August 9, 2017

Biostage completes successful human implant

Biostage CEO Jim McGorry (left) and Chief Medical Officer Saverio La Francesca.

Holliston-based Biostage Inc. on Monday announced the first implant of its proprietary Cellspan Esophageal Implant in a human patient, a major milestone for the company struggling to maintain its NASDAQ listing this year.

The esophageal implant was surgically implanted into a 75-year old male with a life-threatening cancerous mass in his chest, according to a company statement. Biostage said the surgery was required to address the tumor's encroachment on the patient's lung, heart and esophagus. The portion of the esophagus affected by the cancer was removed and the Cellspan Esophageal Implant was utilized to reconstruct the esophagus.

The FDA-approved procedure was conducted under a collaboration agreement between Biostage and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston on May 4, according to a company statement.

"We are encouraged by the ongoing success of the Cellspan Esophageal Implant in our first in-patient case, and we look forward to additional opportunities to provide an alternative solution to patients in need of an esophageal replacement," said Dr. Saverio LaFrancesca, chief medical officer at Biostage.

LaFrancesca added preclinical data in large-animal studies have been promising.

Biostage's stock price trended upward following the news, closing the day Tuesday at just under 60 cents. That's up from 30 cents on June 2, when the company was preparing for a hearing after the NASDAQ moved to delist the company for failing to meet the minimum $1 per share price. The company was in talks with investors about new financing opportunities and was asking for an extension through November.

Biostage's second-quarter earnings results are due out on Aug. 14.

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