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New EU project addresses diabetes with pancreas organoids

The innovations introduced by LSFM4LIFE strengthen the leadership of Europe in the field of advanced therapies and, in particular, in cell-based therapies.

LSFM4LIFE project uses hPO as a new cell-based therapy for Type 1 Diabetes

The goal of the new european project LSFM4LIFE is the production of long-term renewing pancreas organoids for the cellular therapy of type 1 diabetes. The cause of this type of diabetes is a lack of insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreatic islets. The rate of people affected by type 1 diabetes is rising every year and is increasing particularly amongst young children.

Pancreas organoids derived from adult pancreas stem cells are one of the most promising technologies for cellular and regenerative therapy. “LSFM4LIFE provides the unique chance to achieve something of significance for the patients, especially for children and their families.” says Francesco Pampaloni, co-applicant and scientific manager of LSFM4LIFE. “We formed a well-balanced blend of academia and industry partners, gathering a tremendous expertise. While insulin is the life-saving treatment of type 1 diabetes, LSFM4LIFE seeks a cure.”

The LSFM4LIFE project was granted within the Horizon2020 Program of the European Union after a competitive two-stage selection process. The project started with a kick-off meeting in Brussels on 9 February 2016 and will be funded for four years.

LSFM4LIFE Kick-Off Meeting

Specific objectives of LSFM4LIFE

  1. Producing long-term renewing, human pancreatic organoid (hPO) lines and assessing their genetic stability and in vivo safety.
  2. Identifying the optimal expansion and differentiation conditions of hPO by employing high-throughput screening.
  3. Standardizing the manufacture of hPO under xenogen-free and well-defined biochemical conditions, by employing new biomimetic scaffolds.
  4. Achieving regulatory-compliant GMP production of hPO for pre-clinical studies and phase I clinical trials.

Establishing pancreas organoids for the therapy of T1D is an innovative process. Its accomplishment requires a critical mass of experts that is available at the European level. The consortium includes three top academic research groups from Frankfurt (Germany) Cambridge (UK) and Milan (Italy) as well as four small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) from Germany, France, The Netherlands and Switzerland.

Acknowledged experts from both academia and industry have multi-disciplinary expertise in the production of adult stem cell organoids, organ transplantation, good manufacturing practice (GMP) production of cellular therapeutic, biomimetic hydrogels, three-dimensional cell cultures and advanced microscopy.

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