BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies
Regenerative medicine – this is our passion. The BCRT was established as an interdisciplinary translational center with the goal of enhancing endogenous regeneration by cells, biomaterials, and factors which can be used to develop and implement innovative therapies and products. The primary focus of the BCRT is on diseases of the immune system, the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system and in the field of tissue homeostasis and cachexia. At the BCRT clinicians and researchers are working closely together on the medicine of the future: Targeted, personalized medicine that depends on the early recognition of patients' individual healing potential.
Regenerative Therapies – Tools for Novel Patient Treatment Concepts
Recent years have seen tremendous progress in the field of medicine thanks to the development of modern pharmaceuticals, including new biological medicines. However, we are still faced with a range of unsolved medical challenges and these are set to increase even further in the future due to the shift in the population pyramid.
Traditional therapies concentrate mainly on the treatment of underlying causes and disease symptoms. Regenerative therapies, in contrast, aim to restore the functions of the body. On the one hand, tissues and organs grown in cell cultures can replace defect structures in the patient (tissue engineering), while on the other hand the patient's inherent power of regeneration can be stimulated in a targeted manner by factors, cells and biomaterials (endogenous regeneration). In combination with new diagnostic, surgical and minimally invasive procedures these curative approaches for inducing regeneration represent a new paradigm in medical care and hold the promise of solving a number of problems for which there are currently no, or only unsatisfactory, solutions.
The BCRT focuses primarily on the development of new methods and products for stimulating endogenous regeneration processes through the use of cells, biomaterials, biologically active factors, or a combination of these, to provide long-term treatment, or even cures, for acute and chronic diseases of the immune system, the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system.
What are we working on?
- Development of methods and tools for regenerative therapies on the basis of immune cells, stem cells, biomaterials, biologically active factors and combinations of these.
- Development of biomarkers for the optimal application of these novel regenerative therapies with the aim of tailoring the therapy to suit the needs of the patient (particularly for diseases of the immune system, the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system) and applying it at the respective optimal point in time.
- Rapid transfer of research findings into preclinical and clinical studies to develop new regenerative therapies.
- Targeted training of the next generation of scientists: qualified physicians, scientists and engineers who conduct both basic and applied research in the field of regenerative medicine.
- Promotion of partnerships with health insurers, regulatory authorities, health economy experts as well as with representatives and partners of the biotech and pharma industries.
- Participation in regional, national and international scientific and organizational networks.
- Communication of our goals and findings to the scientific and political communities and to the general public.
The development of regenerative therapies presents the BCRT with a number of major challenges:
- The introduction of a new class of therapeutics that, in contrast to pharmaceuticals or medicinal products, enable new treatment pathways and therapies.
- Management of the regulatory aspects of licensing these new, complex therapies and demonstrating their health economy benefits.
- Careful weighing up of the opportunities and also the risks associated with these new forms of therapy (e.g. stem celltherapy) and the promotion of an openly conducted, qualified discussion of these aspects.
- Definition of internationally recognized treatment standards, beyond the qualification of individual centers, to achieve broader application of therapies at a qualified level. This is also designed to differentiate between these standards and the unscientific approaches and promises made about the possibilities of regenerative and stem cell medicine pursued by individual commercially oriented institutions.