Regenerative Medicine (RM), the use of advanced technologies to regenerate or replace human cells, tissues, or organs, has become such an important field, holding such recognized potential that there is a major effort to help the industry accelerate the development and commercialization of its products. To that end, a government funded not-for-profit organization was formed in Canada in June of 2011 to address and reduce the bottlenecks in the product pipelines of member companies.
The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), based in Canada, has brought together an international collection of companies, including VistaGen Therapeutics, representing the key sectors of the RM industry: therapeutics, devices, reagents, and cells-as-tools. CCRM has built three core development platforms:
• Cell Manufacturing
• Biomaterials and Tissue Mimetics
Together with its research institution partners and resources, and the support of its 20 member companies, CCRM’s efforts are expected to benefit both Canada and the world in helping to promote the movement of these critical technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace. The Chair of CCRM’s Board, Greg Bonfiglio, summarized the opportunity: “CCRM is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of industry and academia. CCRM boasts scientific expertise and state-of-the-art resources in its development lab and this combination will benefit the regenerative medicine community that can capitalize on our ability to complete projects quickly and cost competitively.”
VistaGen uses advanced stem cell technology to create viable human heart cells, or other cells, that can be used for highly accurate early-stage drug testing, allowing drug developers to better avoid going to all of the cost and effort of bringing a drug to market only to have it removed due to heart toxicity issues. It addresses a major problem for the drug industry, where the cost of new drug development can easily top $1 billion and existing early stage testing methods are insufficient to verify safety before significant resources are employed.
For additional information, visit the company’s website at www.VistaGen.com
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