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Institute for Regenerative Medicine Announces International Collaborations

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine today announced collaborations with regenerative medicine institutes in Shanghai, China, and Tokyo, Japan. Both agreements have the goal of accelerating the translation of research into therapies that can benefit patients.

The agreements were announced by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the two international collaborators: Yilin Cao, M.D., Ph.D., of the Shanghai Tissue Engineering Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and Teruo Okano, Ph.D., of the Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science, Tokyo Women’s Medical University.

Each alliance will combine the skills and expertise of the two institutions to develop new clinical treatments.

“Because the need for new therapies knows no boundaries,” said Atala, “we are committed to partnering with scientists from around the world to solve tough challenges and make advances to benefit patients.”

Each of the institutes is recognized worldwide for its achievements in regenerative medicine. The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine scientists were the first in the world to implant laboratory-engineered organs into patients and today are working to engineer more than 22 different organs and tissues in the lab and developing cell therapies to restore organ function.

The Shanghai Tissue Engineering Center is recognized for its developments in musculoskeletal regenerative medicine, with products and technologies now in clinical trials relating to the regeneration of tissues for orthopedics and cranio-maxillofacial medicine.

The Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science in Tokyo has developed a technology to engineer sheets of cells in the laboratory that can be transplanted into diseased areas for the functional restoration of tissues and organs. The technology, known as CSTEC™, is currently being evaluated in clinical trials in Europe for regenerating cornea tissue.

All three institutes have been successful in developing clinical therapies and have technologies that have been licensed to companies with the goal of making them more widely available to patients. In addition, all institutes receive major funding from their respective governments for their research and development programs.

The collaborations were organized and arranged by David Williams, D.Sc., director of International Affairs at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Wei Liu, M.D., Ph.D., from the Shanghai Tissue Engineering Center, and Mime Egami, visiting professor and chief medical innovation officer at The Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science.

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Last Updated: 04-21-2010
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