Researchers from the National Institute of Chemistry, with outstanding achievements in the fields of synthetic biology, neurobiology, genetics and immunology, make an important contribution to understanding the mechanisms of disease formation and the development of technologies for gene and cell therapies. Two ERC projects for established researchers and an ERC PoC project for technology development, led by Prof Dr Roman Jerala and Prof Dr Jernej Ule, are also confirming this. The successfully completed ERC PoC CCedit also indicated the possibility of extending practices in a systemic manner by liaising with partners from the United Kingdom, and innovative approaches in the commercialisation of biomedical innovation.
1 in 2000 Slovenians has a rare disease, half of them, children. For most rare diseases and cancers there are no effective cures yet. If we combine excellent knowledge and transfer of biomedical translational practices, we get a possibility of developing advanced medical approaches such as gene and cell therapies. 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 National Institute of Chemistry has, in collaboration with a Partner of Excellence University College of London (UCL) and the UK Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, prepared a project for a Horizon call »Teaming« Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy. »Teaming« is an European instrument, that in combination with national funding, enables to receive up to 30 million EUR for setting up new infrastructure and excellent working conditions.
The Centre envisions laboratory and research facilities, GMP-standard facilities for production of clinical reagents, and a collaboration space for connecting key stakeholders. 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 will connect biomedical researchers with clinicians, patients and society to develop and transfer technologies into clinical research. It will encourage the development of biotechnology companies with high added value, and link up with the pharmaceutical industry.
The National Institute of Chemistry is now competing for the funding with a deadline to submit the final project application in September 2022. An excellent partnership and a great opportunity to develop domestic biomedicine landscape will attract the best personnel. In the coming months, we want to attract the general public to this project, for expressions of support and for the establishment of a Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy.