Induced pluripotent stem cell-based therapy for spinal regeneration

Title Induced pluripotent stem cell-based therapy for spinal regeneration
Acronym iPSpine
Start date 2019-01-01
End date 2023-12-31
Sponsor Horizon 2020 (H2020)
Institution Universiteit Utrecht
Principal investigator Marianna Tryfonidou
Phone: 31 30 2534558
Fax: 31 30 251 8126

Associated cell lines

Project Description

The societal problem: Low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide. Although the cause of LBP is multifactorial, it is widely accepted that a major contributor to LBP is degeneration of the spine’s intervertebral discs (IVDs). Itaccounts for at least 40% (~280 million) of all LBP cases, leading to an economic burden of ~€240 billion for the EU. Patients suffering from chronic LBP due to IVD degeneration (IDD) who have exhausted conservative treatment (e.g. pain relief medication and physiotherapy) have no remaining options other than invasive and costly surgical intervention. To date, there are no treatments that can halt or reverse IDD. Despite the profound socioeconomic burden and impact of IDD, decreasing the quality of life of millions of people, the research and development pipeline for a game-changing treatment for IDD-induced LBP is almost non-existent. The iPSpine consortium was formed to initiate a European-led research effort to identify a future advanced therapeutic strategy that can address the societal need for a radical new treatment of IDD-induced LBP. The iPSpine team is a multidisciplinary team with expertise in the development of advanced therapies and their translation from bench to bedside. The aim of iPSpine is to investigate and develop a new advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) of the future, based on a novel developmental biology approach involving induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and smart biomaterials. The iPSpine consortium will develop and demonstrate preclinical proof-of-concept for this radical new iPSC-based therapeutic strategy. The novel and extended knowledge, tools and technologies that will be the outcome of the iPSpine project will provide unique platforms of knowledge, testing and exploitation with broad applicability. Hereby, iPSpine realizes its ambition to make a significant contribution by reducing translational bottlenecks through open innovation and take European leadership in development of ATMPs. The iPSpine impact: iPSpine seeks to offer novel technologies and ATMPs for the advanced therapy research and development community. Using IDD as showcase, iPSpine will offer improved quality of life for millions of patients with IDD-induced LBP, through long-lasting reduction of LBP, reduced LBP-related premature retirement, and improved socio-economic contribution.