The Business of Regenerative Medicine in Growth Mode

The business side of research and development in regenerative medicine is in growth mode these days, with young companies starting up and expanding even in more highly regulated areas of the world - which should tell you just how great the potential benefits (and therefore financial rewards) are. A couple of articles on British companies caught my eye today:

Stem cell firm on growth fast-track:

Stem cell specialist NovaThera is pursuing a strategy of ‘organic growth,’ with plans to double its Cambridge workforce, build a new manufacturing plant and raise a sizable venture capital round


The field of tissue engineering brings together the scientific disciplines of biology, materials science and biomedical engineering directed towards the long term repair and replacement of failing human tissues and organs.

Most obviously the ability to repair or replace tissue that has degenerated addresses directly a wide range of ailments and diseases associated with the aging process from hair loss to renewed joint replacements and even damage to the lungs, an area in which NovThera specialises.

ReNeuron seeks to begin stem cell stroke trials:

ReNeuron Group PLC unveiled narrower interim losses and confirmed it has asked for permission to begin clinical trials of its experimental treatment for chronic disability caused by stroke, the first time the therapy will be studied in humans.

The filing, with US regulators the Food and Drug Administration, is a key step for the AIM-listed company, and will be the first therapy developed by ReNeuron to reach the clinic.

The British company believes the trials will be the world's first application of a neural stem cell treatment for a major neurological disorder.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and what fell out of the search engines today. Tens of thousands of scientists and medical engineers are working away at the medicine of the 2010s as you are reading this, developing ways to manipulate your body into replacing tissues damaged by aging, disease and accident.

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I think of the market in utilitarian terms. Viewed as averages over longer periods of time people spend their money in near the most effecient use of that money to deliver happiness to themselves. So someone would say buy a 400,000$ home instead of a 200,000$ home because it is a nicer place ot live hopefully for themselves. Or if thy have most things they want, they might work less hard or retire early.

Now with health we put enormous value in it naturally. People would give up their home to be healthy.. let alone young and healthy. So then it becomes the greatest industry there ever could be. In the US already healthcare is something like 15% of the economy, and 7-10% in Europe.. I don't see any reason in time on a utilitarian basis why healthcare couldn't go to 50% of the economy in the advanced nations.

Certainly the regenerative medicine companies that emerge the strongest in time could at least rival the big pharmacuetical companies in size. I am keen to invest in them.

Posted by: aa2 at December 7th, 2006 11:50 PM

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