Smithfield Bioscience, University of Virginia Partner for Regenerative Medicine Research

Published on: 

The research partnership will focus on advancing regenerative medicine using porcine bioproducts.

On Feb. 19, 2018, Smithfield Bioscience, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods focused on pharmaceutical benefits of porcine bioproducts, and the University of Virginia School (UVA) of Engineering & Applied Science announced a research partnership to advance regenerative medicine using porcine bioproducts.

According to Smithfield Bioscience, the goal of the research is to develop and test a tissue-engineering process for skeletal muscle repair and regeneration using porcine-sourced materials. Using these porcine materials has specific advantages, including the ability to be muscle-specific prior to implantation and easier acceptance by the human body, as stated by Smithfield Bioscience. Additionally, researchers will perform proof-of-concept studies to advance clinical trials.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of money and time spent on research and development in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, but the ability to manufacture the cells, tissues, and biomaterials needed on a scale large enough to truly transform patient care doesn’t exist,” George Christ, a UVA professor of biomedical engineering and orthopedic surgery, a Mary Muilenburg Stamp professor of orthopedic research in the School of Medicine, and co-director of UVA’s Center for Advanced Biomanufacturing, explained in a company press release. “By partnering with Smithfield Bioscience and leveraging porcine bioproducts, we are hoping to help change all of that.”

This research is part of a consortium of approximately 100 organizations collaborating under the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, which is working to accelerate regenerative tissue research and create manufacturing innovations in biomaterial and cell processing for the Department of Defense and civilian needs, according to Smithfield Bioscience.


Dr. A. Bobby Chhabra, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery for UVA Health System, added in the press release, “We are hopeful that this research collaboration will reveal new technologies for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, which would revolutionize the treatments physicians provide to patients with injuries involving large-scale muscle loss associated with upper and lower extremity trauma.”

Source: Smithfield Bioscience