Swiss Biotech Roundtable: stem cells and the future of regenerative medicine

27 March 2012

Organised by: Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd and Swiss Biotech Association


Since the early 1970s, hematopoietic stem cells have been successfully used in treating blood-related diseases in humans, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Although currently no other type of treatments using adult, foetal or embryonic stem cells have been brought to market, recent developments have opened up new possibilities for the treatment of Parkinson's, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

Stem cell therapies are a potential source of tremendous hope to individuals suffering from diseases that are incurable today. On the surface, the possibilities for stem cell therapy seem limitless from mobility for those suffering from paralysis to providing sight for the visually impaired. However besides the scientific and technical challenges, there are still a number of major hurdles to consider including serious ethical concerns and privacy issues.

The roundtable experts addressed recent scientific breakthroughs with a focus on stem cell cultivation and stem cell-based therapies for cardiovascular diseases. They also discussed the challenging legal environment for stem cell research.





Welcome and introduction
Christoph Nabholz, Head of Business Develoment, Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue, and Swiss Re's Genetic Consultant


Scientific and regulatory challenges for stem cell based translational programmes in autoimmunity
Alan Tyndall, Advisor to regulanet®, Professor, Head of Department of Rheumatology, University Basel


Stem cell manufacturing and clinical development
Riccardo Nisato, Director of Manufacturing and Clinical Business Development, Stemedica International SA


Cardiovascular diseases - stem cell research & therapies
Gianni Soldati, Director of the Cell Therapy Unit, Cardiocentro Ticino, Founder and Scientific Officer, Swiss Stem Cells Bank


Panel discussion


Networking and refreshments

This event may be broadcasted live, photographed, filmed and /or recorded. A summary of the event, pictures and/or a video of the event in which you may appear may be posted and made available on Swiss Re’s and the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue’s internal and external websites and in printed materials.



The ability of stem cells to regenerate tissues or even whole organs makes them an exciting potential in treating a range of illnesses. However, the use of stem cells in clinical trials is a relatively recent phenomenon. Combined with ethical concerns about embryonic stem cells, this means that stem cell regulatory frameworks are in many cases still evolving. Switzerland, an important player in stem cell research, enforced its stem cell code in 2007.

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