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Slovenia to host Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy

Ljubljana, Dec. 23, 2022- The plans of the National Institute of Chemistry to establish a Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy (CTGCT) have received the green light from the EU. The Slovenian National Institute of Chemistry will receive €30 million under a European project supported by the Slovenian government to establish and operate the centre for the first 6 years, where new personalised therapies will be developed. In this way, patients with rare genetic diseases and cancers will be given faster access to advanced treatments in collaboration with physicians.

What is the purpose of the CTGCT

For many cancers and rare genetic diseases that are newly discovered, effective cures and treatments do not yet exist. However, new advanced treatment technologies, such as gene and cell therapies, may in the future cure many diseases that are rooted in the genetic makeup of patients. These new treatments are highly effective because they are targeted and tailored to individual patients or groups of patients and can address the immediate cause of the disease and even lead to a permanent cure. The Centre for the Technologies of Gene and Cell Therapy, to be established by the National Institute of Chemistry, will develop technologies for the production of advanced drugs for the treatment of diseases for which no effective cures yet exist, pending the start of clinical trials. The aim is to exploit the scientific potential already available in Slovenia and, in the long term, to improve the survival and quality of life of patients.

 

How the CTGCT will work

Cutting-edge research in synthetic biology, neurobiology, genetics and immunology at the National Institute of Chemistry is key to the development of new, personalised therapies. This development will be supported by collaboration between scientists and physicians at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, with patients and their stakeholders playing an important role. The CTGCT will thus be an important bridge between biomedical research for advanced therapies and their translation into practise. At the same time, it will foster the development of high value-added biotechnology companies and establish links with the pharmaceutical industry.

 

What is this European project about and how much is it worth?

The CTGCT project is funded through the European call Widening - Teaming for Excellence. This is one of major actions of the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation. The strategic objective of this call is to strengthen research and innovation capacities in Member States, Associated Countries and remote regions that would benefit from collaboration with successful research institutions in the field of research and innovation. The partner institutions of the CTGCT project are: University College London (UCL), Utrecht University Medical Centre, Charité University Hospital Berlin, and Technical University Dresden. In recognition of the applicants' development potential, the European Commission awarded the CTGCT project a grant of €15 million, of which €12 million went to the National Institute of Chemistry. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sports will provide a second round of investment funding for the project. This brings the total value of the project to €30 million, creating the conditions for the establishment and long-term operation of the centre.

 

Kdaj in kje bo zrasel CTGCT

Začetek izvajanja projekta CTGCT je načrtovan za drugo polovico leta 2023, projekt bo trajal šest let. Za potrebe delovanje CTGCT je predvidena gradnja in raziskovalna oprema novega objekta, ki bo umeščen na območje Kemijskega inštituta v Ljubljani.

When and where the CTGCT will be built

The CTGCT is scheduled to start in the second half of 2023 and will run for six years. The CTGCT will be built in a new facility on the grounds of the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana and will be equipped with research equipment.

For more information about the CTGCT: https://ctgct.si/en/centre/

 

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