The impact of stem cell biology on medicine is likely comparable to the unraveling of the human genome and recombinant DNA technology in the context of envisioned future therapies. This vision brings many challenges outside of the immediate scientific development hurdles. The core science behind adult and pluripotent stem cell therapies and current clinical development status will be discussed, including the impact of global regulatory policies on models of practice and medical tourism. The bioprocessing industry is adapting to meet scale requirements in manufacturing and personalized medicine paradigms for practice. iPS technology is driving genome science and epigenetic technology to enable personalized diagnostics and personalized treatment, leading to a paradigm where post-natal tissue collection and genome analysis will determine individual healthcare futures. Bringing regenerative medicine to the standard of care is now facing its biggest hurdle with reimbursement expectations confronting ceilings in our healthcare system. Patient and industry advocacy organizations are building community engagement to attract development capital and construct economically sound business models for this future.
Robert Deans is responsible for regenerative medicine technology development at Athersys Inc. and its European subsidiary, ReGenesys. Athersys is developing cell therapeutics based on adherent stem cells (MultiStem) isolated from adult bone marrow. Athersys has active Phase I and II clinical development activity in acute myocardial infarct, stroke, ulcerative colitis, and for adjunctive therapy of allogeneic bone marrow transplant. Robert is also chairman of the ISCT Commercialization Committee and serves on a number of Regulatory advisory committees.
Robert has more than 20 years of experience in stem cell therapeutics, having previously served at Osiris Therapeutics as VP of Research. He was previously Director of R&D at Baxter Healthcare, where he developed biological components of the Isolex300i hematopoietic stem cell purification platform. In addition, he served on the faculty at USC Medical School from 1984 to 1992. He holds degrees from MIT and the University of Michigan, and postdoctoral training in molecular immunology at UCLA.
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