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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-1.4-1;HEALTH-2009-1.4-3 | Award Amount: 12.08M | Year: 2010

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease for which no efficient therapy is available. The ADIPOA consortium has previously shown that intraarticular injections of stromal cells prevents OA in two different models, but the mechanisms of this chondroprotective effect remains unknown, and the activation of cartilage derived endogenous stem cells is suspected. The participants have experience on cell therapy, logistic and production facilities for adipose derived stromal cells (ASC) and clinical studies focusing on cartilage repair. They have shown that stromal cells have anti-inflammatory and antiapoptosis effets, prevent cells from senescence and protect endogenous cells from oxidative stress. ASC are well described, and the procedure to expand the ASC in GMP clinical grade by one of us has been approved by regulatory authorities. This has prompted us to propose an original and innovative regenerative medicine approach for OA in a four years programme organised around 6 workpackages : WP 1 ASC biology, cell processing & optimization for chondral protection WP 2 In vivo validation of chondroprotective effect of ASC WP 3 Safety, Security & regulatory issues WP 4 Clinical trial endogenous ASC injected intraarticular in OA WP 5 Management and Coordination WP 6 Training and Education ADIPOA project will then lead to the optimisation and standardisation of production procedures. In vivo validation and optimisation shall lead to a phase 1 clinical trial and the design and initiation of a phase 2 controlled study in OA. The ADIPOA Consortium comprises 10 academic and 2 sme participants and gathers researchers and clinicians with expertise in clinical research, chondrocytes and adipose stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. The Sme participation will ensure the dissemination of the project results. The critical mass achieved by the ADIPOA Consortium should enable clinical applications in OA.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2015

Mobility, important for well-being, is seriously impaired by chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis in many people due to degeneration of cartilaginous tissue of the intervertebral disc and joint. To develop a treatment for these diseases this ETN aims to combine expertise in novel highly advanced drug delivery carriers with dedicated targeting tools, state of the art imaging techniques and expertise in stem cell and joint biology by training 15 young scientists in 12 partner institutes located in 5 different countries. We aim to achieve regeneration of damaged and degenerated tissues by employing targeting strategies tailored both to the pathology and the tissues involved. Regeneration of diseased tissues will be achieved by loading biologically active agents in state-of-the-art nanocarriers. The biologically active agents will stimulate the bodys own capacity to regenerate by attracting local stem cells or inhibit degeneration. Targeting will be achieved by A] injection with synthetic or natural hydrogels loaded with the nanocarriers or B] coupling diseased tissue-specific antibodies and specific hyaluronic acid moieties to the nanocarriers. Delivery and retention will be monitored by advanced in vivo and molecular imaging techniques to monitor distribution of the delivered compounds at the tissue level, as well as detect biological markers of regeneration. Major objectives: 1] To establish a network of scientists skilled in the use of smart nanocarriers, unique approach of targeting by disease-specific molecules and application of innovative imaging tools. Supported by generic scientific and training in economical and clinical valorisation, these researchers can further implement these technologies in the musculoskeletal or other areas, both in academia and industry. 2] To develop strategies exclusively targeting diseased tissues with controlled doses of bio-actives, circumventing the disadvantages of the current shotgun approaches in regenerative medicine.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-2.3-1 | Award Amount: 5.18M | Year: 2011

The intervertebral discs form the elastic part of the spine. It is composed of the annulus fibrosus, a tough outer layer of fibrocartilage, surrounding an elastic gelatinous core, the nucleus pulposus (NP). With age, the water content of the NP decreases, thus, the mechanical loads concentrate on the annulus. This leads to the NP wear, and cracking with a subsequent inflammation reaction and a prolapsed intervertebral disc. The process forms a cycle of accelerated DDD pathology. The Gold Standard for treatment is the spinal fusion, an extensive surgery, which blocks definitively free spine motion. Surgeons seek new technologies to allow motion preservation, with long-term outcomes. Based on electrospinning proprietary technology of partner NIC and a novel chemically modified ECM-based biopolymer, developed by partner ProCore, the NPmimetic consortium will develop biomimetic nano-polymer based gel for minimally invasive treatment for disc regeneration: Electrospinning technology will be exploited to design and develop nano-fiber based, biocompatible, biodegradable, synthetic scaffold that will mimic mechanical properties of native NP for immediate and short term treatment. Anti-inflammatory drugs will be carried by biodegradable nano-fibers to be gradually released in situ thus, healing and preventing inflammation. Furthermore, the synthetic scaffold will be integrated with the bioactive-polymer that is highly potent in supporting NP cells for long-term cure. A multidisciplinary study will answer scientific and engineering questions raised by the NPmimetic approach, e.g. hydrogel swelling characteristics, drug delivery, and NP cells reaction to the biomimetic gel environment. All will be supervised by a strong leader in spine surgery to define inputs and outputs of the research, from a clinical implementation point of view.

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