VentriGel is injected in a minimally-invasive procedure using a catheter to repair damaged myocardium and prevent the development of congestive heart failure in patients who are recovering from heart attack.

The study, which was conducted in pigs with two weeks following heart attack, showed that three months after injection, more cardiac muscle and less scar tissue was found in the VentriGel-treated group when compared to control group.

Ejection fraction, one measure of cardiac function, was also greater after delivery of VentriGel compared to controls (74% versus 43%, p < 0.01).

The global wall motion index, a measure of regional cardiac function, was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) by 21% compared to controls, indicating an improvement in the contractility of the heart, according to the company.

University of California medicine professor and American College of Cardiology former president Dr Anthony Demaria said after a myocardial infarction, patients who develop left ventricular dysfunction are at high risk for having another heart attack, and ultimately developing heart failure.

"These encouraging results suggest great therapeutic potential for VentriGel," Demaria added.

The company, based on the positive preclinical results, is planning to commence a first-in-man clinical trial for VentriGel later in 2013.