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What are the prospects for regenerative medicine | Rusbase


The principles of regenerative medicine have already been successfully applied in many areas: in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, cosmetology and veterinary medicine. Scientists believe that with its help you can not only prolong life, but also significantly improve its quality.

What is regenerative medicine, what opportunities it opens up and how this direction promises to change the near future of mankind, said Antonina Kolesnikova, Doctor of Biological Sciences, co-founder and chief technologist of the company “T-Helper Cellular Technologies”.

What are the prospects for regenerative medicine

What is regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine is not just a new technology, but a fundamentally different direction of medicine. This is a direction that makes it possible to use the regenerative properties and abilities of our body to restore the structure and functions of a damaged organ or tissue. We are talking about a variety of possibilities: from rejuvenating the skin of the face to tissue restoration after serious injuries and growing organs as “spare parts” for the human body.

And this market will undoubtedly develop rapidly around the world. According to analytical studies, in 2018 the total market for regenerative medicine was $ 28 billion and will reach $ 81 billion by 2023. Realizing the unique perspectives of this field, the best scientists around the world are working on the development of regenerative medicine. But not everyone knows that the beginning of this direction was largely laid by Soviet scientists.

A key event took place in the late 60s, when Alexander Yakovlevich Friedenstein was the first in the world to discover mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). MSCs are a specific type of cells that are present in the organisms of humans and animals and are capable of not only transforming into adipose, bone, cartilage, muscle and nerve cells, but also directing the regenerative processes of the body.

People did not immediately understand the potential of this discovery, but 15 years later, Alexander Yakovlevich became one of the most cited scientists in the Soviet Union. In 1972, when I was a young graduate student, I had a unique opportunity to work in the laboratory of Alexander Yakovlevich and study the principles of regenerative medicine with him.

We now know that mesenchymal cells direct regenerative processes with the help of special proteins, the so-called cytokines, or growth factors. More than 300 types of different cytokine proteins have already been characterized, which gives us the opportunity to decipher the “language” in which cells speak to each other.

Cytokines can be thought of as “intercellular SMS”, with the help of which cells transmit messages to each other related to the healing process. Some cytokine proteins help regulate the inflammatory process, while others ensure the restoration of damaged tissue.

By understanding the function of specific cytokines, it is possible to stimulate the healing process in a natural way. As an example, consider products based on VEGF proteins that induce the growth of blood vessels and capillaries. These functions are extremely important for the treatment of trophic ulcers, especially in those with diabetes. It should be noted that the regenerative process requires a complex chain of instructions, one might say, the correct “cocktail” of cytokines.

What is already available on the regenerative medicine market

It is already possible to produce such cytokine “cocktails” in specially equipped laboratories. Dozens of companies in the foreign and domestic markets have been working on regenerative preparations based on our ideas since the 70s.

Pharmaceutical companies around the world use cytokines to produce biologics that help speed up the natural healing process. For example, in Austria, Aposcience manufactures preparations based on cytokine proteins for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, deep skin lesions, burns, etc. The international company Fresenius Medical Care has a cytokine drug development program for patients with chronic renal failure.

In Russia, T-Helper Cellular Technologies has over the past seven years created a unique technological platform for the production of regenerative products based on natural cytokine proteins. The first such product, Reparin-Helper®, has already gone on sale in the veterinary market. It is a collection of specific cytokines and is approved for the treatment of eye injuries, wounds and inflammation in animals.

The company has already received patents for this drug in Russia and the United States and is awaiting additional patents in key countries around the world. The patented technology for the production of popular cytokines opens up wide opportunities for cooperation with Russian and foreign companies and the development of new products of the “regenerative” class.

The functions of cytokines are of interest not only to pharmaceutical companies. Major cosmetic companies make cocktails of cytokines to effectively rejuvenate and slow down the aging process of the skin. Brands that already use such technology include TNS Essential Serum® from US company Allergan (recently acquired by Abbvie), CellPro GF3 from Le Mieux Clinical and others.

Cosmetics giants such as Japan’s Shiseido are investing significant resources to bring regenerative grade products to market. Despite the outbreak of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global market for anti-age products continues to grow and is estimated at $ 52.5 billion in 2020.

What is the future of regenerative medicine

The market for regenerative medicine has tremendous potential. But, of course, for its development, it is necessary to create an understandable and clear legislative base, technological infrastructure, conditions for training specialists in this area.

Work is underway in Russia in this direction. Back in 2011, cellular technology was officially recognized as the “critical technology of the Russian Federation.” In 2016, the Institute of Regenerative Medicine was founded on the territory of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov. In the same year, the Federal Law “On Biomedical Cellular Products” was adopted, which makes it possible to ensure the safety of their use.

In November 2019, the IV National Congress on Regenerative Medicine was held in Moscow, where more than 1300 specialists from different countries discussed the most pressing issues in this area: from the prospects for full restoration of tissue structure and functions to the reconstruction of lost organs using bioengineering. Such initiatives from the state, science and industry will help the early formation and dynamic development of regenerative medicine in our country.

Regenerative medicine will continue to thrive around the world. Already today, thanks to advances in this area, we can heal what seemed impossible 20 years ago. But, undoubtedly, the main discoveries in this area are still ahead: such complex pathologies as sclerosis, neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and many others have to be overcome.

In the future, with the help of regenerative medicine, a person will be able to renew his body, it is then that fantasy will finally become a reality.

Cover photo: IgorVetushko/depositphotos.com


Source: Rusbase by rb.ru.

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