Extracellular Vesicles at Core of Project to Treat Perianal Fistulas in Crohn’s Disease

Extracellular Vesicles at Core of Project to Treat Perianal Fistulas in Crohn’s Disease
Esperite’s R&D Division The Cell Factory is working with the Women’s and Children’s Health Department of the University of Padua and the Padua University Hospital in Italy on a innovative project to develop therapies using extracellular vesicles (EVs) to treat perianal fistulas, a serious complication of Crohn's disease (CD). The first study in adult patients is scheduled to begin in 2017. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine, affecting approximately 0.5 percent of western countries' populations; the number is rising. Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the principal types of inflammatory bowel disease. According to Crohn's and Colitis UK, perianal fistulas are the most common fistulas in IBD patients and surgery often is considered. Perianal fistulas increase the risk of cancer and life-threatening systemic inflammation. Treatment for perianal fistulas has relied in the past years on surgical procedures, either surgical seton (thin silicon stitch) placement for chronic drainage of the fistula, or closure of the internal fistula opening by creating an advancement plasty. Introducing anti-TNF agents (infliximab and adalimumab) shifted patients’ treatment from surgical procedures to almost exclusive anti-TNF -based therapies. However, some patients with perianal fistulas often do not respond to these therapies. Consequently, clinical trials are currently testing the use of allogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to target perianal fistulas. So far, outcomes are encouraging. MSCs are ideal for cell-based therapy in various inflammatory diseases because of their immunosuppressive and tissue-repair properties. “Our approach is focused on using extrac
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