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Reflecting on the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine 2022 Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa

November 7, 2022

Recently I attended the 2022 Alliance for Regenerative Medicine’s Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa. After three days of panels, meetings and impromptu elevator networking, I wanted to take a moment to share a few reflections:

  • The magnitude and growth of the meeting itself corresponds with the tremendous evolution we’ve seen in the space. The 2022 Meeting on the Mesa was record-setting, with more than 2,000 attendees, 20+ panels and workshops, 100+ company presentations and innumerable partnering discussions. When I think back to this conference just a few years ago, we were not only in a physically smaller meeting venue, but the scope of our conversations were narrower and often more theoretical. Now, with ten FDA-approved cell and gene therapies available, and more on the way, we are in an incredibly transformative time for the regenerative medicine field, and this year’s meeting reflected that. It was exciting to see an emphasis on commercialization and the new challenges and opportunities that come with the maturation of the industry. I had the pleasure of moderating a plenary panel with emerging leaders on this very theme and, while there is much work to be done as we continue to carve a new path to bring regenerative medicines to patients around the world, it is clear that we are poised for continued progress, with significant momentum propelling us forward.
  • Funding will always exist for good ideas and novel approaches. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the underlying tension from the market downturn and the pressures for companies to generate funding and create value within the current macroenvironment. Encouragingly, what we heard from experts and private investors is what I’ve always believed to be true: there is plenty of dry powder for unique opportunities and solid science. They also expect a rise in strategic partnerships, and even consolidations, to ensure the potential of these technologies will not go unrealized.
  • Recent government funding decisions and actions from the FDA position regenerative medicines for continued growth. Regardless of investor sentiment, the momentum around these therapies was particularly evident in Peter Marks’ keynote and other regulatory-focused discussions. In addition to two very recent approvals, and a robust global pipeline inclusive of cell-based and complex products on their heels, we have seen structural changes taking place within the organization stemming from PDUFA VII commitments – such as the creation of the new Office of Therapeutic Products, with additional resources and staffing dedicated to the review of cell and gene therapies – as well as President Biden’s biotech investment that includes dedicated resources toward the advancement of and access to innovative and regenerative medicines. This clear prioritization again underscores how regenerative medicines are on the front-foot as we go forward into the coming years.

Overall, the meeting was a reminder of the importance of the work we are doing, both as an industry as a whole and specifically at Satellite, to make regenerative medicines a reality for patients. I left feeling energized and as committed as ever to delivering on the promise of Tissue Therapeutics.

Dave Lennon, CEO