Canada Eyes Leading Role in Regenerative Medicine

Stem cells hold promise, but how will therapies get to market? The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine can help.

 |  Transcript [PDF]

Getting a promising new product to market can be a challenge, and this is especially true in medicine. From the earliest stages of development through to clinical trials, proving that new therapeutics work can take a lot of time and investment.

The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) bridges the gap between the lab and the clinic, helping accelerate stem cell therapies to the market.

Michael May, President and CEO at CCRM, believes in the strength and pioneering role of Canadian researchers in stem cell science.

“Stem cells were discovered in Toronto,” says May. “But eventually, how do we get a return, how do we translate that excellent science into products? What we are doing with academic partners and industry partners is putting together all the pieces of the puzzle that can fill in those gaps.”

“It’s very difficult for companies to get from that initial idea to the clinic, to the patient, to an organization that is creating revenue to grow an economy,” adds Mitchel Sivilotti,
Chief Operating Officer at CCRM. “It’s a long process, particularly in the therapeutic area where a lot needs to be invested in those early stages when ideas just aren’t proven.”

However, with several stem cell therapies now starting to reach the marketplace, investors are becoming more confident, helping cement the growth of investment in regenerative medicine.

Regenerative medicine holds the promise to reach across many therapeutic areas, with stem cells being able to expand to replace damaged or diseased cells. This could include such diverse areas as spinal cord injury, leukemia, and multiple sclerosis. Stem cells can also be used in tissue engineering and the production of artificial organs.

“There’s a legacy of scientific excellence in the country,” says May. “What excites me most is that the Canadian strength in regenerative medicine will allow us to be leaders in the life sciences in a way that Canada has never been able to do before.”

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