Cell and gene therapy form two of the most dynamic research areas world-wide and provide fundamentally new therapies for diseases without available treatment. ATMPs typically targets the underlying biology of the disease rather than the symptoms and therefore offer the possibility of cure. The development of new cell and gene therapies is spearheaded by the unprecedented clinical success of cancer immunotherapy and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for B cell malignancies. In parallel, new advances in stem cell biology, including the possibility for differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) reprogrammed from somatic cells, open up new possibilities to regenerate cells and tissues for the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes as well as various organ failures, including liver diseases. However, clinical-grade cell engineering represents a key bottleneck for the development of new ATMPs.
To address this bottleneck, a donor consortium has committed 50 MNOK to form a Centre for Advanced Cell and Gene therapy (ACT-Centre) located in clean room facilities at the OUH. The investment is dedicated to actions that strengthen the competence in cell differentiation, manipulation and genomic editing under full-scale good manufacturing practices (GMP).
- Svanhild and Arne Must´s Foundation for Medical Research
- RADFORSK oncology research fund
- The Norwegian Cancer Society