As regenerative medicine grows around the world, topping a whopping $36-billion annually and only expected to rise, it comes as no surprise that more and more international collaborations are happening – especially within Canada.
CCRM and the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine (JSRM) liaise to advance the field of regenerative medicine (RM) and cell and gene therapies in Canada and Japan, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week at the Annual Meeting of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) in Kyoto, Japan.
“CCRM’s mission is to generate sustainable health and economic benefits through global collaboration in cell and gene therapy, and regenerative medicine,” says Michael May, president and CEO, CCRM. “CCRM is catalyzing a global network of highly integrated commercialization centres working together to enable viable and cost-effective patient access to revolutionary new treatments. The MOU with JSRM, through its vast research network and industry-enabling activities, is a positive step in that direction.”
The MOU has been put in place to promote academic and industry partnership in Japan, Canada and internationally to advance the field of regenerative medicine and cell and gene therapies. This will include supporting knowledge translation about technologies, policies (e.g., regulatory and health economics), legal and ethical issues.
“There are many obstacles to establish a sustainable business model for regenerative medicine in Japan, as it requires a whole new value chain,” says Prof. Sawa, president of JSRM. “Canada’s CCRM has been fostering and promoting a successful commercialization model since its launch. JSRM is proud to announce that we have entered into a partnership with CCRM to develop sound industrialization pathways, learning from CCRM’s excellent model to make regenerative medicine an available treatment worldwide.”
Regenerative medicine – that can be a bit of an umbrella term – includes cell and gene therapy, stem cells, biomaterials, molecules and genetic modification to repair, regenerate or replace diseased cells, tissues and organs. This approach is disrupting the traditional biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries with the promise of revolutionary new cures for devastating and costly conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
This sector represents so many potential untapped possibilities. Forecasted to grow to US$49.41-billion by 2021, there were 977 clinical trials in cell, gene and tissue therapy underway worldwide at the close of the second quarter of 2018. The sector achieved the first global approvals and reimbursements for major cellular immunotherapies and gene therapies in 2017, that resulted in record-breaking investment and acquisitions in the sector. This field encapsulates the phrase “the world is truly their oyster”.