The primary goal of RegMed XB is to create Regenerative Medicine (RM) solutions that can cure chronically ill patients. RegMed XB connects the RM top clusters in the Netherlands (Leiden, Utrecht, Eindhoven, and Maastricht) and Flanders (Leuven) in a joint research program with regional RM infrastructure.
RegMed XB has defined Moonshots that translate breakthroughs for patients in the longer-term into roadmaps with concrete intermediate steps. The current Moonshots are working towards a cure for kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and osteoarthritis. RegMed XB continuously adjusts its research programs to the latest developments and mobilizes funding to enable excellent researchers to carry out these programs.
Regenerative Medicine (RM) uses the healing power of the body itself to repair damaged cells, tissues, and organ functions. The collective name RM includes gene therapy, cell therapy, and tissue engineering. Gene therapy brings new or therapeutic genes into human cells to cure a disease caused by a non-functioning gene. Stem cells can take the form of any cell type and are used in cell therapy to repair, replace, or otherwise cure diseased tissues. Examples already in use are stem cell transplants in children with leukemia and CAR-T cell therapies that fight tumors.
In tissue engineering, small and larger pieces of tissue and eventually whole organs are grown to replace diseased tissues. Biomaterials are often used as structures (scaffolds) to introduce cells and/or tissues into a patient's body and to guide and stimulate growth there. But biomaterials can also be a regenerative therapy in their own right; an example of this in clinical development is an artificial heart valve that stimulates the growth of new heart tissue in the body and gradually dissolves into it. Finally, cells or mini-organs (organoids) grown outside the body can also be used for patients- or disease-specific 'organ-on-a-chip' models to test drugs.