BACKGROUND: The treatment of severe full-thickness skin defects represents a significant and common clinical problem worldwide. A bio-engineered autologous skin substitute would significantly reduce the problems observed with today's gold standard.
METHODS: Within 15 years of research, the Tissue Biology Research Unit of the University Children's Hospital Zurich has developed autologous tissue-engineered skin grafts based on collagen type I hydrogels. Those products are considered as advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) and are routinely produced for clinical trials in a clean room facility following the guidelines for good manufacturing practice (GMP). This article focuses on hurdles observed for the translation of ATMPs from research into the GMP environment and clinical application.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Personalized medicine in the field of rare diseases has great potential. However, ATMPs are mainly developed and promoted by academia, hospitals, and small companies, which face many obstacles such as high financial burdens.