Biostage claims success in animal esophagus regeneration study

BY Zachary Comeau

Biostage CEO Jim McGorry.

Holliston biotech Biostage is eyeing formal clinical trials after results of a large animal study show the company’s artificial throat implants can regenerate a functioning esophagus.
The study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, found the company’s Cellspan esophageal implant was able to facilitate gradual structural regrowth of the esophageal tissue in a pig by using its own stem cells.
According to the study, the company’s device, acting as a scaffold carrying a patient’s stem cells, can be used as an alternative to the gastro-intestinal conduit currently used following the surgical damage of the esophagus.
The study is another in a string of good news for the company of late following a long period of financial hardships.
Last month, Biostage announced an autopsy showed a 75-year-old man’s esophageal tube nearly fully regenerated thanks to the company’s Cellspan implant.
The man, whose esophagus was damaged after a large tumor was removed from his chest, died of a stroke unrelated to the implant.
Biostage said last month the regenerative results were consistent with results seen in the company’s large animal studies.
 Thanks to a series of recent investments following delisting from NASDAQ and a 70 percent layoff, the company appears to be on sound financial footing for the time being.