Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Translation of stem cell technologies into tools of regenerative medicine is also a mission being undertaken by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Case in point is recent stem cell research at Roche that is focused on the use and development of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), partly for the purpose of advancing regenerative medicine.
Global alliance director Alain A.G. Vertès, Ph.D., discussed Roche’s long-term vision to develop cell therapeutics that target specific diseases and maximize patients’ clinical benefits and lower safety risks—a project that is just entering the implementation phase.
“In addition to this therapeutic approach, Roche is also conducting research on induced pluripotent stem cells and, when necessary, human embryonic stem cells, in order to enable their use in drug discovery with the ultimate objective to develop more efficacious and always safer drugs,” said Dr. Vertès. “Initially, we will focus on leveraging the immunomodulatory properties of MSCs, however, as our knowledge of their regenerative properties increase, we hope to be able to address disease where regeneration will be the primary mechanism of action.”
Dr. Vertès concluded by saying that, much still needs to be learned by the scientific community and the hope is that regenerative live-cell therapeutic products could be commercialized in the not too distant future to bring innovative medicines to patients who need them.