In May 2009, the Users’ Centre for Regenerative Medicine in the Neckar-Alb and Stuttgart health region (REGiNA) was honoured as one of two winning projects in the “Gesundheitsregionen der Zukunft” (“Health Regions of the Future”) competition organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Theory is now being put into practice, with BioRegio STERN Management GmbH reporting on the launch of the Users’ Centre at a press conference at the University Hospital Tübingen.
Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, Managing Director of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, is convinced the REGiNA pilot project will significantly help regenerative medicine to become firmly established in the healthcare system and enable it to develop into a standard in patient care through outstanding product innovations and innovative treatment methods. “This subject area is still comparatively new but has the potential to revolutionise modern medicine and initiate a paradigm shift from repair to actual healing,” says Dr. Eichenberg. As part of REGiNA, around 30 partners in the Neckar-Alb and Stuttgart health region are looking to work in cooperation with the University Hospital Tübingen (UKT) and the Medical Faculty of Tübingen University to create the Users’ Centre for Regenerative Medicine.
While BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is responsible for overall administration, the UKT's staff unit will take care of clinical coordination. Prof. Michael Bamberg, Managing Medical Director of the UKT, underlined the central role that regenerative medicine is set to play for the healthcare market in the future and provided a number of impressive examples - all from the STERN BioRegion, where many years of major advances have been made in treating patients with chronic wounds, diseases of the musculoskeletal system and cardiovascular conditions. He says he is only too happy to meet the challenges that face the UKT as a pioneer in this field. "I'm convinced we will play an exceptional role in regenerative medicine. And with REGiNA, we don't just wish to communicate this to the outside world, but also actively drive things forward," he states.Prof. Ingo B. Autenrieth, Dean of the Medical Faculty of Tübingen University, which supports the scientific coordination of 19 research and development projects at various research institutes and enterprises in the health region, is in no doubt about the relevance of REGiNA for the university: "By pooling the expertise of all partners, we will be faster and more effective in incorporating research results into applications." He added that the research projects focus in particular on enabling patients to benefit more quickly from innovative developments.As a representative of the commercial enterprises involved, Christian O. Erbe, Managing Partner of ERBE Elektromedizin GmbH in Tübingen and Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) in Reutlingen, highlighted the importance of the project for the medtech sector at the site: "REGiNA is an excellent catalyst that can also encourage traditional medtech companies to turn to biotechnology and plug a gap in the market." In Erbe's view, although the sector is well-positioned compared to other countries, he fears losing market share to low-wage countries. He says innovative cooperation arrangements by biotech and medtech companies, as provided for in REGiNA, open up totally new horizons.The representatives from the worlds of science and business all agreed that the funding of up to 7.5 million euros that the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is using to support REGiNA will generate much more than just the agreed investment from the region amounting to a further 7.5 million euros. "The launch of REGiNA sees us setting in motion a project or, more precisely, a variety of networked projects that can set a precedent beyond the confines of Germany and promote a strategy of integrated funding in medicine and healthcare management," said Dr. Eichenberg, summing up expectations.
Dr. Thomas GrieshammerBioRegio STERN Mangement GmbHFriedrichstr.10 70174 StuttgartTel: +49-711-870354-21E-Mail:grieshammer(at)bioregio-stern.de