Harvard Bioscience Comments On Regenerated Trachea Recipient Hannah Genevieve Warren's Passing

HOLLISTON, Mass., July 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:HBIO), a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of tools to advance life science research and regenerative medicine, commented on the July 6 passing of two-year-old Hannah Genevieve Warren, who, born without a trachea, received the first transplant of a regenerated trachea in the United States this past April. She has died from unrelated complications.

Hannah's initial surgery involved a trachea transplant that utilized the "InBreath" tracheal scaffold and bioreactor system manufactured by Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc. (HART), Harvard Bioscience's wholly owned regenerative medicine technology subsidiary.

Approximately two months after the initial trachea transplant surgery, Hannah underwent surgery to correct her esophagus, which never properly healed following the initial surgery. Hannah died from complications arising from this subsequent operation.

David Green, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience, commented: "We are greatly saddened by the news of Hannah's passing and offer our most heartfelt condolences to her family and supporters. Hannah was a brave little girl who was a pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine. As we continue to advance our programs in regenerative medicine, she will serve as an inspiration as we seek to save the lives of other patients in need of replacement organs."

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet in Huddinge, Stockholm, who led the team performing the trachea surgery, noted that the implanted trachea was not the cause of Hannah's death, pointing out that the girl's native tissue was very fragile. He said he would continue with similar operations.

A statement released by Hannah's family said, "Born without a trachea, she gave us over 34 months of ever-lasting memories. We are humbled and blessed. She is a pioneer in stem-cell technology and her impact will reach all corners of our beautiful Earth. Her new trachea was performing well, but her lungs went from fairly good, to weak, to poor."

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