UK and Japan award eight Regenerative Medicine projects

UK and Japan award eight Regenerative Medicine projects

The FINANCIAL -- The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) have joined forces to support eight new Regenerative Medicine research partnerships.

In this landmark collaboration, MRC and AMED will make a total of almost £7 million available to support collaborative projects that seek to advance regenerative approaches towards clinical use.

The funded projects will focus on research to underpin the early-stage development of novel regenerative medicine-based therapies for a range of disorders, including, Parkinson’s disease, blood disorders and liver diseases, or to utilise stem cells as important medical research tools to study human development.

Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair at the Medical Research Council and Dr. Yoshinao Mishima, President at the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development jointly said:

“We are delighted to announce these new awards in collaboration with our partners. The UK and Japan are world leaders in stem cell and regenerative medicine research.

“Past pioneering work in our countries has had a transformative impact and has revolutionised the potential for innovative approaches to medicine. It is timely to bring our world leading groups together in their efforts to tackle the same therapeutic goals.

“Regenerative Medicine is a strategic priority for the MRC and AMED, and these excellent international partnerships will complement our existing investments in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell research and add real value to the field.”

Regenerative medicine is an interdisciplinary research field that seeks to develop the science and tools to help repair or replace damaged or diseased human tissue to restore normal function.

As a form of ‘advanced therapy’ regenerative medicine has the potential to address a number of currently incurable degenerative conditions and is poised to revolutionise medical treatment in the 21st century.

All regenerative medicine strategies depend upon harnessing, stimulating or guiding our naturally occurring developmental or repair processes, and could involve transplantation of cells, stimulation of the body’s own repair processes, or the use of cells as delivery vehicles for therapeutic agents.

This exciting new area of joint research also marks an important milestone in UK-Japanese bilateral relations, with the initiative playing a key role in strengthening cooperation between leading UK and Japanese researchers in the field.