June 17, 2011 08:29 ET

The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine: New Partnership to Mass-Produce Stem Cells for Patient Therapies

Current Bottleneck Limits Testing and Development of Regenerative Medicine

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 17, 2011) - The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine have joined forces to relieve an industry bottleneck in the mass production of stem cells needed to bring therapies to patients.

The McEwen Centre will provide $1 million in support of specific projects that are ready to be commercialized by CCRM.

The ability of stem cells to become any cell type in the body means that they have the potential to be used to treat, and perhaps cure, devastating and costly illnesses such as heart or blood diseases.

In order for stem cell therapies to be used to treat patients, large numbers of high quality cells are needed for drug screening and clinical studies. For example, making heart muscle cells to screen for new drug therapies or producing blood cells for transplants.

The McEwen Centre is a world-renowned pipeline of discoveries in conditions such as heart or blood diseases. CCRM provides the commercialization process --the development facilities and personnel -- to translate these discoveries into products that can treat patients. Dr. Gordon Keller, Director of the McEwen Centre, says collaboration is critical, "As a truly multidisciplinary approach, regenerative medicine brings together expertise from complementary fields including cell and molecular biology, genetics and tissue engineering. Through a commitment to this kind of collaboration, we are beginning to harness the remarkable potential of stem cells to develop novel treatments for a broad range of devastating and life-threatening diseases".

Dr. Michael May, CEO of CCRM, says these partnerships are key, "It's the strength and alignment of this community that creates value in these early stage technologies. Our partnership with the McEwen Centre and other cell facilities in Ontario, the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research and the Orsino Cell Therapy Facility, allow us to produce these stem cell technologies to the scale needed to benefit patients".

Together with their partners, CCRM and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine will deliver on the promise to make Canada the leader in regenerative medicine.

Contact Information

  • The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine
    Sandra Donaldson
    Manager, Communications & Education
    416.978.0553 or Cell: 647.926.1228