Who we are, what we do, and why we do it is summarized in one simple motto: From care to cure. It expresses that bringing the cure to patients suffering from chronic diseases is our ultimate goal. Although this is going to be a long road, we aim to improve treatments for existing patients along the way. At the same time, we develop the technology and the businesses to deliver such solutions to the patients.
With this in mind, we define what research is needed, rather than start with research and look for applications. The reason for this approach is that we believe that finding a cure to chronic conditions is the future for both, our society (health, vitality, quality of life) and our economy (new industry, lower health care costs in the long term).
• Patient-driven: Everything we do is informed by and programed from the patient’s perspective. We work with“Moonshots”: breakthroughs for patients that we have unbundled into “roadmaps” with intermediate deliverables that are both needed to realize the longer-term breakthrough and real improvements for patients in the short and medium-term. We currently have four Moonshots: a bioengineered implantable Kidney, a solution to implant encapsulated insulin-producing β-cells for Diabetes, a bioengineered joint as a cure for Osteoarthritis, and the regeneration of the human Heart outside the body, then implanting it back.
• Collaboration: In RegMed XB, excellent researchers work together across the borders of institutions, disciplines, and even countries. Collaboration is critical as many of the challenges are the same all over the world. In addition to intermediate steps specific to individual Moonshots, all regenerative medicine solutions require technologies to produce cells, tissues, organoids, and eventually entire organs. By jointly developing such technologies, we aim to build a “cure factory” – a production line for regenerative medicine therapies. This will not only extend beyond the current Moonshots but builds a new industry in the Netherlands and Flanders. That is another reason why not only health foundations, research groups, and SMEs collaborate in RegMed XB, but national and regional governments are keen to support this transition to a new economic model as well.
• Development and commercialization: Everything we do is geared towards bringing new solutions to patients as quickly and efficiently as possible. That means that producing and distributing these solutions must be economically viable. Our researcher's design for commercialization from day one and RegMed XB as a platform accelerates technology and product development, venture creation, commercial investment, and scaling through (regional and national) funding, infrastructure, and hands-on support and on-the-job training for entrepreneurs.
We strongly 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. The success of the emerging regenerative medicine sector relies on excellent research at knowledge institutes and effective valorization thereof.