The aim of this programme is to develop novel stem cell based therapeutics for osteoarthritis and cartilage repair
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex condition with broad pathology, featuring damage and loss of articular cartilage as a consistent feature. Over 100 million people worldwide suffer from painful OA, one of the most common causes of disability. While the onset of OA may be a slow and progressive process being clinically "silent" for many years, trauma such as meniscal or ligament damage are predisposing factors. Current treatments for OA largely focus on pain management and the eventual replacement of the affected knee or hip joint. Our goal at REMEDI is to develop novel cell-based therapies using adult bone marrow stem cells to promote the regrowth of healthy cartilage and repair damaged joints. The stem or stromal cells are known to possess properties which allow them to be programmed to create healthy new tissue to repair damage caused by injury or disease. These therapies will have the potential to alleviate or delay the need for joint replacement and lower the need for long-term pain management. We have shown that delivery of mesenchymal stem cells slows down the development of OA, and are currently involved in testing the cells in a Phase II clinical trial in a project led by Prof. Frank Barry (http://adipoa2.eu/). Other efforts are focused on understanding how the cells help patients with OA in a project co-funded by Cúram with an industry partner. To ensure that availability of sufficient cells is not an issue for widespread use should clinical testing lead to a product for OA patients we also work on developing robotic platforms for safe and economic production of clinical grade cells (http://www.autostem2020.eu/, a project led by Dr. Mary Murphy).
The REMEDI Orthobiologics Programme
In the REMEDI Orthobiologics Group, Dr. Mary Murphy and Prof. Frank Barry investigate the mechanisms whereby stem cells can prevent development of OA and how these cells can be used to repair damaged, osteoarthritic cartilage or to promote integration of metal implants currently used for joint replacement. The Group works closely with clinical collaborators from the Orthopaedic units of Galway University Hospital (GUH) and the Bons Secours Hospital to ensure the aims of the research are achieved. Clinical efforts are enabled by the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) and the HRB Clinical Research Facility located at GUH). Also critical to the successful implementation of the project is a close working relationship with our industry partners. These include Galway-based companies such as Crospon, Proxy Biomedical and Ovagen, based in Ballina, Co. Mayo.
Developing an automated robotic factory for novel stem cell therapy production. Rafiq QA, Twomey K, Kulik M, Leschke C, O'Dea J, Callens S, Gentili C, Barry FP, Murphy M. Regen Med. 2016 Jun;11(4):351-4
ROCK activity and the Gβγ complex mediate chemotactic migration of mouse bone marrow-derived stromal cells. Ryan CM, Brown JA, Bourke E, Prendergast ÁM, Kavanagh C, Liu Z, Owens P, Shaw G, Kolch W, O'Brien T, Barry FP. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2015 Jul 24;6:136
A chondromimetic microsphere for in situ spatially controlled chondrogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Ansboro S, Hayes JS, Barron V, Browne S, Howard L, Greiser U, Lalor P, Shannon F, Barry FP, Pandit A, Murphy JM. J Control Release. 2014 Apr 10;179:42-51