HAPLO-iPS

EATRIS Institutions leading the new COST Action funding programme to establish a European-based excellence network on hiPSC-derived cell-based medicines.

On October 11, a new COST Action, HAPLO-iPS chaired by Dr Anna Veiga from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) in Spain was launched. HAPLO-iPS aims to create a collaborative network to provide a framework for hiPSC generation of hiPSC homozygous for frequent HLA haplotypes, compatible with a significant percentage of the population to be used for cell therapy clinical trials and to create a data collection system (REGISTRY) for such lines.

HAPLO-iPS, which comprises of 31 partners from 16 countries including 12 EATRIS institutes, will be Vice-chaired by David Morrow, the EATRIS Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) Scientific Program Manager, and aims to establish a European-based excellence network on hiPSC-derived cell-based medicines. This action will not only boost the state-of-the-art of this research field but will also contribute to Europe’s world leadership through the medical, scientific, economic, and social development of Europe and strengthening Europe’s competitiveness capacities. This network includes all the relevant stakeholders: hiPSC generation/banking centres, CB banks that will supply cord blood units; manufacturing centres (GMP complying), immunology experts, chemistry and manufacturing controls, regulatory bodies, National Agencies, and ethics experts.

The challenge will be approached essentially by networking with all the stakeholders involved sharing knowledge, standardising methodology and developing an educational training programme for researchers. HAPLO-iPS is also promoting the participation of researchers from less research-intensive countries as a significant percentage of the members are from the Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC) countries. ITC participants will have access to research facilities, training courses, mentoring of ITC young researchers and will participate in spreading excellence and widening the participation programme.

Furthermore, key leadership positions in the Action Management are reserved to COST ITC. Overall, this proposal will pioneer new approaches that will foster the progress of a haplo-selected hiPS generation of therapeutics by developing, implementing and exploiting a registry with all the information for the benefit of patients. For more information on how to participate in different working groups of interest and learn more about the project please go to the COST website here and follow the necessary instructions. We look forward to keeping all our researchers working on IPSCs informed of the different opportunities and resources available throughout this exciting project’s lifespan.