Low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide. It is widely accepted that a major contributor to LBP is intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). IDD account for at least 40% (~280 million) of all LBP cases, leading to an EU-economic burden of ~€240 billion. These patients receive conservative treatment (e.g. pain relief medication and physiotherapy). When the latter is unsatisfactory, the only option left are invasive and costly surgical intervention. To date, no treatments halt or reverse IDD. Despite the profound socioeconomic burden and impact of IDD, decreasing the quality of life of millions of people, a game-changing treatment strategy for IDD-induced LBP is almost non-existent. The iPSpine consortium was formed to initiate a European-led research effort to identify a future advanced therapeutic strategy that results into a radical new treatment of IDD-induced LBP. With their multi-disciplinary expertise in the development of advanced therapies and their translation from bench to bedside, the aim of the iPSpine team is to investigate and develop a new advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) of the future, based on a novel developmental biology-based therapeutic strategy employing pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and smart biomaterials. The iPSpine consortium will develop and demonstrate Proof-of-concept with the aid of novel and extended knowledge, tools and technology platforms. Hereby, iPSpine has the ambition to make a significant contribution by reducing translational bottlenecks through open innovation and take European leadership in the development of ATMPs. The iPSpine impact: iPSpine seeks to offer novel technologies and ATMPs for the advanced therapy research and development community. IDD will be the showcase, offering improved quality of life for millions of patients with IDD-induced LBP, through long-lasting reduction of LBP, reduced LBP-related premature retirement, and improved socio-economic contribution.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeRIA - Research and Innovation action
S1 1WB Sheffield
3584 CT Utrecht
1114 AB Amsterdam-duivendrecht