Cellendes receives EU funding for development of hydrogels for Type 1 Diabetes cell therapy
Since January 2016 Cellendes is participating in a new EU project to develop a cure for diabetes type 1. Cellendes’ goal is to develop a chemically defined hydrogel which supports the mass production of insulin-producing cells and which is compliant with GMP regulations for cell therapy.
This project, called LSFM4Life, addresses the need for a cure of a disease that affects an increasing number of people every year, particularly children. The cause of it is a lack of insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreatic islets. Patients depend on a lifelong insulin therapy which is a cumbersome treatment and harbors life threatening risks. A cure can be achieved by transplanting a functional pancreas, but there are not nearly enough donor organs available.
The use of organoids derived from adult pancreas stem cells is one of the most promising technologies for cellular regenerative therapy. To achieve a regulatory compliant production of these organoids, they have to be grown under GMP-compatible conditions in a three-dimensional matrix. Cellendes hydrogels fulfill this prerequisite. They are based on chemically defined materials and provide highest flexibility in composition to find optimal growth conditions for these cells. The successful expansion of pancreatic organoids would also open the door for other organoid cultures and their application in therapy, research and drug development.
The consortium includes three top academic research groups from Frankfurt (Germany) Cambridge (UK) and Milan (Italy) and, besides Cellendes in Germany, three small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) from France, The Netherlands and Switzerland. The multi-disciplinary expertise of this consortium ensures the feasability of all aspects of the project, including production of adult stem cell organoids, organ transplantation, good manufacturing practice (GMP) production of cellular therapeutic, biomimetic hydrogels, three-dimensional cell cultures and advanced microscopic analyses.
The LSFM4LIFE project was granted within the Horizon2020 Program of the European Union after a competitive two-stage selection process. It received over 5 million Euros spread over four years. Over half a million was granted to Cellendes.
Visit the LSFM4Life webpage for more information and news on this project.