RegenMed SA shows potential of region’s regenerative medicine industry

February 12, 2019
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This year’s RegenMed SA conference at the Wyndham Riverwalk brought the biomedical community together to talk about regenerative medicine research happening in local universities and research labs.

Participation in the event – more than 200 people registered, the most in its five-year history – demonstrated the interest in regenerative medicine in the region.

But Becky Cap, Chief Operating Officer of GenCure and one of the conference’s organizers, said the event was far more than a show of interest in a growing field.

“One of things that’s so important in regenerative medicine is the breadth of skills and expertise that’s required to bring these innovations to market,” she said. “It’s not just about a scientific breakthrough. Not about a clinical insight. It’s about putting that all together with an ecosystem that can produce what’s required to make these products.”

RegenMed SA included speakers from across the country as well as from South Texas. The conference kicked off with keynote speaker Shideng Bao, director of the center for cancer stem cell research at the Cleveland Clinic. He talked about the potential of glioma stem cells as new treatment for the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma. 

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Andre Cap, chief of blood research at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (ISR), which is based on San Antonio, discussed cellular therapies for the treatment of trauma-related injuries. He emphasized that assays for potency are critical to making therapies effective as well as correctly identifying the right mesenchymal stem cells for the therapy.

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Travis Block, senior scientist at StemBioSys, talked about stem cell therapies for cartilage damage and the current approaches being used for these therapies.

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On the conference’s second day, Anand Srinivasan, Senior Scientist at BioBridge Global, talked about his research on a growth factor supplement.

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Other afternoon sessions included researchers Christopher Navara from UTSA, Jennifer Donegan from UT Health San Antonio and Janet Zoldan from UT Austin. They discussed the potential for stem cells to be used for tissue formation and in disorders such as Parkinson’s and schizophrenia.

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Becky Cap wrapped up the conference by outlining the significant progress on the MTEC contract, a partnership among the ISR, RoosterBio, StemBioSys and GenCure.

She said cooperation among the region’s regenerative medicine organizations can produce similar results.

“What we’re finding in San Antonio through this venue, where people are able to talk about what skills they’ve developed, is that we have all the pieces,” she said. “We just need to pull them together.”


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