Therapeutic approaches to stimulate regeneration and repair have the potential to transform healthcare and improve outcomes for patients suffering from numerous chronic degenerative diseases. To date most approaches have involved the transplantation of therapeutic cells, and while there have been a small number of clinical approvals, major hurdles exist to the routine adoption of such therapies. In recent years humans and other mammals have been shown to possess a regenerative capacity across multiple tissues and organs, and an innate regenerative and repair response has been shown to be activated in these organs in response to injury. These realisations have inspired a transformative approach in regenerative medicine: the development of new agents to directly target these innate regeneration and repair pathways. In this article we will review the current state of the art in the discovery of small molecule modulators of regeneration and their translation towards therapeutic agents, focussing specifically on the areas of neuroregeneration and cardiac regeneration.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett
drug discovery, immune cell modulation, regenerative medicine, small molecule regeneration, small molecule repair