Organogenesis, Inc. to Develop Regenerative Medicine Therapies for U.S. Military Battlefield Injuries
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Consortium Wins Grant to Form New Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM)
Canton, Mass. / Washington D.C.—April 17, 2008—Organogenesis, Inc., the world’s most successful regenerative medicine company, announced today that it is part of a consortium—spearheaded by the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center—which has been awarded $42.5 million over five years by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (ISR) to co-lead one of two academic groups that will form the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM).
The collaboration will be headed by the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. A second consortium will be managed by Rutgers and the Cleveland Clinic.
The two consortiums, working with the ISR, will use the science of regenerative medicine to develop new treatments for wounded soldiers.
“We are proud that Organogenesis will play a key role in the development of better treatments of battlefield injuries through the use of regenerative medicine,” said Geoff Mackay, CEO of Organogenesis. “We believe that our experience as pioneers in the translation of regenerative medicine technology from visionary science and laboratory research, to therapies used to benefit patients in everyday medical care, will be important to AFIRM.”
AFIRM will be dedicated to repairing battlefield injuries through the use of regenerative medicine, science that takes advantage of the body’s natural healing powers to restore or replace damaged tissue and organs. In addition to developing clinical treatments, AFIRM will serve as a training facility to develop experts in treating trauma with regenerative medicine and will serve as a resource to help the military develop tissues as needs are identified. Therapies developed by AFIRM will also benefit people in the civilian population with burns or severe trauma.
In addition to its clinical research activities, the AFIRM will create cooperative partnerships with industry to ensure that the technical innovations emerging from the research will transition rapidly into militarily relevant therapies and result in producible technologies, and ultimately will be translated into civilian population applications as well. The AFIRM will incorporate a close integration between basic science research and translational and clinical research in order to bring to practice effective regenerative medicine therapies.
The Wake Forest-University of Pittsburgh team has committed to develop clinical therapies over the next five years that will focus on the following five areas:
· Burn repair
· Wound healing without scarring
· Craniofacial reconstruction
· Limb reconstruction, regeneration or transplantation
· Compartment syndrome, a condition related to inflammation after surgery or injury that can lead to increased pressure, impaired blood flow, nerve damage and muscle death.
Collaborators for the Wake Forest-McGowan team include Organogenesis, Inc., Tufts University, Allegheny Singer Research Institute, the California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Intercytex, North Carolina State University, Oregon Medical Laser Center at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, Rice University, the Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of North Carolina, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the University of Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt University.
More than 50 technologies from the AFIRM team already have had a wide impact on treatments for illness and injury. Researchers have launched more than 10 clinical trials (three with the Army) using tissue engineered products that have now been implanted in more than 1 million patients.
For instance, Organogenesis is the first company to successfully mass produce living regenerative medicine products—reaching hundreds of thousands of patients in the U.S. and other markets across the world. Its signature product, Apligraf®, is the first bio-engineered living cell therapy to have received FDA approvals to close diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers.
Government sponsors of AFIRM are the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Air Force Office of the Surgeon General, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health. In addition to this funding, Wake Forest and its partners will provide more than $150 million from academic institutions, industry and state and federal agencies for the projects—for a total of almost $200 million available for soldier regeneration research.
About Regenerative Medicine
A new frontier in healthcare, regenerative medicine utilizes living human cells, including stem cells, to repair or replace body tissue damaged by injury, disease or even the natural aging process.
Regenerative medicine is a multidisciplinary field which brings together biology, medicine, and engineering to empower scientists to grow living cells, tissues and organs in the laboratory, and to safely implant them into the human body for the purposes of healing.
About Organogenesis, Inc.
Massachusetts based Organogenesis, Inc. is the world’s most successful regenerative medicine company and is focused in areas of bio-active wound healing, bio-surgery and bio-aesthetics. Organogenesis delivers living tissue “on demand,” and its mission is to bring the medical marvel of regenerative medicine products to patients and to standardize their use in everyday medical care.
Organogenesis is in the midst of a large expansion, both in the U.S., as well as overseas. As the world’s leading Regenerative Medicine company, Organogenesis has broadened its international scope and ties over the past few years. The company has recently established European headquarters located in Switzerland. In addition, last December the company announced an agreement with China’s National Tissue Engineering Center (NTEC), a leading stem cell and regenerative medicine consortium, headquartered in Shanghai, for the commercialization of Organogenesis, Inc. technology within the Chinese market, and potentially throughout Asia. For more information, visit www.organogenesis.com.