The Barcelona Macula Foundation has participated as a member in the ADVANCE(CAT) consortium’s first meeting of 2018, held to present the latest scientific developments in the promotion of advanced therapies in Catalonia and to set the challenges for the future. The consortium, which is a project led by the University of Barcelona (UB) and Ferrer, comprises 18 entities from the sphere of public and private health.
The most significant advances over recent months have involved the therapies developed in the field of tissue engineering. There has been progress in the development of somatic cell differentiation strategies towards mature pancreatic beta cell phenotypes and which are capable of secreting insulin using self-assembling peptide nanofibres. There has also been study of the potential of three-dimensional structures with functional biomaterials for the differentiation of these insulin-producing cells.
Other developments involve the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their therapeutic potential. Artificial scaffolds combined with MSCs are enabling strategies to be developed that obtain functional tendons with future therapeutic purposes. In addition, studies are being conducted with MSCs derived from adipose tissue and umbilical cord blood for myocardial regeneration.
Challenges for the future
For 2018, the consortium members have decided to take part in seminars for students and those interested in advanced therapies so that the research developed in ADVANCE(CAT) may be explained.
The consortium also plans to travel to Seville to present the Project at the BIOSPAIN 2018 event; and to France to participate at BIOREGATE 2018 where each European country’s clusters will be presented, including ADVANCE(CAT).
The ADVANCE(CAT) project aims to promote advanced therapies in Catalonia. It is part of the NEXTHEALTH community, which is coordinated by Biocat and co-financed by the Agency for Business Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia (ACCIÓ) and the European Union within the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Catalonia 2014-2020 operational programme.
This work has been developed in the context of AdvanceCat with the support of ACCIÓ (Catalonia Trade & Investment; Generalitat de Catalunya) under the Catalonian ERDF operational program (European Regional Development Fund) 2014-2020.