PMID: 38013162
Date of Publication: November 25, 2023
Institutional Affiliation:
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA


Andrés Caicedo , Aldana Moyano, Sebastian Peñaherrera, José Peña-Cisneros, Abigail Benavides-Almeida, Álvaro A Pérez-Meza, Alissen Haro-Vinueza, Cristina Ruiz, Paola Robayo, Doménica Tenesaca, Diego Barba, Kevin Zambrano, Verónica Castañeda , Keshav Singh


Mitochondria’s role as engines and beacons of metabolism and determinants of cellular health is being redefined through their therapeutic application as “Living Drugs” (LDs). Artificial mitochondrial transfer/transplant (AMT/T), encompassing various techniques to modify, enrich, or restore mitochondria in cells and tissues, is revolutionizing acellular therapies and the future of medicine. This article proposes a necessary definition for LDs within the Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products (ATMPs) framework. While recognizing different types of LDs as ATMPs, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cells, we focus on mitochondria due to their unique attributes that distinguish them from traditional cell therapies. These attributes include their inherent living nature, diverse sources, industry applicability, validation, customizability for therapeutic needs, and their capability to adapt and respond within recipient cells. We trace the journey from initial breakthroughs in AMT/T to the current state-of-the-art applications by emerging innovative companies, highlighting the need for manufacturing standards to navigate the transition of mitochondrial therapies from concept to clinical practice. By providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific, clinical, and commercial landscape of mitochondria as LDs, this article contributes to the essential dialogue among regulatory agencies, academia, and industry to shape their future in medicine.