In 2006, the objective of the Translational Regenerative Medicine proposal for the Smart Mix program was defined as: To translate national breakthrough proof-of-concept technology into concrete clinical trials, paving the way for the development of subsequent innovative products. This objective corresponds to the SmartMix aim to create social and economic value.
Five years of research in the 6 TeRM projects have indeed resulted in exciting results, new products, clinical trials and new treatments. At the end of the TeRM program, all companies and most UMCs have been or will be participating in clinical trials focusing on the regeneration of cartilage, bone, vessels and heart.
We can conclude that TeRM has provided one of the crucial stepping stones previously lacking in the Dutch RM landscape: the translation of national breakthrough proof-of-concept technology into actual clinical application and evaluation.
The TeRM program resulted in a better understanding of regeneration of tissues and the role of cells and materials in this process. Selecting the best cell source, stimulating (multipotent) cells into the desired lineage, understanding cross-talk between cells or the influence of materials on cells, but also the choosing the right material, its composition, surface, degradability and many more characteristics were studied.
For some applications, it became clear that in situ regeneration by implanting smart materials without cells could be a more efficient approach, whereas cell therapy was the basis for regeneration of other tissues.
TeRM is proud of the outcome. Clinicians used TeRM technology in the treatment of patients. The start-up and SMEs in the consortium were successful in bringing their products and therapies to the clinic. Four new spin-off companies were established and 14 unique patent applications were submitted.