Regenerative Medicine Biomanufacturing Highlighted at RegMIC Conference

The Regenerative Manufacturing Innovation Consortium (RegMIC) held a two-day conference for its industry partners on December 6-7, 2022, in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, NC. On the first day, with 66 in attendance, the latest innovation in regenerative medicine was on full display at the RegMIC Preconference Expo. 

Josh Hunsberger, PhD, Chief Technology Officer with RegenMed Development Organization (ReMDO), who organized the conference in collaboration with RegMIC, said that developing technology and talent were showcased. 

While the innovations of today were reviewed, RegMIC partners and investigators from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) envisioned ways to seek projects to promote novel collaboration and funding opportunities. The Expo also featured engagement with trainees partaking in internships and externships at WFIRM and ReMDO — supporting the brightest minds in a thriving ecosystem. 

On day two, 51 attendees received a progress update on biomanufacturing initiatives such as bioink, media, and bioreactors, major achievements, industry partner support, and upcoming commercialization options. Key innovations in development for the RegenMed Hub Test Bed were also provided. “The RegenMed Hub is the future — we are leading the field,” said Hunsberger. 

The conference also welcomed keynote speaker, former FDA official, Steve Bauer, PhD, Chief Science and Regulatory Affairs Officer working with ReMDO and WFIRM. “I joined the FDA in 1991, and that was at the very formation of the division of cell and gene therapy, so I have watched with great enthusiasm as this field developed from the very beginning,” said Bauer. 

Celebrating progress and preparing for the challenges ahead, the Executive Leadership Industry Council for RegMIC projected the future of biomanufacturing, led by the RegenMed Hub. “I am grateful for our success. There is no way we could have put on this successful event without the enthusiastic participation of everyone involved,” said Hunsberger. 

For ReMDO Chief Operating Officer Gary Green, EdD, the meeting resulted in successfully identifying some key areas to focus on for the future. “Focus areas include standards, data collection and curation, work force development and training, and a new frontier for in-space biomanufacturing,” he said. “Our future is no longer bound by gravity and this group will no doubt bring some disruptive changes to the field of regenerative medicine.” 

About the RegenMed Development Organization: The mission of the RegenMed Development Organization (ReMDO) is to accelerate the discovery and translation of regenerative medicine therapies. ReMDO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that manages a clinical translation initiative that includes thought leaders, representatives from leading US research centers, government representatives, and companies of all sizes. ReMDO conducts research to de-risk technologies and speed up their translation to clinical practice and to the global market. ReMDO manages the world’s first and only professional organization dedicated solely to advancing the regenerative medicine field, the Regenerative Medicine Manufacturing Society (RMMS), and the Regenerative Medicine Manufacturing Innovation Consortium (RegMIC), which manages a private-public partnership of industry and academic members focused on scaling up technologies. 

About the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine: The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is recognized as an international leader in translating scientific discovery into clinical therapies, with many world firsts, including the development and implantation of the first engineered organ in a patient. Over 400 people at the institute, the largest in the world, work on more than 40 different tissues and organs. A number of the basic principles of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine were first developed at the institute. WFIRM researchers have successfully engineered replacement tissues and organs in all four categories – flat structures, tubular tissues, hollow organs and solid organs – and 16 different applications of cell/tissue therapy technologies, such as skin, urethras, cartilage, bladders, muscle, kidney, and vaginal organs, have been successfully used in human patients. The institute, which is part of Wake Forest School of Medicine, is located in the Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, and is driven by the urgent needs of patients. The institute is making a global difference in regenerative medicine through collaborations with over 400 entities and institutions worldwide, through its government, academic and industry partnerships, its start-up entities, and through major initiatives in breakthrough technologies, such as tissue engineering, cell therapies, diagnostics, drug discovery, biomanufacturing, nanotechnology, gene editing and 3D printing. 

Content contribution by Brianna Coppolino, WFIRM’s Office of Communications