The prevalence of chronic disease worldwide is rapidly increasing. Regenerative medicine aims to restore degenerated, diseased, or damaged tissues and organs, thereby increasing vital functioning and reducing the cost of healthcare. Regenerative medicine holds the promise to cure many chronic conditions, restoring health rather than protracting decline, bettering the lives of millions and at the same time preventing lifelong, expensive care processes: cure instead of care.
RegMed XB brings together health foundations, scientists, entrepreneurs and governments to cooperatively tackle ambitious challenges in regenerative medicine. The partners include leading researchers and entrepreneurs with decades of world leading experience in regenerative medicine.
RegMed XB stands for Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders. It is a virtual institute of Dutch and Belgian public (universities and governments) and private (health foundations and companies) partners that will work together to develop regenerative medicine solutions to health challenges. At the moment, RegMed XB is in its "Phase 1" stage and we are looking to expand the programme to more topics in musculoskeletal disease (e.g. osteoarthritis) cardiovascular disease, and organ regeneration. We believe that when researchers and entrepreneurs work side by side, we stand the best chance to bring the most impact to patients and society at large.
We are currently in Phase 1 of RegMed XB. In Phase 1, we have three scientific objectives. The first objective is to bring a new therapy for type I diabetes into a human trial, involving pancreatic β-cells that can produce insulin in response to blood sugar without the need for immunosuppressive agents. The second objective is to create a bioengineered kidney subunit to take a major step towards an artificial kidney replacement. And the third objective is to create a model of osteoarthritis to predict which patients will require surgical intervention and to lay the groundwork for a new therapy. The first phase of RegMed XB is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2017. It is a five-year programme.
RegMed XB collaborates on ambitious projects in the field of regenerative medicine. The partners in the collaboration are health foundations, universities, regional governments, and companies. In Phase 1, four health foundations (Nierstichting, Diabetes Fonds, Diabetes Onderzoek Nederland, and Reumafonds) join to define the research objectives and co-govern the project to keep a focus on the end-goals that improve patients' lives. Scientists from four universities (Leiden University, Utrecht University/Hubrecht Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Maastricht University) join to bring in and further develop their proven technology and expertise that can be applied to challenges set by the health foundations. Companies join to share expertise and facilities, provide materials and personnel, and work as valorization instruments. And finally, four regions (Leiden, Utrecht, Noord-Brabant, and Limburg) join to support both the research and its valorization, thereby creating new jobs and businesses. RegMed XB is expected to expand to include partners in Flanders and other health foundations.
Our mission is to create more of an impact from science. The success of the emerging regenerative medicine sector relies on excellent research at knowledge institutes and effective valorization thereof. The partners are chosen because they punch above their weight in excellent science and they have a solid infrastructure for translation with university medical centers. They also possess the multidisciplinary knowledge that is required for regenerative medicine. Together, we want to develop the emerging regenerative medicine industry to create jobs and solutions for patients. In the future, we will also form a dedicated team to support valorization.