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Country: Netherlands
29 Projects, page 1 of 6
  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 602167
  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 101057659
    Overall Budget: 6,001,250 EURFunder Contribution: 6,001,250 EUR
    Partners: EATRIS, INSERM, AstraZeneca (Sweden), University Medical Center Freiburg, BIU, San Raffaele Hospital, INSTITUTE OF GENETIC DESEASES

    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most prevalent monogenic diseases in Europe. A single amino acid substitution in the beta-globin chain of the adult hemoglobin (Hb) drives red blood cell sickling and multi-organ damage. The clinical severity of SCD is alleviated by the co-inheritance of mutations causing expression of fetal gamma-globin in adult life ? a condition termed hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH). Transplantation of autologous, genetically modified hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) is an attractive therapeutic option for SCD patients. To this end, genome editing approaches based on the use of site-specific nucleases or, more recently, base editors have been explored by many groups, including teams in our consortium. These approaches either correct the single point mutation causing SCD or reactivate fetal gamma-globin expression by mimicking HPFH mutations. On the other hand, (pre)clinical data from SCD patients or SCD mouse models, as well as preliminary data from our labs suggest that SCD HSPCs are characterized by a high mutational burden, oxidative stress and expression of inflammatory genes. This can alter HSPC properties as well as their interactions within the bone marrow niche. In the context of gene therapy, it is essential to understand the mechanisms underlying SCD HSPC dysfunction and assess the impact of genome editing approaches on SCD HSPCs. In this proposal, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team to: (i) understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying SCD HSPC autonomous and non-cell-autonomous dysfunctions and (ii) evaluate the impact of established and novel genome editing approaches on SCD HSPC properties and genome integrity. This study will lay the foundation of an improved gene therapy strategy to treat SCD and provide best practice tools and protocols for genome editing-based therapies in HSPCs.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 101056712
    Overall Budget: 5,824,080 EURFunder Contribution: 5,824,070 EUR

    HEAL will focus on general bottlenecks to induced pluripotent stem cell therapies with a particular focus on heart failure, which remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality with very few treatment options. HLA-homozygous cell line derived cardiomyocyte aggregates offer the prospect of a restorative heart therapy applicable to large patient populations and to overcome economic barriers associated with autologous approaches. By developing solutions for their mass-production and cryopreservation we will enable allogeneic treatment with minimum requirements for immunosuppression. Assays for assessment of immunogenicity will provide data for the development of an artificial intelligence powered algorithm to predict recipients's immune responses for personalised design of immunosuppression protocols. A potency assay to assure product effectiveness will be developed together with assays of tumorigenicity in vitro and in vivo that meet and exceed current regulatory requirements. A genetic integrity pipeline defining the most sensitive assays for rigorous assessment will be developed and a rescue tool in the form of a biallelic suicide gene for programmed cell death will add to the safety toolbox for the therapy. Optimisation of cell-product administration in terms of retention and engraftment, including catheter-based delivery as minimally invasive alternative to surgical application, and assessment of risks of graft-induced arrhythmia will be determined in a pig model. Early dialogues, via established links, to the regulatory authorities will ensure proper development according to GMP requirements. Freedom to operate and licensing strategies with a health technology and infrastructure assessment of European centres will set the scene for approval of the cell product and related assays and protocols for storage and distribution required to progress towards a first in man study of cell-based heart repair.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 871112
    Overall Budget: 1,499,820 EURFunder Contribution: 1,499,820 EUR

    Research infrastructures (RIs) operate in complex innovation ecosystems where industry plays an increasingly important role. Pan-EU initiatives, such as the Innovation Union or the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, revolutionise the way public and private sectors work together, and help to create structural frameworks which are needed to foster such collaborations. While initiatives of this type play a crucial role in enabling industry to become a full partner of research infrastructures whether it is as a user, a supplier, or a co-creator, they do not fully utilise or engage Industrial Liaison and Contact Officers (ILOs/ICOs) which could have a central role in boosting the RI-industry partnerships. To address this gap, ENRIITC will build a permanent pan-European network of ILOs and ICOs. This will be done in a community-driven, cross-functional, cross-sectoral, multiplier-based way which will be inclusive and enable all interested parties to actively participate. By supporting the establishment of strategic, cross-border partnerships between industry and research infrastructures, ENRIITC will enable win-win results for all parties. With a timeline of 36 months, 11 partners from seven countries, and a strong support from 61 Associates from around Europe, ENRIITC will 1) establish a sustainable European network of ILOs and ICOs which enables mutual learning, 2) map collaboration potential between research infrastructures and industry, 3) develop and refine strategies and best practices to foster these collaborations, 4) raise awareness among industry for collaboration opportunities at research infrastructures, and demonstrate impact. The consortium and Associates will jointly balance the need for expertise from diverse scientific areas, combine it with practical insights from establishing relations with various industries operating in different sectors and geographical contexts, and propagate it among their networks.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 654156
    Overall Budget: 1,995,630 EURFunder Contribution: 1,995,630 EUR
    Partners: CNRS, BBMRI-ERIC, SHARE ERIC, Imperial, UMINHO, Medical University of Vienna, UniMiB, Infrafrontier, EMBL, EATRIS...

    There has never been a greater need for skilled managers and operators of research infrastructure (RI). Europe must develop the workforce that will turn ~50 nascent RIs with sites in different countries into powerhouses of support for major projects comparable to understanding the blueprint of life or discovering new subatomic particles. RItrain will develop a flagship training programme enabling RIs across all domains to gain expertise on governance, organisation, financial and staff management, funding, IP, service provision and outreach in an international context. It will be designed and delivered by experts who have set up and managed RIs from concept to maturity. We will define competencies required by RIs through consultation with their senior managers. The resulting competency framework will underpin a Bologna-compliant degree, the Master in Research Infrastructure Management, with three delivery routes. (1) Professionals working in RIs (or organisations representing them) can dip into the content, focusing on areas where there is most need. (2) Management teams can take the course as an organisation, dividing modules between them to gain a certificate for the RI. This will flag the RI as an organisation that values staff development, improving its attractiveness as an employer. (3) Recent graduates and others wishing to enhance their employability can take a full master’s degree. Course content will include webinars led by senior managers of RIs. A staff-exchange programme will catalyse exchange of best practice and foster cooperation to develop a mobile work force effective across many RIs. By the end of the project we will be delivering a master’s curriculum funded through course fees. Others with an interest in adopting it will be encouraged to do so, providing a means of expanding the programme. Europe’s research community and global collaborators will gain from world-class facilities to support excellent, high-impact research to benefit humankind.