Building a Better Bladder
By Jack Lucentini

When children with the spine malformation, spina bifida, develop a serious bladder failure, they have one, somewhat unsavory, option. In a 10-hour procedure, a surgeon enlarges the bladder using a piece of the patient's intestine. It usually works, but there are several risks including occasional rupture of the rebuilt bladder and possibly cancer.

East Norriton, Pa.-based Tengion, would like to offer a better option, says Gary Sender, the company's chief financial officer. Tengion is developing a regenerated bladder, a new organ grown from the patient's own cells. Sender says there will be a series of products from his 85-employee company, which is applying the same concept to different organs.

The private company holds about 70 patents,...

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