SAN DIEGO, Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardium Therapeutics (NYSE MKT: CXM) today reported on a research collaboration with researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, to assess the medical utility of Excellagen ® as a delivery scaffold to seed autologous mesenchymal fetal stem cells for ex-vivo engineering of tissue grafts for transplantation into infants to repair prenatally diagnosed birth defects. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20051018/CARDIUMLOGO) Autologous mesenchymal fetal stem cells are derived prenatally from infants with a medical defect requiring life-saving tissue repairs. These stem cells are sourced from amniotic fluid, the placenta or umbilical cord blood. The stem cells are then seeded into a scaffold to promote the growth of an engineered tissue graft. These grafts will potentially be used to surgically repair, either in the fetus or immediately following birth, certain prenatally diagnosed birth defects that could include congenital diaphragmatic hernia, tracheal and chest wall defects, bladder extrophy and various cardiac anomalies. Preliminary pre-clinical research has confirmed that Excellagen collagen homogenate maintains mesenchymal fetal stem cell viability. Additional proof of concept studies are currently underway. "Boston Children's team has made remarkable progress in the field of tissue regeneration and surgical repair of prenatally diagnosed congenital defects. We believe that Excellagen has an opportunity serve as a delivery platform in the field of stem cell therapy and we look forward to continuing to work with the Boston Children's team to help make their innovative therapeutic vision a new standard of care, and potentially advance stem cell therapies toward commercialization," stated Christopher J. Reinhard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cardium. "Excellagen was specifically designed to support advanced biologics and this new application further highlights its potential versatility as an important delivery agent for a variety of innovative therapeutic applications." Cardium's FDA-cleared Excellagen is an aseptically-manufactured, quaternary fibrillar Type I bovine collagen homogenate that is configured into a staggered array of three-dimensional, triple helical, telopeptide-deleted, tropocollagen molecules. This linear array forms a flowable, biocompatible and bioactive structural matrix that can promote chemotaxis, cellular adhesion, migration and proliferation to stimulate tissue formation. The Excellagen homogenate represents a new product delivery platform that allows for the potential development of a portfolio of advanced tissue regeneration therapeutic opportunities that could include anti-infectives, antibiotics, peptides, proteins, small molecules, DNA, stem cells, differentiated cells and conditioned cell media.