In a previous post, we discussed the history of regenerative medicine from the 8th century B.C. through the present day. This exciting field has developed from its speculative roots into a broad and diverse industry with many subcategories and hundreds of therapies in development. In this post, we’ll talk about where exactly Cook MyoSite’s Autologous Muscle Derived Cells (AMDC) technology fits under the modern regenerative medicine umbrella.
First, let’s review some regenerative medicine basics. The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), the leading industry advocacy group, defines the field of regenerative medicine as follows:
Regenerative medicine includes gene therapies, cell therapies, and tissue-engineered products intended to augment, repair, replace or regenerate organs, tissues, cells, genes, and metabolic processes in the body.
These three categories – gene therapy, cell therapy, and tissue-engineered products – are not all-inclusive, but they represent the main fields into which most regenerative medicines fall. Gene therapy involves modifying aspects of our genes and/or their expression. This field is particularly promising for diseases related to our genetics, such as cancer and inherited diseases.
Tissue engineering, on the other hand, is a general descriptor for a range of practices that seeks to treat conditions using scaffolds, cells, and/or molecules. Tissue engineering includes the production of artificial organs, such as the use of artificial skin to treat burn victims.
Finally, there is cell therapy, the category that includes Cook MyoSite’s AMDC technology. As ARM describes:
Cell therapy is the administration of viable, often purified cells into a patient’s body to grow, replace, or repair damaged tissue for the treatment of a disease.
Within cell therapy, there are a few more distinctions. First, all cell therapies are either allogeneic or autologous. Allogeneic means that the cells used come from a donor; autologous means the cells come from a patient’s own body. AMDC technology is an autologous cell therapy due to the fact that we source muscle cells from a patient’s own thigh.
In addition, cell therapies can either be classified as modified or unmodified. In modified cell therapies, cells are obtained from a patient or donor’s body, manipulated in some way to create a therapeutic effect, and then administered to the patient. In unmodified cell therapies, there is no manipulation, and the cells are simply obtained, grown to the appropriate scale, and administered.
AMDC technology is an unmodified cell therapy. While many cell therapy applications require additional manipulation, the human body has a built-in mechanism for muscle regrowth. AMDC technology is still under evaluation in clinical trials and is not yet approved for commercial use, but it is theorized to repurpose that natural capacity by isolating the cells responsible for regrowth and injecting them into damaged or under-functioning muscle tissue, no manipulation required.
Stringing all of these descriptors together, we can say that AMDC technology is an autologous, unmodified cell therapy. For more information on Cook MyoSite’s clinical trials investigating AMDC technology, visit clinicaltrials.gov and search “Cook MyoSite.”