An agreement of collaboration was signed today between the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna and the US Lifenet Health, world leader in non profit treatment of human organs and tissues for transplants.
This agreement starts a long term scientific and organizational collaboration, that has the aim of innovating European biotechnology with significant openings for the Musculoskeletal Tissue Bank of the Emilia-Romagna Region in the development of new human tissues, including engineered cartilage, adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell-based products, new types of combined tissue based on demineralised bone and human collagen.
As a result of the Agreement, new tissues will be distributed in Italy, in countries of the European Union and worldwide, together with tissues treated by LifeNet today not distributed in Europe, on which the Rizzoli Bank will perform all quality controls mandatory to warranty suitability according to Italian and European regulations. Most important will be the extensive collaboration in present and future national and international joint research projects aimed to improve the potentials of treatment for diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
Among innovative products LifeNet and the Musculoskeletal Tissue Bank will provide surgeons and their patients worldwide with tissue that favours spinal bone fusion, derived from human bone and mesenchymal stem cells. The Rizzoli Cell Factory and the Prometeo Laboratory of the Tecnopolo Rizzoli-RIT Department in Bologna produce adult stem cells needed to achieve this device.
The aim is that of making available tissues most suitable for each type of surgery, to assure the maximum efficacy possible and increase the probabilities of cure in transplanted patients.
This is possible only through an activity of continuous research: joining the Tissue Bank and LifeNet know-how means exponentially increasing the respective capacities of innovation, with medium term implications on the possibilities of treatment for patients.
The Rizzoli Musculoskeletal Tissue Bank, referral center for the Emilia-Romagna Region, has been active since 1962, the first in Italy. It supplies 50% of all musculoskeletal tissue used in Italy, allowing more than 5.000 operations per year on deformities like scoliosis, for oncologic or traumatized patients, for maxillofacial, neurosurgery and odonto-stomatology. It guarantees quality and safety of the distributed tissues, it contributes to set and diffuse standards and guidelines, it participates in innovative technological projects for tissues regeneration. Since 2006 a Cell Factory has been active for the production of engineered tissues, the sole in Italy authorized for the entire productive cycle, from the laboratory to quality control.
LifeNet Health, a non-profit organization, was formed 1982 in the United States, in Virginia. It is world leader in the collection, treatment and international distribution of organs and tissues (per year it distributes over 300.000 biomedical implants worldwide) and it promotes scientific research in the field of regenerative medicine. In 2001 a Foundation connected to LifeNet, named after Donors was formed with the mission of promoting and raising awareness of donations and supporting families of both donors and recipients.