CARAT is kicking off to develop an innovative cell manufacturing platform

Eurice supports new EU-funded project in project management, exploitation and communications

Cancer is highlighted by the WHO as one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity. For instance, in Europe alone, more than 50,000 people die of leukaemia every year. In response to this major health issue a consortium of eight partners has gathered together in the new EU-funded project CARAT taking on the mission to deliver new methods to enable the wide use of novel personalized cancer treatment options based on highly innovative cell therapies.

With this mission in mind, the CARAT Kick-off Meeting took place on January 28-29, 2016. The meeting was hosted by the coordinator Miltenyi Biotec at their beautiful premises in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany.

After a short introduction to the EC’s ratio behind supporting gene and cell therapy in Horizon 2020 given by the EC’s project officer for CARAT David Gancberg, the consortium jumped right into discussing the steps to be taken in the individual work packages to keep the project on track from the start.

In the following months, the basis of the project will be defined by selecting the appropriate chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to be used throughout the project and by setting up standards and workflows to implement the tools and processes. While on Day 1 discussions were held with the entire consortium, the individual work packages split up on Day 2 to define the next steps in more detail.

CAR T-Cell therapy: a revolutionary, highly effective treatment option to cure cancer

CARs are specifically tailored surface receptors that can be introduced into cells of the immune system, especially T-cells, by genetic engineering. They act as recognition molecules like antibodies or T-cell receptors and allow honing of immune responses towards selected targets. T-cells are essential for the human immune system as they scan the human body to eliminate infections and abnormalities. In this respect, CARs are increasingly used for cellular therapy to redirect T-cells specifically towards killing of cancer cells.

The project consortium comprises a multi-national team of leading experts from eight European partnering institutions. Equipped with a total budget of €6 million CARAT aims to integrate innovative cell manufacturing tools and enabling technologies into a new, comprehensive platform that will facilitate the safe, automated, and cost-efficient manufacture of highly effective so-called CAR T-cells.

As management partner Eurice will support the consortium in all aspects of project and IP management safeguarding smooth project implementation as well as efficient exploitation and valorization of research outcomes. Moreover, Eurice will assist the consortium in effective project communications to ensure a continuous and broad outreach to relevant stakeholder groups.

The partners in CARAT at a glance:

France
Emmanuel Donnadieu: Institut Cochin, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, Paris

Germany
Andrew Kaiser: Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, Bergisch Gladbach
Christian Buchholz: Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines), Langen
Toni Catthomen: Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg
Janine Jost: European Research and Project Office GmbH, Saarbrücken

Italy
Attilio Bondanza: Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan

UK
Martin Pule: University College London, London
Matthew Lakelin: TrakCel Ltd., Cardiff

Your contact:
Janine Jost
European Research and Project Office GmbH
Tel.:+49 681 9592 3357
Email

Carat
Life Sciences, Food & Biotech
CARAT
Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) for Advanced Therapies
Your Contact
Jj
Janine Jost
Senior Project Manager
Phone: +49 6894 3881331

Tags: Horizon 2020