Wake Forest launches $20 million project to manufacture medicine

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Wake Forest School of Medicine is a launching a $20 million project to make their medical advancements more accessible to all. The Institute of Regenerative Medicine at the school has already been taking cells and making them into tissues and organs, and now they are looking for a way get those life-saving products to people.

β€œThe next step is to manufacture on a large scale so we can provide these all over the country and all over the world,” said Dr. Anthony Atala, the director of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

The institute is working to find a way to make a standard product that can be recreated.

"The long-term goal is to stop making these tissues by hand, one at a time, and these organs, but to automate the process so we can scale it up and make the cost more affordable so we can get it to patients faster.” Atala said.

To fulfill this goal, two projects are being done. One focuses on growing cells, the other using those cells to create a bio-ink for printers. Researchers are trying to find the best way for those products to be used and recreated. If a patient needs something like a liver or kidney, hopefully one day a hospital can just make them one.

"Eventually the goal is to bring this to all our patients,” Atala said.

Fast, affordable and reliable medicine is what the institute wants to achieve using the $20 million. Half of that money is being funded by United States Army Medical Research with the hope that these medical technologies will soon be accessible to people in the military.

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