SAN DIEGO, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ventrix, Inc. announced today that its VentriGel ™ cardiac repair scaffold safely and effectively mitigated left ventricular remodeling and improved cardiac function in pigs after myocardial infarction, or heart attack. The findings, made during pre-clinical studies, were published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Based on these and other results, Ventrix will initiate a first-in-man clinical trial for VentriGel later this year. "These results give us strong validation that VentriGel has the potential to prevent the development of congestive heart failure in patients who are recovering from heart attack," said Adam Kinsey, Ph.D., CEO of Ventrix. "We will continue to develop VentriGel for this indication, for which there is a very acute need and large market potential." As medical management and surgical tools have advanced, more and more patients are surviving heart attacks. However, damage to the heart during myocardial infarction can lead to a growth of dense scar tissue which cannot contribute to the pumping function of the heart. Over time, the heart wall will thin, and the heart fails, and the five-year survival rate for heart failure is only 50%. Currently, the only successful treatments for end-stage heart failure are total heart transplant and left ventricular assist devices. In the study, the VentriGel scaffold was injected into pigs two weeks following heart attack via a minimally-invasive catheter. Three months after injection, more cardiac muscle and less scar tissue was found in the VentriGel-treated group compared to controls that did not receive VentriGel. This led to significant improvements in contractility and cardiac function and prevented heart failure in treated animals. Ejection fraction, one measure of cardiac function, was significantly greater after delivery of VentriGel compared to controls (74% versus 43%, p < 0.01). The global wall motion index, a measure of regional cardiac function, was significantly reduced ( p < 0.05) by approximately 21% compared to controls, indicating an improvement in the contractility of the heart. "After a myocardial infarction, patients who develop left ventricular dysfunction are at high risk for having another heart attack, and ultimately developing heart failure. These encouraging results suggest great therapeutic potential for VentriGel," said Dr. Anthony N. Demaria, former President of the American College of Cardiology, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and advisor to Ventrix. About Myocardial InfarctionApproximately 785,000 new heart attack cases occur each year in the United States. Many of those patients will develop left ventricular dysfunction, a weakening of the heart's ability to effectively pump blood. According to the American Heart Association, at least 22 percent of men and 46 percent of women will develop heart failure—a debilitating and burdensome condition—within six years of their first heart attack. About VentriGel VentriGel is a biomaterial scaffold designed specifically for the repair of damaged myocardium. It is injected via catheter in a minimally-invasive procedure that does not require surgery or general anesthesia. The first-in-class, off-the-shelf, injectable biomaterial scaffold is built on technology licensed from the University of California, San Diego. About VentrixFounded in 2009, Ventrix is a San Diego-based company developing solutions for repair of the heart. Currently, the organization is focused on delivering a scaffold for cardiac repair following myocardial infarction. SOURCE Ventrix, Inc.