ProVascTec, an NLC venture, will help patients with critical limb ischemia by triggering new vascular tissue growth through novel cell therapy.
Atherosclerosis describes the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances within the artery wall. This build-up, also called plaque, can cause arteries to narrow and eventually completely block the arterial blood flow. If the occlusion is located in the patient’s limbs, the disease is referred to as peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Untreated PAD can progress to become critical limb ischemia (CLI).
Typical symptoms of PAD include leg pain when walking, or claudication and decreased blood perfusion in the affected limbs. If PAD is not treated, it can progress to CLI with typical symptoms like rest pain, dying tissue from insufficient blood flow (gangrene), and non-healing open wounds (ulcers). CLI typically is treated by mechanically removing or circumventing the occlusion in the arteries using angioplasty/stents or open surgical bypasses. Both treatment options suffer from short- and long-term complications, requiring improvements in the current standard of care.
ProVascTec’s approach changes the treatment paradigm for CLI by going around the obstruction rather than through it. ProVascTec’s cell therapy is delivered via a proprietary device to generate a new vascular structure around the obstruction through the recruitment of local microvessels. ProVascTec will initially focus on applications below the knee, BTK, where no treatment is currently approved.
“ Developing a novel treatment for patients who might otherwise face an amputation of all or part of their limbs is a true motivator to make this technology available”Dr. Holger Müller, CFA, CEO & Co-Founder of ProVascTec.
Dr. Holger Müller, a scientist at heart, studied chemistry in Germany and England and completed his education with a Ph.D. at ETH Zürich. He started his professional career at Bain Company, before joining Novartis. While at Novartis, Holger held various marketing, sales, and business development positions of increasing responsibility, both at headquarter- and local affiliate level. After a career of 10 years, Holger joined the pioneering cell therapy company Cell Medica (now Athenex) as SVP Commercial Operations. He expanded on his start-up experience as Chief Commercial Officer for Biognosys and Chief Operating Officer at Spiden, before joining Health Advances, a global life science consultancy where he led the European office before joining ProVascTec. ProVascTec’s leadership team is completed by the inventor and co-founder, Prof. Dr. Noel Caplice, and Taco Van Der Feltz, NLC ventures. Prof. Caplice comes with 25 years of Clinician Scientist experience formerly at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and now at University College Cork where he runs a translational lab in vascular biology. He is an academic interventional cardiologist, a serial inventor with multiple patents, and a track record in translating bench concepts to first-in-man clinical trials. Noel will serve as Chief Scientific Officer.
The project is currently in the preclinical stage.