Known hundreds of types of cancer
1 in 2000 slovenians has a rare disease, half of them, children.
For most rare diseases and cancers, there are no effective cures yet.
Remarkable advances in the field of life sciences promise to cure the cause of many diseases in the years to come. Advanced treatment approaches such as gene and cell therapies are highly effective because they are targeted, tailored to individual patients or groups of patients, and can even lead to a lasting cure. The approach to each patient is central to the development of new therapies. Access to the latest treatment methods is particularly important at this time.
At the CTGCT Centre of Excellence, we will develop gene and cell therapy technologies, and work to bring advanced medicines to clinical trials for diseases for which we do not yet have effective treatments. This is to improve survival possibilities and quality of life for patients.
The Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy (CTGCT), to be established by the National Institute of Chemistry, will be officially operational in September 2023. To this end, we are organizing a kick-off meeting on Tuesday, 5 September 2023 at 13.30 with representatives of the prominent European medical research institutions that will participate …
The 9th National Conference on Rare Diseases Day 2023, which will take place on February 28, 2023 from 10 am onwards in a virtual format, is rapidly approaching. It will be directly broadcasted by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia through their official Facebook page and STAvživo (www.vzivo.sta.si).
The plans of the National Institute of Chemistry to establish a Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy (CTGCT) have received the green light from the EU. The Slovenian National Institute of Chemistry will receive €30 million under a European project supported by the Slovenian government to establish and operate the centre for …
Connected in the Global Ecosystems
MOre than 1400 square meters of A new research infrastructure linked to the research environment of the national institute of chemistry
The investment aims to ensure access to the most up-to-date treatment methods and advanced personalised medicines from treatment planning to clinical testing, by establishing appropriate facilities and equipment.
The investment will ensure adequate organisation, working space and sophisticated equipment.
The Centre will enable cutting-edge research, the preparation of advanced gene and cell therapy products suitable for treatment, and their transfer into clinical research.
partners in the project
The National Institute of Chemistry will contribute to the Centre’s cutting-edge expertise in the field of the development of therapeutics for cancer and genetic diseases in combination with synthetic biology.
UCL has expertise in translation of biomedicine and will be a key international strategic partner. They will advise on the organisation of the Centre, and support the transfer of therapies from laboratories to patients and the market.
UMC Utrecht has access to the latest technology providers and experience in the establishment of a GMP facility. Their knowledge will be vital to setting up the such premises.
TU Dresden will provide expertise, technology and equipment for gene editing and regeneration towards new therapies such as neurodegenerative and haematological diseases.
Charité, one of the largest university hospitals in Europe and will enhance CTGCT’s capabilities for refined transfer of research results to the first-in-human clinical practice and further accessibility of the ATMP as a treatment option for patients.
why are we connecting with the united kingdom, GErmany and the netherlands?
The United Kingdom is one of the leading countries on the world regarding R&D and translation of biomedicine research to patients. It hosts about 12% of all clinical research of Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products and almost one in third European ATMP companies operates there. It is an ideal biotech business environment because of the wealth of experience, different funding instruments and global connections that enables to enter various markets.
Germany is home to some of the most excellent biotech companies such as BioNTech, and has an exceptionally high number of patents filed and people working in pharmaceutical industry.
The Netherlands hosts the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which attracts many biotech companies, including financial resources, and where regulatory guidelines are being developed.
Research and transfer into the clinic
THE CENTRE WILL ENABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED THERAPIES
It will have focus particularly in the field of gene therapy for diseases including rare neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer immunotherapy, treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, and other advanced biomedical medicines.
the sustainability and the competitiveness of the centre
Our work will be based on the cutting-edge science of Slovenian researchers in the fields of synthetic biology, immunology and genetics. The training of researchers will take place at the Centre as well as in UCL programmes, in fields that are crucial for the development and transfer of advanced therapies to patients.
what are synthetic biology and immunology?
We use an engineering approach in synthetic biology. By introducing new genetic information into cells, we achieve a change in cell function and the result is, for example, the production of proteins that have a therapeutic effect.
Immunology is the science about our immune system and understanding the ways the body reacts on various medical conditions.
The preparation of therapeutic CAR-T cells for cancer immunotherapy combines the principles of synthetic biology and immunology.
Good Manufacturing Practice standard production facilities
the bottleneck in the translation of biomedical research to patients is the preparation of MEDICATIONS AND REAGENTS for clinical studies
These must meet high purity and safety requirements according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) criteria. This involves the production of products for the preparation of therapeutic cells in so-called ‘clean rooms’, under strict quality control. The Centre will include a multi-purpose academic GMP manufacturing laboratory.
six years of the operation to establish a platform to prepare reagents for clinical studies of cancer therapies and gene therapies
Knowledge of the production of gene and cell therapies will open up the possibility of developing therapies in different fields of medicine. The Centre will act as a national focal point for the dissemination of a range of therapies developed in Slovenia, with a wider regional and global impact.
WHAT IS CLINICAL RESEARCH?
Clinical research is done in clinical (hospital) settings. The Centre will enable translation of advanced therapies and technologies from laboratories into first clinical phases. This encompasses a few patients and testing of therapies’ safety.
For some patients without any other treatment options and with aggressive medical condition, clinical research are the only options to receive a therapy.
With own development of clinical ingredients, we can achieve almost 100 times lower costs than if bought on the market.
Collaboration with patients' organisations, clinicians, and building new ventures
The implementation of good business practice and openness to innovation will be key points of the centre
We will pursue the objectives of involving all stakeholders in the support and adoption of new therapeutic technologies and the professional development of experts.
We will work closely with doctors to develop medicines and clinical research. The Centre will act as a messenger for patients and their loved ones and will provide them with access to information on the latest therapeutic approaches.
the centre will facilitate the establishment of biotechnology companies with high added value
The high quality of the work, from development, pre-clinical and clinical research, will also make the technologies and therapies developed attractive to the pharmaceutical industry. This will bring Slovenia into the latest development and market trends.
HOW DOES TRANSLATION OF RESEARCH FROM LABORATORIES TO THE MARKET WORKS?
Research centres such as the CTGCT create knowledge and innovations. These become products in a variety of ways.
Innovations lead to creation of a company with high added value, that has the capacity to attract additional financial resources for translation of a therapy towards the patients. Such companies will grow the Slovenian business ecosystem.
In development of gene therapies, large pharmaceutical companies create connections with research centres and SMEs, that have the risk capacity to research out of established frameworks.
Together, they create partnerships that enable transfer of new therapies to patients.