BeCAT deals with the development and manufacture of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) of all three classes:
(1) Somatic cell therapeutics,
(2) gene therapeutics and
(3) biotechnological tissue preparations (tissue-engineering),
as well as combinations of different classes or combinations in connection with medical devices.
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The Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies (BeCAT) has set up interdisciplinary project teams to do justice to the complexity and play a visible role internationally. The teams are made up of scientists with medical, scientific, engineering and biotechnological backgrounds. This results in synergies for innovation, speed and quality of translational research, i.e. the fast and efficient transfer of preclinical research into clinical development.
The fields of Regenerative Medicine and Hematology/Oncology represent important and dynamic research focuses of the Charité, which are underpinned by a strategic appointment concept, targeted investments in infrastructure and a research program supported by the State of Berlin. The leading scientists and the staff of the BeCAT working groups are recruited from these fields. Consequently, the focus of the BeCAT projects is on Regenerative Medicine, Hematology and Oncology.
RESTORE – an EU-funded initiative as trailblazer
Advanced therapies break with the principles of classical medicine. They open completely new possibilities for the treatment of many previously incurable diseases. Based on the most modern methods of molecular biology, genetics and biomedicine, they are potential game changers in the healthcare sector.
The special feature of advanced therapies is the use of living preparations (cells, tissues), which are processed in complex and highly innovative manufacturing processes. Their novelty, complexity and great innovation potential pose major challenges to both developers and regulators, with the result that the development and application of advanced therapies is still at an early stage throughout Europe.
This is where the RESTORE initiative comes in.
The initiative, funded in the first year of its development by the European research program Horizon 2020 (€ 1 million), is coordinated by Professor Hans-Dieter Volk, a clinical immunologist, and his team at the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) ) and the Berlin Center for Advanced Therapies (BeCAT) of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH).
Its goal is to bring advanced therapies into the clinical practice.
The strategies for achieving this goal are many. These include a large number of activities aimed at educating and training the various specialist groups in the field, but above all various initiatives that contribute to accelerated translation (translate research concepts to clinical application) and the marketing of advanced therapies in Europe.
Further information is available on the RESTORE website
EU Project ReSHAPE
The EU project ReSHAPE, led by Professor Petra Reinke, was selected for funding under the call for proposals "Innovation platforms for advanced therapies of the future" of the EU Framework Program "Horizon 2020" from a total of 63 applications.
The project started on 01.01.2019 and will be funded with a total of 13 million Euros over a period of four years.
ReSHAPE stands for "Reshaping undesired Inflammation in callenged Tissue Homeostasis by Next-Generation regulatory T-cell approaches (Treg) - from Advanced Technology Developments to First-in-Human Trials (FIH)."
Based on the triple-T concept - transdisciplinarity, technology, translation - ReSHAPE's main objective is to modify the treatment of patients with undesired immunity/inflammation, who currently have limited curative treatment options, through the application of novel Treg approaches, overcoming the limitations of first-generation Treg products.
The adoptive transfer of Treg is a promising new therapeutic option. It is a potential game changer in health care, particularly in immune diseases, organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSC), and regenerative medicine, including gene therapy.
ReSHAPE partners are world leaders in academic and clinical research and industry: Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany); Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (Germany); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nantes (France); The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom); Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Universität Tübingen (Germany); Cell Therapy Catapult Limited (United Kingdom); TissUse GmbH (Germany) and Innovation Acta S.R.L. (Italy).
Further information is available on the ReSHAPE website.