Introduction to Advanced Therapy
For about a decade already it has been obvious that the so-called pharmacologic treatment is passing through the most critical period in its entire history. High costs of research and development of new medicines and decreasing efficacy of drugs have enabled the formation of new treatment approaches.
In the nineteen nineties, a new period in treatment of diseases began. Human cells started to be used for treatment of acute and chronic human diseases. In the future but also at present, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and Advanced Therapy disciplines and approaches will be and already are undergoing significant development.
Aim of Advanced Therapy
The aim of Advanced Therapy is treatment of acute and chronic human conditions or tissue replacement, mainly using human cells.
The crucial long-term scientific objective is to extend the viability and function of human organs, treatment of cancer and chronic or degenerative diseases. Thus, the aim is to gradually extend human life and improve its quality with the use of human cells and their unique properties.
What Advanced Therapy means
Advanced Therapy is a young interdisciplinary branch of medicine, which, simply put, consists mainly in treatment with cells that are autologous or allogeneic to the patient.
In the case of autologous cell use, the treatment approach is, moreover, strictly personalized. The cells collected from the patient are modified as needed, grown, and re-introduced into his/her organism to treat a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and disabilities. The method of growing individual cells into whole tissue cultures brought about, in the late nineties, a major progress also in the culture of various cells of human origin.
Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products
Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) push the boundaries of biological and targeted therapies.
Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, depending on their nature, make it possible to save life (e.g. treatment of severe burns with patient’s autologous cells, cardiovascular disease treatment), extend the life of tissues (e.g. replacement of cartilage damaged by osteoarthritis with an implant), significantly improve (e.g. treatment of lower limb ischemia with stem cells), or allow a full treatment of the patient by substitution of the damaged or affected part with new tissue (e.g. a blood vessel grown from patient's own cells). Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products may be generally classified as biological implants.
Thanks to these products, most people can return to their active lives, which for people of working age means the possibility of returning to work. For the elderly it means self-sufficiency.
In most medical procedures where it is possible to use ATMP, full biological treatment is provided using patient’s own cellular material. After surgical processing, the patient gets a chance at a full life.
Uniqueness of the Advanced Therapy field
Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products differ from the conventional treatment approaches:
- in their fully biological nature. They are products made from patients’ own cells;
- in their properties and functions comparable to the live tissue;
- in their long-term viability based on clinical experience;