European Consortium for Stem Cell Therapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases

At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2008
  • Initiating Organization: European Commission Sixth Framework Programme (FP6)
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • Rare disease
  • Disease focus:
    Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's disease

Abstract

Mission

The NEuroStemCell consortium will foster collaboration between leading European experimental and clinical researchers to maximize the prospects for successful clinical trials of stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s (HD) diseases. Building on the successful experience of the FPVI EuroStemCell project, NEuroStemCell will provide a focal point for European researchers engaged in the translational aspects of stem cell­–based strategies to develop cures for PD and HD.

Structure & Governance

NEuroStemCell activities will be driven by a Clinical Work Package (WP), which will set the requirements and monitor and guide advances in development of the most promising cells. The goal is to compare different stem cell sources with respect to their capacity to generate mesencephalic dopaminergic and striatal GABAergic neurons suitable for neuronal cell replacement. The major sources will be neuralized embryonic stem cells, adherent neural stem (NS) cell lines, and short-term expanded ventral midbrain NS cells/progenitors grown as neurospheres (VMN). Two exploratory WPs will use extrinsic cues to specify neuronal differentiation and rigorously compare the different human stem cell lines and their progeny in giving rise to authentic neurons. WP3 will integrate long-term assessments of functional (motor and cognitive) recovery in appropriate animal models of PD and HD, and WP4 will exploit noninvasive, in vivo imaging to evaluate the survival, composition, integration, and functional impact of the donor cells in the host brain. These two WPs will also provide the elements necessary to standardize the extent of recovery as a function of cell replacement and integration. In WP5, three small to medium-sized enterprises will generate the technologies for manufacturing and scale-up of safe, fully traceable, efficacious, and banked stocks of cells ready for clinical use. Regulatory and ethical requirements will be considered in the clinical WP, which also incorporates training.

Financing

NEuroStemCell is funded by the European Union (EU) Seventh Framework Programme. The total cost is
€15.8 million, of which €11.9 million was provided by the EU.

Points of Contact

Universita Degli Studi Di Milano Italy
Via Festa Del Perdono 7
Milano, Italy

Administrative Contact: Gianni Munizza
phone: +39 2 50325841
fax: +39 2 50325843

Sponsors & Partners

Biorep SRL

Cardiff University

Commissariat a l Energie Atomique Et Aux Energies Alternatives

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale (INSERM)

Karolinksa Institutet

Lunds Universitet

NsGene A/S

Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research

Stem Cell Sciences PLC

Universita Degli Studi di Milano

Universitaetsklinikum Bonn

University of Cambridge


Last Updated: 04/15/2016

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