New advanced therapies initiative in Catalonia

The project will encourage interaction between research centres, hospitals and businesses to drive the rapid transition of new medicines to the patient.

Its main areas of interest are enhancing cell therapies, tissue engineering, gene therapy approaches to promote immunotherapy, and developing automated production processes to facilitate clinical applications. IBEC will run a work package on tissue engineering, ranging from the use of stem cells taken from bone marrow or fat to pluripotent stem cells. In the context of translational studies, ADVANCECAT will also contribute to implementing these cells in patients affected by neurological or cardiovascular disease.

Othe projects pursued by the consortium members will include the artificial reconstruction of damaged organs by de- and re-cellularization of human tissue and the development of new production methods using artificial extracellular matrices created by 3D printing techniques. Another focus will look at chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered lymphocytes, a technique which involves training a patient’s cells to recognize and destroy cancer through genetic modification. This immunotherapy is being used to produce a cellular vaccine against the AIDS virus, which is already being applied to patients in clinical trial with cells produced entirely in Barcelona.

The ADVANCECAT consortium has an initial budget of over €2.8 million, of which €969,352.28 is funded by the Government of Catalonia’s ACCIÓ through European EFDR funds.