Continued funding for EuroStemCell

EuroStemCell is delighted to announce that we have been successful in securing continued funding under the European Commission's Horizon 2020 funding programme.  This means that EuroStemCell, with its strong collaboration of partners, will continue to support the scientific community to engage with citizens, teachers, patients, patient support groups, regulators, policy makers, parlimentarians, journalists...and the many more parties with a strong interest in stem cell research.  As well as continuing our current activity, we will be initiating some new and exciting branches of the project with the aim of developing the project and increasing the impact of our activities - watch this space! The EC have produced a news story about the project which can be read here.

European Commission replies to petition against funding for research involving human embryos

The European Commission has responded to a European Citizens’ Initiative petition, reiterating its previous stance on the importance of embryonic stem cell research and potential treatments, while highlighting the existence of its ‘triple lock’ responsible research system.

Continued EU funding for stem cell research urged

A coalition of leading funders of biomedical research, learned societies and patient groups, led by the Wellcome Trust, has issued a joint statement calling on the European Parliament to continue funding human embryonic stem cell research.

The statement calls for current provisions that allow for the funding of all types of stem cell research - including human embryonic stem cell research - to be maintained in the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

New EU stem cell research projects up and running

Several new stem cell research projects are off the starting blocks, thanks to major funding from the European Commission’s Framework 7 Programme. We’re excited that four of the new projects are collaborating with EuroStemCell. They all focus on different disease areas and types of stem cells, but they all have a common goal: to understand how stem cells work and how to control them so they can be used in treatments for patients. Read on to find out more about the new research.


Stem cell research may aid quest to repair damaged immunity

A major research initiative could pave the way for new stem cell therapies for people with damaged immune systems.

The £5 million project may translate into new treatments that benefit older people and those who have received a bone marrow transplant.

It aims to develop stem cell therapies that can boost the immune system by repairing the thymus, an organ in the body located next to the heart that produces important immune cells.

Stem Cell Research: New, Major EU research grant focused on the development of stem cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative diseases

Neurostemcellrepair (European stem cell consortium for neural cell replacement, reprogramming and functional brain repair) is formed to create a world-leading consortium that aims at taking human stem cells through the final steps toward clinical application in cell replacement therapy. Neurostemcellrepair is expected to close the gap between development and clinical implementation of stem cell replacement therapies for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and make significant advance towards stem cell therapy in Huntington’s Disease (HD).

New, major EU research grant focused on stem cell-based treatment of Diabetes

A grant of 6 million euros for the HumEn project brings together leading European stem cell-research groups and industrial partners in a coordinated and collaborative effort aimed at developing glucose-responsive, insulin-producing beta cells for future cell-replacement therapy in diabetes. The project will contribute significantly to better treatment and quality of life for the increasing population of diabetics.

Image: Pancreatic progenitor cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. The cells are co-expressing PDX1 (red) and CDH1 (green). PDX1 is a transcription factor necessary for pancreatic development and beta-cell maturation. CDH1 codes for proteins that help cells stick together.



Edinburgh scientists aim to reboot patients’ immune systems to boost bone marrow transplant recovery

A team of Edinburgh scientists are aiming to harness and reboot the body’s own defence system in order to improve the safety of bone marrow transplants for older blood cancer patients.

The team, led by Professor Clare Blackburn at the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded £250,000 by the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research for their research into the thymus gland – a part of the immune system key to transplant recovery.

EU funding adds value to Europe’s stem cell community

The European Commission has funded groups of European stem cell scientists to work together across national boundaries. Elena Cattaneo is coordinator of one of those groups, NeuroStemcell. Here, Elena reflects on the value of European level support for such collaborative research, and introduces the film Behind the Science - an inside view of EU research consortia.

Legal expert: ECJ ruling on patents is legally flawed

Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that no patents can be granted in Europe for inventions or technologies based on the use of embryonic stem cells. In a recent article, Professor Aurora Plomer, Chair of Law and Bioethics at the University of Sheffield, UK, argues that the Court's decision "represents an unprecedented and illegitimate constitutional interference with the autonomy of member states and a setback for science and the rights of those suffering from crippling diseases".

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