21st Century Medicine promises new cures

More than 400 leaders in the field of regenerative medicine from across the world gathered last week in North Carolina at the 1st annual Translational Regenerative Medicine Forum.

Regenerative Medicine focuses on:

·         Medical devices and artificial organs

·        Tissue engineering and biomaterials

·         Cellular Therapies

·         Clinical Translation

The meeting covered best practices and business models to bring new therapies to patients Speakers also discussed the challenges of this emerging medical field, including obtaining funding. Robert N. Klein, of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, talked about that state’s successful referendum to fund stem cell research with state-issued bonds. He compared state investment in scientific research to investment in roads and other infrastructure. “We are used to funding physical capital. We have to realize that in the 21st century it is appropriate to fund intellectual capital.”

Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., of the Center for Health Transformation, said that the promise of regenerative medicine demands a paradigm shift from treating disease to restoring health.

Although this may sound like a distant dream a lot of research is being undertaken.

“Regeneration is one of our top priorities,” said Alan Lewis, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, “the organization has invested $60 million in the past few years on research to regenerate islet cells, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin”.

Col. Janet R. Harris, Ph.D., M.S.N., from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, talked about a $85 million federally funded project to apply the science of regenerative medicine to battlefield injuries. “We’ve been very pleased with the progress we’re seeing,” she said. “Only two years into the grant, 13 clinical trials are being funded.”

Word on Health wonders which will come first, the Six Billion Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman?!?

We invite you to have your say.