Vericel's heart drug successful in mid-stage study Vericel Corp said its experimental drug reduced death, hospitalizations and emergency visits in patients, who are at risk of a heart failure, in a mid-stage study, sending its shares up 80 percent in premarket trading.The drug, ixmyelocel-T, was studied in patients with ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently, Vericel said in a statement on Thursday.The study involved about 114 patients, who had no reasonable options to restore proper blood circulation due to their weak and enlarged hearts.Ixmyelocel-T, which has an orphan drug status in the United States, is derived from the patient's bone marrow using the company's cell therapy. Orphan status is granted to drugs aimed at treating rare diseases, giving the developer incentives such as a seven-year marketing exclusivity in the United States. Vericel said it expects to report full data from the trial in American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session & Expo on April 4.The company's shares were trading at $3.83 premarket and are set to record their best day in seven years. (Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)
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