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Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.
April 21, 2010.
Regenerative medicine has been described as holding the "promise of cures" by speakers at the first annual Translational Regenerative Medicine Forum, which was held last week in the US.
A number of speakers gave their opinions and discussed recent progress, as well as the best practices and business models to bring new therapies to patients. Andrew von Eschenbach, Senior Director for strategic initiatives with the US Center for Health Transformation, explained that the promise of regenerative medicine demands a paradigm shift from treating disease to restoring health, while John Walker, Chairman of the biopharmaceutical company iPierian described regenerative medicine as the "medicine of the 21st century", according to a press statement.
"We are excited to bring together representatives from all facets of this emerging field to discuss the body's ability to heal itself through regenerative medicine technologies," DaLaura Kader, Vice President for strategic initiatives for the Regenerative Medicine Foundation, which sponsored the forum, said in the press statement.
The importance of regenerative medicine was also highlighted by Alan Lewis, president and CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, who said: "We have decided that regeneration is one of our top priorities." He also added that the organization has invested $60 million in recent years on research to regenerate islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
The event also featured a first ever regenerative medicine venture forum where several regenerative medicine technologies were showcased to venture investors. "I was impressed with the opportunities out there from around the US," said P. Sherrill Neff of Quaker BioVentures. "I was pleased to see not only product companies, but infrastructure such as bioreactors and cryopreservation. That tells me we've got a real industry forming."
The Forum, sponsored by the Regenerative Medicine Foundation, is an annual event that aims to convene the regenerative medicine community to focus on fulfilling the promise of the field. In a release issued prior to the event, Anthony Atala, Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and a forum speaker, said: "It takes a collaborative approach to address the challenges of delivering regenerative medicine therapies to patients in a timely and cost-effective manner, and it is our expectation that this forum will bring together all the elements and fulfill the promise of the research."