Regenerative medicine has long-term potential for the pharmaceutical industry, finds survey


Most opportunity in cardiovascular, oncology, neurodegenerative, monogenic disorders and ocular disease

Pharma and biotech companies see the value and long-term potential of regenerative medicine and advanced therapies, and are committed to investing in the sector through internal research and by forming partnerships with academia and smaller companies, a survey by the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) has revealed.

The Washington, DC, US-based organisation questioned 16 top pharmaceutical and large-cap biotech companies for its Pharma and Biotech Survey, including Allergan, Amgen, Baxter, Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Eli Lilly, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Serono, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi Genzyme and Shire.

All of the companies interviewed are investing in some aspect of regenerative medicine and view the sector as a 'potential paradigm shift in the development of breakthrough medicines'.

On the therapeutic front, 69% have invested in cellular-based regenerative medicine products.

Product consistency and lack of standards could be the single greatest barrier to the growth of regenerative medicines

The therapeutic areas considered to have the most opportunity are cardiovascular disease, oncology, neurodegenerative disease, monogenic disorders and ocular disease, with wound healing and burns perhaps having the greatest near-term potential.

The companies surveyed believe regenerative medicine products have the ability to succeed within current regulatory frameworks, but product consistency and lack of standards could be the single greatest barrier to their growth.

Many thought the difficulty of raising finance has had an impact on the ability of small companies to run high-quality clinical trials.

'The support of large pharmaceutical and biotech companies is critical to the success of the regenerative medicine field, and having this valuable insight will allow us better to understand how to work with this group of companies,' said Robert Preti, Co-chair of ARM's Science and Technology Committee.

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'It is encouraging to see that the sector is of high interest to the group, and we are pleased with their commitment to the field.'