The Platform is a cornerstone of the broader and integrated UK research strategy in this area. It supports high quality UK research activity and translational activity that will generate scientific knowledge and help deliver the great promise of regenerative medicine to the benefit of patients and economic growth.
Regenerative medicine holds the promise of revolutionising patient care in years to come by addressing the problems of an ageing population, reducing healthcare costs by providing cures or better management of chronic diseases and reducing the time and cost of drug development.
The Platform was established to ensure that research addressing regenerative medicine connects seamlessly from discovery science through to clinical and commercial application. The UKRMP has the goals of:
- Establishing interdisciplinary research hubs with the critical mass and expertise to address the key knowledge-gaps in the translation of stem cell and regenerative biology towards application;
- Providing the novel tools, platform technologies and engineering solutions needed for therapeutic development;
- Creating a world-leading and fully connected national programme to pull through excellent discovery science in support of the commercial development and clinical delivery of regenerative medicine products.
What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary approach spanning tissue engineering, developmental and stem cell biology, gene therapy, cellular therapeutics, biomaterials (scaffolds and matrices), nanoscience, bioengineering and chemical biology. It may involve:
- Transplantation of stem cells, progenitors or tissue;
- Stimulation of dormant repair processes;
- Using cells as delivery vehicles for therapeutic agents;
- Engineered cells / synthetic biology.
Regenerative medicine has already provided significant medical advances in areas such as skin regeneration for burns patients and diabetic ulcers and the treatment of anaemia, and has the potential to go much further with next-generation products offering treatments with long term benefits or cures. The underpinning science is progressing rapidly, yet there are a number of developmental challenges which need to be overcome if we are to successfully translate promising discoveries for the benefit of patients as well as the UK economy. These are elaborated upon in the 2012 document A Strategy for UK Regenerative Medicine.