16 Jul 2012

Regenerative medicine conference to highlight the ‘road to the clinic’

Baltic

World-leading regenerative medicine experts are to due to share best practice on how to progress regenerative therapies into the clinic at a conference being organised by Regener8 in the North East of England this September.

Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is to open the Regener8 Annual Conference with high profile keynote speakers confirmed including Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult Centre, Wilfried Dalemans, Chief Technical Officer of TiGenix and Helen Berry, Research and Technical Manager of Tissue Regenix Group.

Regener8 is a partnership of academics from the eight leading research-intensive universities of the North of England, which is known as the N8 Research Partnership. The N8 universities are Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. Regener8 is also made up of members from the regenerative medicine industry and clinicians involved in the application of regenerative therapies in the UK. Regener8’s aim is to improve the translation of regenerative therapies to the clinic and the market.

The annual conference, which is entitled ‘Regenerative Therapies: the Road to the Clinic’ is being held at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on the banks of the river Tyne on the historic Newcastle Gateshead quayside. The event marks Regener8’s 5th anniversary, and will feature some of the leading regenerative medicine experts in the UK.

One of the keynote speakers at the conference is Helen Berry, Research and Technical Manager of Tissue Regenix. Tissue Regenix is a medical technology company which has developed a proprietary technology platform to make replacement body parts from biological (animal) materials. This proprietary platform, known as the dCELL® technology platform, works by removing all cells (decellularisation) from the animal tissue allowing it to be used to replace worn out or diseased body parts.

Helen’s talk will focus on the key steps and considerations that Tissue Regenix went through in order to translate an innovative research concept in to a final regulatory approved medical device product.

Helen comments: “It is important for the regenerative medicine community to have the opportunity to meet up and work together, and Regener8 provides the perfect platform for this. Earlier collaboration between academia, clinicians and industry can help smooth the transition from research project to new product development, and accelerate progression to clinical use.  I am delighted to be involved to share my experience of the process we went through to get our technology into the clinic.”

Also speaking at the conference will be Keith Thompson, Chief Executive of the newly formed Cell Therapy Catapult Centre. Created by the Technology Strategy Board, the Cell Therapy Catapult will be a single, autonomous entity, nationally inclusive, independent of higher education institutions, and will play a significant role in speeding up development of cell therapies and accelerating routes to market.

Professor John Fisher, Director of the Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, University of Leeds and Executive Director of Regener8 comments: “Regenerative medicine is a sector that is populated by many SMEs facing the challenges of translating emerging technologies in an environment of regulatory and strategic uncertainties. By bringing together all the key players involved in taking these therapies to market and encouraging dialogue and collaboration between academia and industry we expect to raise awareness and capability and overcome these barriers.

“We hope that by sharing experiences and best practice as well as encouraging discussion we can help to speed the process of getting the treatments from the lab to the clinic to benefit those who need it most.”

The Regener8 Annual Conference 2012, which is entitled ‘Regenerative Therapies: the Road to the Clinic’ takes place at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead Quays, Tyne and Wear on Thursday 27 September 2012. The delegate fee is £75 and we welcome existing Regener8 members as well as new representatives from the wider regenerative medicine community.

Please visit www.regener8.ac.uk for further details and to register.

ENDS

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Notes to Editors

About Regener8

www.regener8.ac.uk

Regener8’s objectives are focused around the development of translational awareness and capability amongst academic researchers and addressing and helping university and industry to work more closely together. They also focus on barriers to the translation of regenerative medicine that the industry as a whole faces (such as manufacturing, regulations, safety and efficacy testing, preclinical evaluation, scale-up, clinical development and trials, reimbursement, supply/distribution chain development and health economics) and the means of overcoming these.

About Regenerative Medicine

According to the REALISE project (funded by Technology Strategy Board and which reported earlier in 2012) the potential economic impact of regenerative medicine as a whole is estimated to be at least £3.2 billion per year, and the annual growth of the global stem cell component of this market is forecast to be 29.2%, with sales of £7 billion by 2020.  Savings in direct health care costs in the USA alone are projected eventually to be £160 billion per year from chronic diseases such as late-stage Parkinson’s disease, new cases of spinal cord injury, heart failure, stroke, and insulin-dependent diabetes.

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