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Collaborating to cure chronic diseases

Regenerative medicine offers tremendous medical, economical and societal opportunities. The Netherlands and Leiden specifically are a frontrunner and want to keep it that way. That is why we collaborate with national and international partners.

Collaborating in RegMed XB

Regenerative medicine crossing borders (RegMed XB) brings together multiple health foundations, top scientists, entrepreneurs and (regional) governments to cooperatively tackle ambitious challenges in regenerative medicine. In RegMed XB, research and clinical translation are integrated to quickly and optimally bring research results into patient solutions and new businesses.

RegMed XB has started with Phase 1 in which three moonshots are defined:

  1. To bring a new therapy for type I diabetes involving transplantation of insulin producing ß-cells into a human trial, led by Prof EJP de Koning from LUMC.
  2. To create a bioengineered kidney subunit to take a major step towards an artificial kidney replacement, led by Prof AJ Rabelink from LUMC.
  3. To create a model of osteoarthritis to predict which patients will require surgical intervention and to lay the groundwork for a new therapy, led by Prof K Ito from TU/e.

Collaborating in hDMT – Organs-on-a-chip

LUMC is an important player in the precompetitive virtual institute for human organ and Disease Model Technologies (hDMT). The multi centre group integrates state-of-the-art human stem cell technologies with top level engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, clinical and pharmaceutical expertise from academia and industry to develop and valorise human organ and disease models-on-a-chip. Miniature organ-on-a-chip models mimic human tissue and organs in vivo. The chips will be used as test model systems for drug development and to answer fundamental research questions. hDMT collaborates with pharmaceutical and other companies and research institutes to tune the scientific program to their needs for specific organ and disease models. Within the hDMT institute also the ‘scalability and manufacturability’ of the technologies will be addressed.

Other collaborations

RegMed XB and hDMT are not the sole regenerative medicine focused consortia LUMC participates in. On our timeline you can see other awarded grants and collaborations. An important example is the EU consortium led by Prof F Staal to correct the stemcells of infants without an immune system. Also the Gravity project led by Prof C Mummery is a large collaborative effort working on culturing miniature heart, brain, intestine and endothelial cells.

EU MSC2 at LUMC

LUMC is the initiator of the EU MSC2 meeting cycle. EU MSC2 brings together EU-funded, mesenchymal stromal cell-focussed research consortia. Within this platform similarities and differences between the consortia and the success and challenges the field is facing are discussed.

The objectives of EU MSC2 are to:

  • Enhance knowledge-sharing between EU research groups working in the mesenchymal stromal cell therapy domain.
  • Assemble trans-disciplinary research groups working across the global health spectrum but with a common focus of mesenchymal stromal cell therapy.
  • Bring up-and-coming researchers together for networking purpo­ses, and to explore future consortium building and international funding application opportunities.

Expected impacts and outcomes:

  • Provide opportunities to develop new mesenchymal stromal cell networks.
  • Disseminate the findings and challenges between MSC-focussed consortia.
  • Improve the communication potential of research outcomes.
  • Explore potential for new commercial technologies.
  • Collectively enhance the quality and impact of planned clinical trials.