Regenerative medicine is not just a new technology, but a fundamentally different direction of medicine. This is a direction that makes it possible to use the regenerative properties and abilities of our body to restore the structure and functions of a damaged organ or tissue. We are talking about a wide variety of possibilities: from rejuvenating the face skin to restoring tissue after severe injuries and growing organs as “spare parts” for the human body.
This market will undoubtedly develop rapidly around the world. According to analytical studies, in 2018 the total market for regenerative medicine was $ 28 billion and will reach $ 81 billion by 2023. Realizing the unique prospects of this healthcare field, the best scientists around the world are working on the development of regenerative medicine. But not everyone knows that the beginning of this direction was started by Soviet scientists.
A key event took place in the late 60s, when Alexander Yakovlevich Friedenstein was the first in the world to discover mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). MSCs are a specific type of cells that are present in the organisms of humans and animals and are able not only to transform into fatty, bone, cartilage, muscle and nerve cells, but also to direct the regenerative processes of the body.
People did not immediately realize the potential of this discovery, but 15 years later, Alexander Yakovlevich became one of the most quoted scientists in the Soviet Union.
Now we know that mesenchymal cells direct regenerative processes with the help of special proteins, the so-called cytokines, or growth factors. More than 300 types of different cytokine proteins have already been characterized, which gives us the opportunity to decipher the “language” in which cells speak to each other.
By understanding the function of specific cytokines, it is possible to stimulate the healing process in a natural way. As an example, consider products based on VEGF proteins that induce the growth of blood vessels and capillaries. These functions are extremely important for the treatment of trophic ulcers, especially in those with diabetes. Keep in mind that the regenerative process requires a complex chain of instructions, one might say, the correct “cocktail” of cytokines.
It is already possible to produce such “cocktails” of cytokines in specially equipped laboratories. Dozens of companies in the foreign and national markets have been working on regenerative preparations based on the ideas and concepts of the 70s.
Pharmaceutical companies around the world use cytokines to produce biologics that help speed up the natural healing process. For example, in Austria, Aposcience produces preparations based on cytokine proteins for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, deep skin lesions, burns, etc. Fresenius Medical Care, an international company, has a cytokine drug development program for patients with chronic renal failure. The approaches of regenerative medicine are widely used by many companies all over the world.
The functions of cytokines are of interest not only to pharmaceutical companies. Large cosmetic companies make cocktails of cytokines to effectively rejuvenate and slow down the aging process of the skin. Brands that already use such technology include TNS Essential Serum® from US company Allergan (recently acquired by Abbvie), CellPro GF3 from Le Mieux Clinical and others.
Cosmetics giants such as Japan’s Shiseido are investing heavily in bringing regenerative grade products to market. Despite the outbreak of the crisis, the global market for anti-age products continues to grow and is estimated at $ 52.5 billion in 2020.
The market for regenerative medicine has tremendous potential. But, of course, for its development, it is necessary to create an understandable and clear legislative base, technological infrastructure, terms for training specialists in this area.
Regenerative medicine will continue to thrive around the world. Already today, thanks to advances in this area, we can heal what seemed impossible 20 years ago. But, undoubtedly, the main discoveries in this area are still ahead: such complex pathologies as sclerosis, neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and many others have to be overcome.
In the future, with the help of regenerative medicine, a person will be able to renew his body, it is then that fantasy will finally become a reality. This medicine sphere has become very popular all over the world. Many students enrol in medical schools and universities to stude this medicine. Many conferences are held in different world parts to create a profound foundation to develop regenerative medicine. This is a profitable profession that allows many scientists help every needed person.