12:57am Monday 25 September 2017

Regulation needs a rethink if regenerative medicine is to fulfil its potential

“We are living at the frontier of a totally new kind of health future,” Professor Tait points out, “in which, through regenerative medicine we can replace or regenerate diseased cells, tissues or organs providing potential cures for conditions such as spinal cord damage, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease or heart failure. Regenerative medicine would transform healthcare – including for those with very rare conditions – and patients would be offered curative, not palliative, therapies.”

Realising that potential within current legal and regulatory frameworks is not possible, according to researchers from Innogen and the J Kenyon Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law (MI). They also point out that, from a business point of view, there are no established models to guide companies considering investment in RM therapies, and the value chains that are needed to enable translation to viable therapies do not exist.

Taking a broad approach which brings all the key issues together – including science and innovation strategies, governance and regulation issues, and public and stakeholder perspectives – is crucial, the researchers believe, in ensuring wider understanding of both the possibilities and implications of living in a RM world. 

Scientists, social science and legal academics, policymakers and industry representatives will explore our readiness for regenerative medicine at an event held during the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science and co-hosted by the Innogen Institute and MI. Scientists developing new RM therapies, academics exploring the impact of RM, and those dealing with the practicalities of bringing new therapies from the lab to the patient will explain how they feel about RM in a 10-minute documentary, followed by discussion, in Edinburgh on 4 November.

For further information contact:

ESRC Press Office

Notes for editors

  1. Event: Innovation (Re)Generation: Exploring regenerative medicine
    Location: Edinburgh
    Date: 4 November 2014, 18.00 – 20.00
  2. The event is jointly organised by the Innogen Institute and the MI, University of Edinburgh. The Innogen Institute is a dynamic collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and the Open University that explores the social and economic impact of innovation in the life sciences. The J Kenyon Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Science and the Law (MI), based at the University of Edinburgh and located within the School of Law, serves as an interdisciplinary research network, aimed at investigating the interface between medicine, life sciences and the law in relation to medical and bioethical developments on a national and global scale.
  3. The 12th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from 1-8 November 2014 with over 200 free events nationwide. Run by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Festival provides an opportunity for anyone to meet with some of the country’s leading social scientists and discover, discuss and debate the role that research plays in everyday life. With a whole range of creative and engaging events there’s something for everyone including businesses, charities, schools and government agencies. See the full programme of events and join the discussion on Twitter using #esrcfestival.
  4. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds research into the big social and economic questions facing us today. We also develop and train the UK’s future social scientists. Our research informs public policies and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. Most importantly, it makes a real difference to all our lives. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government. In 2015 the ESRC celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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