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Horizon 2020 “Teaming for Excellence”: Center of gene techology and cell therapy

Researchers at the National Institute of Chemistry (NIC), with outstanding achievements in the fields of synthetic biology, neurobiology, genetics and immunology, make an important contribution to understanding the mechanisms of disease development and the development of technologies for gene and cell therapies. This is also evidenced by two ERC Advanced Grants and the ERC PoC project for technology development, led by prof. dr. Roman Jerala and prof. dr. Jernej Ule. The successfully completed ERC PoC CCedit, by connecting with English partners and innovative approaches in the commercialization of biomedical innovations, also indicated the possibilities of further systemically developed practices.

About 1 in 2,000 Slovenes have a rare disease, half of them are children. There are also a large number of difficult-to-cure forms of cancer, and effective drugs are not yet available for most rare diseases and cancers. By combining excellent knowledge and the transfer of good practices of translating innovation, we aim to develop advanced treatment approaches such as gene and cell therapy. These are extremely effective approaches to treatment because they are targeted, tailored to individual patients or groups of patients, and can even provide lasting healing.

National Institute of Chemistry, in collaboration with the partner of excellence University College of London (UCL) and the accelerator partner UK Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, cooperate in the Horizon 2020 »Teaming« project to develop the Center for Gene and Cell Therapy Technologies. Horizon 2020 "Teaming" tender with national co-financing enables the acquisition of up to 30 million EUR for the establishment of modern infrastructure and excellent working conditions. The establishment of the Center envisages laboratory facilities, facilities for the production of clinical reagents for clinical research, as well as a space for networking between all stakeholders. At the CGCTT Center of Excellence, we will develop gene and cell therapy technologies and take care of the preparation of advanced drugs until the start of clinical research for the treatment of diseases for which there is no effective drug available yet. In this way, we want to enable better chances of survival and improve the quality of life of patients. The Center will connect biomedical researchers with doctors, patients and society, and take care of the development and transfer of technologies into clinical research. It will promote the development of high-value-added biotechnology companies and connect with the pharmaceutical industry.

NIC will apply for the final funding in September 2022. An excellent partnership and an excellent opportunity for the development of domestic biomedicine are expected to attract highly motivated staff, and in the coming months we want to address the public for support and the establishment of the Center.

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