NECSTGEN is built upon a rich history of developments and innovations in regenerative medicine. Today Leiden’s ecosystem of academic and industrial partners continues to pioneer in research and the development of new regenerative therapies.
Stem cells offer more insight into rare sudden cardiac death
By growing stem cells of patients into heart cells, researchers have discovered how a rare syndrome can lead to sudden cardiac death. The next step is to test medication on these cells. This according to researchers, including Prof Christine Mummery and Dr Milena Bellin (Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum), in PNAS.
Easier creation of heart cells from the patient’s own skin cells
In the lab, Prof Christine Mummery forms heart patients’ skin cells into stem cells. These are then matured into various types of heart muscle cells in a step-by-step process. However, until recently, the yield of cells was small and limited to ventricular cells and atrium cells. In Nature Biotechnology, the researchers describe how cell production can be scaled up significantly.
New collaboration in regenerative medicine started in LUMC
The kick-off of RegMed XB, a new collaboration for regenerative medicine, takes place on Thursday 30 March at LUMC. RegMed XB has great ambitions: a cure for patients with chronic disease, instead of the treatment of symptoms. Universities, medical funds, businesses, and the government will be working together, with a starting budget of 25 million euros and a plan to increase this to 250 million euros in the next 10 years.
Gene therapy for babies without immune systems
Babies whose immune systems do not function from birth are usually given stem cell transplants. An international research team led by the Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum is given 6 million euros from the European Horizon2020 programme for their research into a promising alternative: correction of the error in the DNA.
Gene therapy promotes nerve regeneration
Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) and the LUMC have shown that treatment using gene therapy leads to a faster recovery after nerve damage. By combining a surgical repair procedure with gene therapy, the survival of nerve cells and regeneration of nerve fibers over a long distance was stimulated for the first time.
Development of gene therapy for inherited eye disease
A team of researchers, led by Prof. Jan Wijnholds, at the LUMC has developed a platform for candidate gene therapies for children with pathogenic CRB1 mutations. These are associated with Inherited Retinal Dystrophy, a rare devastating ophthalmic condition leading to blindness. The LUMC now collaborates with a French therapy developer for further clinical development.
Establishment of NECSTGEN
Launch of the Netherlands Center for the Clinical Advancement of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies (NECSTGEN) at the Leiden Bio Science Park.