Upcoming robust ecosystem for regenerative medicine
RegMed XB seeks close international cooperation for the benefit of the patient
On July 3rd in Maastricht, businesses, governments and scientists will meet to intensively discuss how a new ecosystem for regenerative science can be created and how to make it flourish. In these workshops, partners of RegMed XB including established major businesses (DSM and, Fujifilm), high-tech startups (TiGenix and Nestegg), and the Dutch and Flemish Ministry of Economic Affairs will be speaking. Prof. Marianne van der Steen, Director of RegMed XB, chairs the day together with Jan Cobbenhagen (CEO Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus). Van der Steen: 'It is about the urgent question of how we can actively promote the creation of the right partnerships in the Netherlands and Flanders to allow millions of patients with chronic diseases worldwide to benefit from a genuine cure.
RegMed XB is the new institute in which health organizations, scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs and governments in the Netherlands and Flanders work closely together to promote promising innovations in the field of regenerative medicine. The first projects concern new, genuine solutions that bring us a step closer to healing type 1 diabetes, osteoarthritis and kidney disease. More projects will follow that address other chronic diseases with the aid of therapies in order to restore the function of affected organs.
Van der Steen: "In order to develop the medical innovations as soon as possible, entrepreneurship is indispensable. These are companies that will ultimately release the therapies and drugs onto the market, for an affordable price. We are convinced that this will happen sooner if all parties involved cooperate in a constructive and effective manner.
This is why RegMed XB unites all relevant parties. The economic perspective is hereby an important driving force. The projects provide new high-tech employment in the regions. Hundreds of scientists and dozens of companies are now involved in the projects of RegMed XB. During the process, new high quality, patentable knowledge is developed. The regions of North Brabant, Utrecht, South Holland, Limburg and Flanders will greatly benefit from this."
In order to further accelerate and give a greater importance to the development of innovations, we aim to rapidly grow into a new and highly coherent 'ecosystem' for regenerative medicine, says Marianne van der Steen: "Regenerative medicine has been identified as a fast-growing interdisciplinary field in healthcare. The production of new instruments and medical therapies can only be successful if the process is embedded into a collaborating community of industry, research institutions, governments, investors and patient organizations. These close connections will form an integrated ecosystem."
Upscale to an industrial level
Regenerative medicine in the Netherlands and Flanders has been recognized by the government as a promising high-tech sector. Van der Steen: "But if we really want to get everything out of it, we will have to scale up to an industrial level. For this, we will need large investments from cross-border public-private partnerships. Only by upscaling, will we be able to maximize potentials and translate the innovations of scientists into genuine solutions for patients, that are affordable because the industry is developing and making them on the right scale. On July 3rd is the first in a series of strategic meetings during which we want to learn what the various companies and other parties that are connected with RegMed XB will need in order develop such an ecosystem."