The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM): Warrior Restoration Consortium, led by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Principal Investigator: dr Anthony Atala), has received funding through a cooperative agreement with USAMRMC (US Army Medical Research and Material Command), the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Medical Service, the Office of Research and Development - Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institute of Health, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
The AFIRM II program is intended to continue the success of the original AFIRM program, which was first funded in 2008. AFIRM focused on limb repair, craniofacial repair, burn repair, scarless wound repair, and compartment syndrome. The AFIRM program emphasized getting projects through advanced development, so that the innovations could be used for patients who need them. During the first program, more than 180 patients received treatment with AFIRM-funded technologies. The first AFIRM also achieved the first double hand transplant in the U.S.
AFIRM II includes 60 projects that will be completed in five key areas, including extremity regeneration; craniomaxillofacial regeneration; skin regeneration; composite tissue allotransplantation and immunomodulation; and genitourinary/lower abdomen reconstruction. The goals of the program are to fund basic through translational regenerative medicine research, and to bring promising technologies and restorative practices into human clinical trials.
The Biomaterials research group of Radboudumc (Prof. John A Jansen, Dr. Jeroen JJP van den Beucken (photo), Dr. Sander CG Leeuwenburgh) is the only non-US partner in AFIRM II and will receive USD 700k for making the transition from a calcium phosphate based bone substitute research material into a medical device for clinical applications. This bone substitute research material is the injectable calcium phosphate cement, which consists of a ceramic (calcium phosphate) platform interspersed with a polymeric degradation platform. Within the recent years, the Biomaterials research group has demonstrated to control the degradation, and hence related bone regeneration, for this material, and now has found an industrial partner to realise the transition into a medical device with regulatory approval for clinical applications.
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