Juventas Develops Stem Cell-Based Heart Therapy

Until now, patients who suffered heart attacks five to 10 years prior were faced with a 20-40 percent chance of mortality.

Today thanks to JV-100, a DNA-based gene therapy that directly targets a person’s own stem cells to the scarred area, necessary repairs may be made through a simple catheter injection. Tyler Village-based Juventas believes this discovery could extend thousands of lives.

While stem cells have long been touted for their reparative properties, they don’t know where to travel to target making these repairs.

In 2007, Dr. Marc Penn, former Director of the Coronary Intensive Care Unit, Director of the Experimental Animal Laboratory, Director of the Bakken Heart-Brain Institute, and the first Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Cell Therapy at The Cleveland Clinic and current Director of Research at the Summa Cardiovascular Institute in Akron, recognized that a signal was necessary to direct the stem cell to the injured area.

Together with Juventas, he developed JVS-100, a drug that he likens to a “conductor leading an orchestra”. In fact, JVS-100 creates a protein acting similar to a magnet, attracting the stem cells to the injured area.

Today, JVS-100 is in national trials in approximately 16 clinical centers across the United States.

Juventas is headquartered at Tyler Village. CEO Rahul Aras says “There is something about Tyler Village. It has a start-up feel. It’s got a roll-up-your-sleeve atmosphere that’s not super corporate. It fits our culture.”

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