Regenerative medicine holds the promise of curative healthcare. Unlike traditional medicines and devices, it harnesses cells and tissues, including in combination with gene therapy and devices, to enable the body to regenerate and, in effect, heal itself. Regenerative medicine is an integrated process to recover organ functions lost due to age, disease, damage or congenital defects. The existing approaches for this process include transplantation, tissue engineering, cell therapy, and gene therapy.
Regenerative medicine is defined as the use of stem cells, biomaterials and molecules, and devices to repair, regenerate or replace damaged or diseased cells, tissues and organs for the purposes of restoring and establishing normal function, not enhancement. This ability to re-program cells into taking one of many specific forms opens the door to new treatments in multiple therapy areas – retinal disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative, orthopaedic and immune disorders.
While regenerative medicine is a branch of medical therapy, it is distinct from most pharmaceuticals and surgery and represents a new paradigm in science. Regenerative medicine has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of injuries and disease by taking a long-term curative approach in contrast to many pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures that generally manage rather than cure disease.
A vital element in the success of regenerative medicine is the delivery of the product or therapy to the patient by skilled and qualified clinicians. The delivery of these therapies typically requires specific, highly specialised procedures: it is not as simple as prescribing a new orally administered drug.
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