Despite the increasing number of gene transfer experiments and the huge quantity of gene therapy tools (vectors, plasmids, cell lines…) the know-how of this technology needs to be improved. Therefore, co-ordinated efforts need to be performed throughout European concerned laboratories in research, development and training on vectors technology. In this context, a network of vector production and development (Gene Vector Production Network, GVPN) and the European Gene vector Database and Repository (EGDR) have been developed to help gene transfer experiments by providing scientific and technical assistance, including the production and dissemination of any kind of gene therapy reagents tools.
The proposal involves two sequential events with the following objectives:
a) The Gene Vectors EuroNet conference is expected to gather about 300 scientists (mostly from academic institutions) who have used or are using materials (vectors, plasmids, cells) produced by the GVPN, and all participants (including private institutions) involved in gene therapy. The conference will allow to (i) evaluate the scientific and technological relevance of the network activity, and (ii) perform a first centralisation of data from European gene transfer experiments carried out with such vectors.
b) The Gene Vectors EuroNet LabCourse will train European young scientists of excellence selected among academic and industrial institutions. Lectures in the basic biological mechanisms of gene vectors will be combined with lab training on the basic procedures of production, purification and quality characterisation. This with the aim that trained scientists will be able to carry out vector preparation and characterisation in their respective host institutions, and to compare their data with those obtained in the LabCourse.
The major European biotechnology companies will present their activity in a one-day session open to the large public. This first initiative will allow European scientific institutions to acquire and/or consolidate the know how in gene transfer technology with newly- or more experienced scientists, and to reinforce the network by recruiting young resources of scientific excellence and increasing the number of opportunities of exchanges. Furthermore, the participation of industries in both events will encourage and /or develop the collaboration between academic and industrial institutions involved in the domain.