|Spinal Cord Injury Medical Leader Dr. Edward Wirth Joins InVivo Therapeutics as |
Chief Science Officer
Moves from Geron Corporation to Lead Human Studies in Biomaterial Scaffold for
Acute Spinal Cord Injury
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Ushering in a new era in the
treatment of spinal cord injuries (SCI), InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp.
(otc/bb:NVIV), announced today that world-renowned spinal cord injury (SCI)
researcher Edward Wirth, M.D., Ph.D., will join InVivo as its Chief Science
Officer (CSO) effective December 5, 2011.
As CSO, Dr. Wirth will lead InVivo's first human clinical study for acute SCI
using the Company's proprietary scaffold without drugs or cells. With the
10-patient pilot study awaiting FDA approval to begin in early 2012, InVivo's
treatment represents a promising new hope for SCI patients.
"I've been impressed with the cutting-edge work and laboratory data developed by
the InVivo team, and I firmly believe the use of InVivo's platform of implantable
biopolymer scaffold technologies is the future of SCI treatment," Dr. Wirth said.
"I am honored to join a group of world renowned scientists including 2008
Millennium Laureate Bob Langer and 1993 Nobel Laureate Sir Richard Roberts. I am
focused on lending my expertise toward further development of this revolutionary
technology. It has already shown outstanding promise in the lab, and in my
opinion has enormous clinical potential."
Dr. Wirth led the world's first human embryonic stem cell clinical trial as
Medical Director for Regenerative Medicine at Geron Corporation. He is one of the
world's foremost experts in SCI and regenerative medicine. Dr. Wirth has
dedicated the last 20 years of his life to studying the crucial role that cell
therapies may play in helping patients with devastating and irreversible SCIs.
Said InVivo Chief Executive Officer Frank Reynolds, "We believe Dr. Wirth's
confidence in our biomaterials for the treatment of SCI represents a shift in how
spinal cord injuries will be treated going forward. Whether providing
neuroprotection or supporting cells for regeneration, we believe that
biomaterials will be at the forefront of the first effective treatments for the
"Our research has consistently shown that in order to fully deliver on the
promise of tissue regeneration, stem cells must have the structural support of
biomaterials," said InVivo Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Slotkin, M.D., clinical
neurosurgeon and expert in complex spinal surgery. "Dr. Wirth joining our team is
continued validation of this technology and paradigm shift. His valuable
expertise will enable us to move quickly in bringing to market the next
generation of SCI treatment technologies."
Prior to his work with Geron Corporation (GERN), Dr. Wirth held appointments at
Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center and at the University of Chicago.
From 1997 to 2002, Dr. Wirth led the team at the University of Florida that
performed the first human embryonic spinal cord tissue transplants in the U.S.,
demonstrating the feasibility and safety of implanting embryonic spinal cord
cells into patients. Dr. Wirth received a Ph.D. in neuroscience and an M.D. from
the University of Florida, and earned a B.A. in physics from Rollins College in
Winter Park, Fla.
For more information about InVivo Therapeutics' technologies, visit
About InVivo Therapeutics
InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. is focused on utilizing polymers as a platform
technology to develop treatments to improve function in individuals paralyzed as
a result of traumatic spinal cord injury. The company was founded in 2005 on the
basis of proprietary technology co-invented by Robert Langer, ScD. Professor at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Joseph P. Vacanti, M.D., who is
affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2011, the company earned the
prestigious David S. Apple Award from the American Spinal Injury Association for
its outstanding contribution to spinal cord injury medicine. The publicly traded
company is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more details, visit
Safe Harbor Statement
Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical
facts may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal
securities laws. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on
current expectations, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The
factors that could cause actual future results to differ materially from current
expectations include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to
the Company's ability to sell additional shares of common stock and warrants to
purchase common stock at additional closings, the Company's ability to develop,
market and sell products based on its technology; the expected benefits and
efficacy of the Company's products and technology in connection with spinal cord
injuries; the availability of substantial additional funding for the Company to
continue its operations and to conduct research and development, clinical studies
and future product commercialization; and, the Company's business, research,
product development, regulatory approval, marketing and distribution plans and
strategies. These and other factors are identified and described in more detail
in our filings with the SEC, including our Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs and our
current reports on Form 8-K. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking
statements made by us.
SOURCE: InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp.
Lisa Kornblatt, 847-415-9330