News - CMRB

December 22, 2016

The CMR[B] participates in ADVANCECAT, promoting advanced therapies in Catalonia

The CMR[B] participates in ADVANCECAT, promoting advanced therapies in Catalonia

Enabling the arrival of advanced therapies from pre-clinical stages to industrial production and clinical application: this is the objective of ADVANCECAT project, led by the University of Barcelona (UB) and Ferrer, and build up by eighteen entities of the health field in which there are two universities, twelve biomedical research institutes or private foundations, and four companies.

ADVANCECAT, integrated in the NEXTHEALTH community, coordinated by Biocat, aims to create an organizational structure to speed up the development of new drugs for advanced therapies, grouping public and private actors of the field for a better resource management in order to get the maximum benefit in the Catalan health system. The main core of work is focused on promoting cell therapies and tissue engineering, strengthen genic therapy approaches, including immunotherapy, and developing production automatisms to get a better clinical application.

The project aims to reinforce the Catalan industrial sector by promoting the identification of mechanisms and protocols that allow industrial production of these drugs. Promoting interaction between research centers and hospitals and committed business tissue in these kinds of therapies will encourage the fast transition of the new drugs in the health system, which would however need long periods of development in lots of cases.

The consortium has a starting budget of more than 2,8 million euros, out of which 969.352,28 € are co-funded by ACCIÓ (agency for the business competitiveness; Generalitat de Catalunya) and the European Union in the framework of the active program Catalonia FEDER 2014-2020 (European Regional Development Fund).

Advanced therapy projects in Catalonia

Advanced therapies are drugs for human use based on cells (cell therapy), genes (gene therapy) or tissue (tissue engineering). In Spain, there are around 20 new drugs under clinical development, eight out of these are being developed in Catalonia. Also, Catalonia has now different units of cell production and tissue engineering, one of them at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Faculty of Barcelona (UB), another at the Clinic Hospital of Barcelona, and a third one in the Blood and Tissue Bank (BST). From all these three, the one in the UB has a space to produce genic therapy drugs also.

The role of the CMR[B]: Tissue regeneration for different diseases

Different kinds of stem cells are being used in clinical trials in ADVANCECAT with the aim of regenerating tissues. These treatments go from using stem cells from bone marrows or fat to pluripotent stem cells. In ADVANCECAT there will also be translational studies to apply these cells to patients with cardiovascular or neurological diseases in projects involving the University of Barcelona (UB), Barcelona Macula Fundation, Bioibérica and the Center of Regenerative Medicine of Barcelona (CMR[B]). 

Some of the entities that are part of ADVANCECAT project are Blood and Tissue Bank, Barcelona Macula Foundation, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital – Research Institute, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia Foundation, Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias i Pujol Foundation, and Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, among others.

More information:

Universitats i Recerca. Generalitat de Catalunya

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