Procella Therapeutics and Smartwise enter collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop novel cardiovascular and catheter-based therapies

The strategic research collaboration and commercialization agreement aims to develop novel stem cell-based therapies for heart failure and novel vascular injection techniques.

In patients who have suffered from a heart attack, a large portion of heart cells die, which may cause heart failure and significant mortality and morbidity. The aim of the collaboration with the global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is to develop new ways of regenerating parts of the heart muscle that have been damaged by a heart attack, using Procella Therapeutics’ stem cell technology, as well as novel catheter injection methods, using Smartwise’s Extroducer catheter. The Extroducer catheter was developed at the Karolinska Institutet for potential uses in cancer treatment and tissue repair in various organs and was subsequently coated with Bactiguard technology. Both Procella and Smartwise are SWIB Holding (SWIBCo) subsidiaries.

“We are excited about how this convergence of expertise from AstraZeneca and SWIBCo will help drive an innovative regenerative approach that addresses a critical unmet need in treating cardiovascular disease and, at the same time, supports specialist life sciences innovation in the Nordic region,” said Regina Fritsche-Danielson, Vice President, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism at AstraZeneca’s IMED Biotech Unit.

“This collaboration has the potential to pioneer the treatment of heart failure. By combining the global excellence of AstraZeneca in novel cardiac regenerative medicine therapy with our scientific expertise, we aim to make this unique therapy accessible to patients around the world,” said Jonathan Clarke, MD, CEO of Procella and Smartwise.

AstraZeneca will pay an undisclosed upfront access fee and fund the research collaboration. SWIBCo has the potential to receive up to $320M in clinical development milestones and sales-related commercial threshold payments, once the products have been commercialized.


About SWIB Holdings

SWIB Holdings, Swedish Innovation Bridge Company (SWIBCo), is a biotech and medical device investment company based in Stockholm, Sweden and privately owned by a group of investors, including Christian Kinch and Thomas von Koch.

SWIBCo’s mission is to develop and commercialize innovative, early stage technology created in Sweden into products and therapies that will have a lasting impact on patients’ lives worldwide. Procella Therapeutics and Smartwise are wholly-owned subsidiaries of SWIBCo.

About Procella Therapeutics

The aim of the collaboration with Procella Therapeutics is to develop new stem cell based therapies to repair parts of the heart that have been damaged by a heart attack. The stem cell technology was developed at the Karolinska Institutet by Kenneth Chien, Distinguished Professor of the Swedish Research Council and Director of the Wallenberg-Karolinska Cardiovascular Initiative.

About Smartwise

Smartwise is advancing a novel vascular micro-catheter injection technology developed by a group led by Staffan Holmin, the Söderberg Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Karolinska Institutet. The Extroducer is designed to deliver therapies to targeted and critical areas of the body, such as the abdominal organs, the heart and the brain. There is a significant unmet need in the field of direct cancer tumor injection therapy, enabling the delivery of high dose, locally targeted therapies, without causing systemic side effects. This direct injection technique can potentially also be used to achieve tissue repair in various diseases.

About Bactiguard

Bactiguard AB is a Swedish medical device company with a mission to save lives.The Bactiguard technology reduces the risk of healthcare associated infections by reducing bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on medical devices.

In 2017, Bactiguard and Smartwise entered into a joint development project for advanced, Bactiguard-coated vascular injection catheters through a license agreement for the exclusive and global right to the Bactiguard technology for this application.

For further information, please contact:

Jonathan Clarke, CEO, +46 (0) 73 963 53 68