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Byline: Terri Somers
Feb. 3--Getting rid of that spare tire around your middle could help your heart in more ways than you might expect, according to a San Diego biotechnology company.
Cytori Therapeutics has developed a machine that pulls stem cells and other regenerative cells out of fat so they can be re-injected into the body to repair tissue damaged by heart attack or disease.
Several studies, including some in which Cytori scientists have participated, have shown that stem cells and other regenerative material from fat can help build blood supply and restore blood flow to cardiac muscle that has been damaged by a heart attack.
Scientists are also looking at stem cells from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, but Cytori thinks the money is in the fat.
The company wants to be one of the first to commercialize the use of stem cells from fat and bring new therapies to patients.
"There are broad markets for our platform technology," Chief Executive Christopher Calhoun said. "Stem cells work in a variety of ways and are going to work for treating a variety of conditions, by turning into muscle or bone or cartilage. And that on its own creates a lot of different opportunities."
Last month, the company gained European regulatory approval to begin using its machine, called the Celution System, in clinical trials on humans.
Cytori plans to begin using the system in clinical trials outside the United States in applications on the …