Innovation in Medicine: Curing chronic diseases with Regenerative Medicine

The amount of people suffering from chronic diseases on a global level is rapidly increasing due to our ageing population. Regenerative Medicine can play a pivotal role in confronting this trend and its consequences, and be a truly disruptive innovation. Regenerative medicine holds the promise to cure many chronic conditions, restoring health instead of treating and protracting decline. This improves the lives of millions and at the same time preventing lifelong, expensive care processes: cure instead of care.

Regenerative Medicine is an important topic in Leiden: together with the university, the academic hospital center (LUMC) and the Leiden Bio Science Park, it is the hub for Life Sciences & Health in the Netherlands. Leiden has half a century of experience as an innovator in Regenerative Medicine, performing the first bone marrow transplantation in Europe in 1965 and in 1966 the first kidney transplantation. Today, we discuss our ambition to be the EU-HUB for Regenerative Medicine. The Leiden, South-Holland region is thé real-life testing ground for this topic, encompassing innovative research, an ecosystem for Life Science & Health start-ups, big pharma, and an academic clinical center with GMP-facilities to test new therapeutic modalities.

Currently our expertise has led to our leadership position in two institutes: the precompetitive virtual institute on Human Organ and Disease Model Technologies. This institute develops human disease- and organ-on-a-chip technologies. We have another leadership position in the public-private consortium RegMed XB which stands for Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders. This is a commercialization vehicle for the Leiden Regenerative Medicine Platform, together with the Leiden Bio Science Park companies such as Galapagos, Mimetas, Ncardia, as well as other Dutch and Belgian public and private partners that will work together to develop patient-driven regenerative medicine solutions to health challenges such as kidney failure and diabetes. Combining all available expertise will not only strengthen the Dutch international trendsetting position, but also the position of Europe and its member states on a world-wide level.