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Advanced Regenerative and REStorative Therapies to combat corneal BLINDNESS

Advanced Regenerative and REStorative Therapies to combat corneal BLINDNESS

Objective

Over 30 million Europeans are blind or visually impaired, leading to reduced quality of life and a tremendous loss of productivity in society. Corneal blindness is the second largest cause of blindness globally and while treatable, millions remain unnecessarily blind due to issues of access to transplantable tissue, lack of standardized treatments, and the lag in translating new regenerative medicine therapies to the clinic. The objective of ARREST BLINDNESS is therefore to develop and validate new regenerative-based therapies addressing a spectrum of blinding disorders of the cornea. These conditions either have no effective current treatments, depend on a scarce supply of donor tissue, or non-standardized methods are hindering validation of promising regenerative treatments. To achieve our objective, we will implant GMP-fabricated collagen-based bioengineered scaffolds to replace or regenerate the corneal stroma in cases of stromal thinning, scarring, dystrophy or trauma; deliver therapeutic epithelial stem and endothelial cells to the cornea to restore its transparency; deliver regenerative factors to promote neural growth and function; and actively maintain corneal immune privilege in high-risk situations by targeted therapeutic approaches to regress blood and lymphatic vessels. We will additionally develop advanced methods to image and monitor therapy throughout the cycle from GMP-compliant cell and scaffold preparation through the pre- and intra-operative stages, to postoperative follow-up and evaluation. After proof-of-concept and preclinical validation of key enabling components, these technologies will be used by one or several partners in preclinical models and in phase I/II human clinical studies. ARREST BLINDNESS directly addresses the translation of regenerative medicine, bio-artificial organs, tissue engineered scaffolds, and advanced cell and gene therapies into clinical use and will help to alleviate the worldwide problem of corneal blindness.
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Coordinator

LINKOPINGS UNIVERSITET

Address

Campus Valla
581 83 Linkoping

Sweden

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 623 175

Participants (12)

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AEON ASTRON EUROPE B.V.

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 277 075

NETHERLANDS INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATIVE OCULAR SURGERY

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 622 582,50

UNIVERSITAIR ZIEKENHUIS ANTWERPEN

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 738 065

KLINIKUM DER UNIVERSITAET ZU KOELN

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 1 122 407,50

UNIVERSIDAD MIGUEL HERNANDEZ DE ELCHE

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 397 656,25

AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 237 165

LUDWIG BOLTZMANN GESELLSCHAFT OSTERREICHISCHE VEREINIGUNG ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTLICHEN FORSCHUNG

Austria

EU Contribution

€ 142 800

LINKOCARE LIFE SCIENCES AB

Sweden

EU Contribution

€ 321 278,75

OPTOMEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 281 222,50

NOVALIQ GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 149 250

GENE SIGNAL INTERNATIONAL SA

Switzerland

ACADEMISCH ZIEKENHUIS LEIDEN

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 80 500

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 667400

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2016

  • End date

    31 December 2019

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.1.3.

  • Overall budget:

    € 6 030 052,50

  • EU contribution

    € 5 993 177,50

Coordinated by:

LINKOPINGS UNIVERSITET

Sweden