Professor Anthony Hollander, from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Integrative Biology, has presented evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on Regenerative Medicine.
Professor Hollander is a leading expert in stem cell biology and is also the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of spin-out company Azellon Cell Therapeutics, which is developing a stem cell therapy for torn knee cartilage.
The regenerative medicine inquiry was launched in April 2016 to examine research and funding of regenerative medicine in the UK, with a focus on embryonic and somatic stem cell research, and the ethical issues and investment challenges it presents.
Regenerative medicine involves replacing or regenerating cells, tissues or organs in order to restore or establish normal function in people with chronic illnesses. It has been used, for example, in bone marrow transplants and offers the prospect of more effective repairs for faulty hearts, skin burns and worn-out joints.
During the House of Commons meeting, Professor Hollander spoke of his research experience, including the development of a method of creating cartilage cells from stem cells, which helped to make possible the first successful transplant of a tissue-engineered trachea, utilising the patient’s own stem cells. These results provided crucial evidence that adult stem cells, combined with biologically compatible materials, could offer genuine solutions to other serious illnesses.
Other experts presenting to the committee included Dr Rob Buckle, Director of UK Regenerative Medicine Platform at Research Councils UK; Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation; and Professor Neil Hanley, Professor of Medicine at the University of Manchester.
Professor Hollander commented afterwards: “I am delighted to have had the chance to advise the Science and Technology Committee on some of the key issues surrounding the translation of stem cell research into regenerative medicine therapies.”
To view the TV recording of the session please visit: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/903c2713-235e-4fcb-aaef-39c52a605909