Positive promise of stem cell therapy

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Regenerating every cell, tissue or organ in the body, curing genetic disorders and chronic diseases, alleviating pain and delaying the onset of ageing, these are the altruistic promises of stem cell therapy.

A key driver of the regenerative medicine market, stem cell therapy’s infinite applications have biotechs racing to the clinical trial finishing line. More than 600 stem cell patents have been filed within Australia in the last five years and over 500 companies globally are involved in stem cell product development.

Oncology, cardiology and neurology remain the crucial areas of spend, but with the global pain market estimated to be worth $US69 billion and forecast to reach $US79 billion by 2024, Australian biotech Regeneus, a player in osteoarthritic and neuropathic pain, is in a prime position.

Regeneus’ unique mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) platform comprises a combination of stem cells and secretions offering amore powerful therapeutic effect than stem cells alone.

MSCs are the main type of cell used in stem cell therapy. They heal and repair cells, secreting cytokines – immunesystem signalling and regulating proteins, growth factors, and exosomes – byproduct extracellular components.

It’s these secretions that Regeneus CEO Leo Lee says are the differentiator behind their cell therapy technology, and allogeneic cell topical treatment platforms, and for which they received their first patent in 2011.

‘‘When we first started treating peoplewith their own stem cells, we noticed an onset of activity which couldn’t be explained by the stem cells creating cartilage,’’ says Lee.

‘‘We postulated at the time, and found through research, that secretions including exosomes, added a lot of extra benefit."

‘‘Further, and unlike cell mediated therapy, secretions doesn’t involve live cells and are more stable, enabling a lot more treatment options.’’

Regeneus believes secretions which contain exosomes will be the future. One can think of exosomes as ‘‘the nuggets in chicken soup’’.

Lee says they improve viability and functionality of stem cells, a fact proven by the more than 3000 publications on the subject, and with others in the market now following in their footsteps.

With existing patents in Australia, the US, EU and Japan, Regeneus has recently received patent confirmation from the US and Europe, affording it commercial rights in the US and across 38 European member states until 2032.

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