Three new Horizon2020 projects will start in 2020. MERLN is the coordinator of cmRNAbone and a partner in JOINTPROMISE and PREMSTEM.
Due to life style changes and ageing of our industrialized nations, bone traumatic injuries and osteoporosis induced fragile fracture are an enormous medical and socio-economic challenge. The cmRNAbone project aim to create a novel bone regenerative therapeutic approach based on combination of chemically modified RNAs (cmRNAs)-vectors embedded in a 3D-printed guiding biomaterial ink tailored to patients need. Selected candidate formulations will be taken to clinically relevant preclinical proof of concepts. Finally, an overreaching effort on preparing a 1st in human trial will be taken. Other partners in cmRNAbone are AO Institute Davos, University Basel, University Bordeaux, Ethris, Eurice, Cidetec, Kuros, OZ Biosciences, Idonial, and QBEX.
In JOINTPROMISE an automated, GMP-grade platform will be developed that can produce large, patterned and vascularised joint implants. This will also provide a paradigm shift for generic automated manufacturing of organoid-based tissue implants. JOINTPROMISE is the first fully interdepartmental project in MERLN, involving researchers from IBE, cBITE and CTR. Partners include the Catholic University Leuven, the Fraunhofer Society, the Foundation for Research & Technology – Hellas (FORTH), Poietis, and STEMCELL Technologies.
The goal of PREMSTEM is to develop and obtain new knowledge concerning human mesenchymal stem cell therapy for regenerating brain damage in infants born preterm. MERLN will focus on improving our understanding of the biodistribution of stem cells at different doses, administration routes and pharmacological windows using nanotechnology and relating this to functional outputs. The other PREMSTEM partners are Inserm, RMIT University, UMC Utrecht, the Catholic University Foundation, Essen University Hospital, Göteborg University, CNR, University of Geneva, Iconeus, RMIT-Europe, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, EFCNI, Inserm Transfert, and Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.