboration. SWIBCo has the potential to receive up to $320M in clinical development milestones and sales-related commercial threshold payments, once the products have been commercialized.