A Swedish Initiative to Address the Gaps in Organ Shortage

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Addressing the gaps of organ shortages with a novel platform for the personalization of xenogeneic and 3D printed tissue scaffolds – an enormous opportunity for commercialization of advanced therapies. An initiative funded by the Swedish government bringing together industry leaders like RISE, CELLINK, VERIGRAFT, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and the University of Gothenburg.

Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) will coordinate a new cutting-edge project financed by Swedish governmental innovation agency Vinnova. VERIGRAFT and Cellink will be the industrial partners in this national power-collection in the field of advanced therapies, also including Gothenburg University and Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

The ground-breaking concept of personalized tissue-engineering has the potential to be a game-changer in modern medicine. However, the current use of scaffolds from deceased donors may imply limitations when a broader market is targeted. In other words, for personalized tissue-engineering to be widely used to treat millions of patients, novel concepts for raw-material sourcing need to be discovered and developed. This project will focus on finding donors from other species, for xenogeneic transplantation, or constructing a scaffold de novo using bioinks composed of biological extracellular matrix components are front runners as alternatives, eliminating dependency on human donors. The first application the partners of this project will target are urethral stricture and various vascular disorders, consequently urethras and blood vessels will be model tissues for this novel platform.

These two areas of regenerative medicine encompass a huge unmet medical need. Once developed, this novel way of using xenogeneic and 3D-printed scaffolds is generic and can be applied to all kinds of tissues thereby being a great advantage to millions of patients in need of a personalized organ. In turn creating significant opportunities to commercialize biomedical advancements, fueling the Swedish biotech industry and continue to establish Sweden’s leadership as a hub for the development of new ATMP-therapies.

“We see great potential in the development of this area. There are many diseases that modern medicine can only alleviate. With new technologies for individualized production of new tissue, we can cure diseases that are currently considered chronic” says Yalda Bogestål, researcher and project manager at RISE.

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