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February 22, 2012

RAEDI targets regenerative medicine biz

Here's some from my take on RAEDI's annual meeting yesterday. Lots of info. This is the kind of deal where I can only skim the surface for article.

The medical potential of a regenerative medicine cluster in Rochester dazzled local leaders with words like "magic" and "science fiction," but business growth and jobs were the bottom line at the annual meeting of Rochester Economic Development Inc. on Tuesday.

Mnbio137_2_0Representatives of three companies already in operation in Rochester — ReGen Theranostics, Mill Creek Life Sciences and Cardio3 — described how they're making strides toward treating heart disease and other illnesses by injecting cells that regrow damaged tissue.

Dr. Andre Terzic, the director for Mayo Clinic's new Center for Regenerative Medicine, said the way a person's skin heals from a cut is an example of how the body regenerates to heal itself.

But regenerative medicine aims to go beyond that to use the body's natural ability to repair and protect to create new treatments to combat a variety disease and medical conditions.

"These are very exciting times. This is no longer science fiction," he said. "This is no longer just on paper."

Several companies focused on regenerative medicine, many with aid from RAEDI and the City of Rochester, have already put down roots in the Minnesota BioBusiness Center in the past few years.

CARDIO3 BIOSCIENCES 1Cardio3 is a Belgium-based biotech company working on treating cardiac disease by using a patient's own stem cells to repair or regenerate the heart. Its treatment is based on the research of Dr. Terzic and Dr. Atta Behfar, both of Mayo Clinic. It has based its U.S. headquarters in Rochester.

Mill Creek Life Sciences is a Rochester company that manufactures a protein-enriched fluid to help grow stem cells and primary cells used in regenerative therapy. Cardio3 is a Mill Creek customer.

ReGen Theranostics is a Rochester firm that re-engineers human skin cell samples to create stem-cell lines to be used for medical research.

• Mayo Medical Ventures is a for-profit arm of Mayo Clinic that licenses its intellectual property to companies as well as launches its own businesses based on the research and technologies.


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