Videregen Ltd is a spin-out from Northwick Park Institute of Medical Research in London. The Company has developed a proprietary stem cell-based technology platform on which it seeks to develop a range of personalised, non-immunogenic orphan replacement products for orphan indications (i.e. rare diseases or conditions that affects a small amount of people in a life-impacting manner).
The Company’s technology seeks to offer the cultivation of replacement organs for human implantation, such organs including trachea, larynx and the small bowel. The Company has developed the platform that can produce biological scaffolds from donated or harvested organs into to which a patient’s own stem cells are introduced, creating a bespoke organ replacement. The technology has the potential to create cost-effective curative therapies for a wide range of life changing and debilitating diseases.
The patented process creates a biological scaffold from a donated human donor organ, or from an organ taken a specially bred pig (pigs organs are used as they have anatomically very similar organs to humans making them ideal candidates for donor organs). The donor organ is first de-cellularised to remove any autologous cells (i.e. the donor’s own cells) before being chemically washed to remove any viruses with the result leaving only a scaffold of connected organ tissue. The next step in the process is to ‘seed’ the scaffold with the recipients’ own stem cells with the result being a unique replacement organ.
One of the main patient benefits of the Company’s technique is that they will not be required to take any immunosuppressant drugs following the transplant, as the cells used to create the replacement organ were derived directly from the recipient.
For large medical bodies such as the NHS, the Company’s approach has the potential for significant cost-savings whilst at the same time delivering a much more satisfactory outcome for the patient. It is the Company’s assertion that the cost savings aspect of the technique is derived from the fact that the patient may no longer require expensive surgical interventions and condition-supporting (e.g. anti-rejection) drugs.The need for organ transplants can stem from cancer, trauma or a congenital disease. Previously the only option was to accept an organ transplant if available, and remain on immune suppressant (anti- rejection) drugs for the remainder of the patients’ life.
The Company’s solution can address the chronic and growing shortage of organs for transplantation, and also provide a much more cost-effective and satisfactory outcome for the patient. The Company states its’ intention is not to compete against, or try to take over from traditional human donor transplants, but to offer replacement organs where there is a clear need that cannot be met via traditional methods. The aim of the Company is to develop the world’s first commercially available organ replacement products.