In an Advanced Manufacturing report for April 2016, A Snapshot of Priority Technology Areas Across the Federal Government, the US Federal Government’s Subcommittee for Advanced Manufacturing of the National Science and Technology Council highlighted areas of US manufacturing technology areas of emergeing priority.
Among them, regenerative medicine was highlighted as one of the areas of interest for continued future financial support.
The Federal Government invested $2.89 billion between 2012-2014 on regenerative medicine, money which primarily went to the development of therapeutic techniques and technologies.
Current funding programs developing new regenerative medicine products and technologies come from DoD, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), NIH, NIST, DOE National Nuclear Security Administration, NSF, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Some of the investment programs supported by these agencies include the FDA’s Mesenchymal Stem Cell Consortium, DoD DARPA’s various macrophysiological systems programs, HHS NIH NHLBI’S Stem Cell-Derived Blood Products for Therapeutic Use Program and more.
The report highlights that future support for regenerative medicine manufacturing technologies will require collaborative work. Specifically, the report lists some expectations from teams developing future technologies which will lead to more efficient products. These include, quoted directly from the report:
To manufacture specific tissues, a project team must have advanced engineering skills combined with a deep understanding of the physiology of those tissues and the organ systems in which those tissues function
Controlling and characterizing the biologic activity through discovery, triggers, and terminations of the appropriate effector and control mechanisms at the individual cell and population levels will require the expertise of genomic scientists
Efficiencies at each step are essential to keep costs and raw materials usage down, and to keep fragile products (i.e., cells, tissues) viable, while a constant focus on usability will ultimately help enable adoptability.
Biomanufacturing for Regenerative Medicine is also listed as one of the areas of future investment for which the Government has issued a Request for Information to create a Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
Encouraging interest from the US Government in supporting further development in regenerative medicine highlights the need for more innovation in new products, technologies and strategies for cost reduction in regenerative medicine.