Challenges for Regenerative Therapies
Pioneering work by Shinya Yamanaka and James Thomson has opened up new avenues for treating patients using (autologous) iPS cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells hold great promise for regenerative medicine since they (i) can be multiplied indefinitely and (ii) be converted into virtually any cell type of the human body. Hence, they form an ideal source for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) replacing damaged tissue in case of degenerative diseases, such as
- - Eye diseases like macular degeneration
- - Myocardial infarction
- - Diabetes
- - Parkinson‘s disease
- - Muscular dystrophy, etc.
But autologous approaches – based on iPS cells made patient-by-patient – are extremely expensive and time consuming and thus, unsuited for routine applications. Instead, regenerative cell therapy requires allogenic off-the-shelf therapeutics. Similar to the area of bone marrow transplantation, a strategy avoiding immune rejections of the cellular material will be key.
RHEINCELL will solve this challenge by combining the power of clinically approved HLAh-cord blood collections with iPSC technology. The resulting HLA-homozygous iPSC master cell bank will enable immune suppression-free cell therapies for very large numbers of patients in the Western world.