In February, the European-wide research initiative received one million euros in initial funding to pursue its goal of putting Europe at the forefront of advanced therapies. RESTORE was founded and is coordinated by the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) and the Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies (BeCAT) at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The Berlin Chamber of Physicians has accredited the event and will award six credits for each day of participation.
Advanced therapies are one of the most recent and significant advances in medicine. They include gene and cell therapies and tissue-engineering approaches to not only treat disease symptoms, but to provide sustained improvements and potentially a cure for otherwise incurable chronic diseases. RESTORE aims to ensure that these regenerative therapies are implemented as a standard of care across Europe and beyond – in other words, that they are affordable and accessible for all patients who need them.
The two-day ATSM meeting will bring together experts from science, industry, and patient organizations from across Europe and beyond to discuss the challenges within the field of advanced therapies, as well as possible solutions to these challenges. The program will include talks from Nobel Prize winner Ada Yonath (Director of Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), Michele De Luca (University of Modena, Italy), Timothy O’Brien (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland), Maksim Mamonkin (Baylor College of Medicine, USA), and Manuela Gomes (University of Minho, Portugal).
Among the topics discussed will be personalized 3D printed tissue implants for patients with skin and heart diseases; the use of CAR T-cell therapy to fight tumors; and the further development of organ-on-a-chip tools towards patients on chips, with the goal of not only making drug testing on animals unnecessary in many cases, but to improve predictions about the effects and side effects of drugs. Talks will also be given on fundamental research into using the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to genetically manipulate stem cells, on the challenges of manufacturing cell therapy products on an industrial scale, as well as on the regulatory issues and ethical and economic ramifications associated with bringing these new “living” drugs to market.
RESTORE is coordinated by Professor Hans-Dieter Volk, who is Director of the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) and Charité’s Institute of Medical Immunology as well as a lead scientist at the Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies (BeCAT). “Advanced therapies are a potential game changer in healthcare, aiming to shift our focus from the lifelong treatment of chronic diseases to the restoration of health,” says Professor Volk, adding that: “We are determined to translate promising research findings into safe and cost-effective therapies made in Europe, and we are working across disciplines and national borders in order to achieve this goal. The 1st Advanced Therapies Science Meeting provides the opportunity for participation in discussions on not only the numerous obstacles in the way of implementing these promising therapies in routine clinical care, but what can be done to overcome these. We are immensely grateful to all our supporters and to the EU for backing RESTORE and the 1st ATSM, allowing us to share and evolve our vision for the future of advanced therapies.”
For more information about RESTORE and the 1st ATSM as well as to view the meeting’s program or to register, please visit: https://www.restore-horizon.eu/1atsm-home/
Journalists interested in attending the meeting are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESTORE is a large-scale European-wide research initiative supported by an international and interdisciplinary network of industrial partners, research institutions, and hospitals. Its aim is to make advanced therapies, also known as “living drugs,” accessible to as many patients as possible. RESTORE partners include Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (Germany), the University of Zurich (Switzerland), Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (United Kingdom), TissUse GmbH (Germany), Pluristem Ltd (Israel), Miltenyi Biotec GmbH (Germany), INSERM – Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche (France), Innovation Acta S.r.l. (Italy), Fondazione Telethon Milan (Italy), and the University of Minho (Portugal).
About the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies
The BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies is an interdisciplinary translational research center which is jointly operated by the BIH and Charité. Its main aim is to enhance the body’s ability to use cells, factors, and biomaterials as part of natural regeneration processes and to promote alternative strategies that can be used to develop innovative therapies and products. The Center’s primary focus is on diseases of the immune, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems, as well as areas of research that straddle different medical disciplines, such as tissue homeostasis and cachexia. Between 2006 and 2018, the Center was cofinanced by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Following a change in cofinance arrangements in 2019, the center is now being cofinanced by the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and known as the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies.
About the Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies
The Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies (BeCAT) is pursuing a new research concept for the development and application of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) in a state-of-the-art research facility at the Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum. The construction of the new facility is being funded by the federal government and the State of Berlin as part of the program for research buildings at universities (§ 91b GG). A number of specialized medical fields at the Charité are involved in BeCAT, including oncology, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, transplantation medicine, nephrology, cardiology/cardiac surgery, and traumatology.
About the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
The Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) is a biomedical research institution focusing on translational research and precision medicine. The BIH is dedicated to improving the prediction in progressive diseases and developing advanced therapies for unmet medical needs in order to improve patients’ health and quality of life. The Institute is committed to providing research solutions and innovation enabling value-based, personalized healthcare. The BIH is funded 90% by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and 10% by the State of Berlin. The two founding institutions, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), are independent, member entities within the BIH.
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