News : 2019 : February

iPSpine Kick-off Meeting

Kick-off Meeting

In mid-February, Rosario Isasi, JD, MPH, a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with appointments in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, and the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, along with fellow members of the iPSpine (Induced pluripotent stem cell-based therapy for spinal regeneration) project consortium met in Utrecht, Netherlands. IPSpine is a Euros 15 million, 5-year project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 which aims to improve knowledge, testing, and exploitation platforms to promote advanced therapies for back pain in Europe. The study aims to address chronic lower back pain (LBP), which is the leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide. It impacts more than 700 million people globally of all ages, each year.

Rosario Isasi together with Dr. Annelien Bredenoord of Utrech University, will be co-leading the Ethics/Regulatory Workpackage for iPSpine, which will examine the ethics and policy aspects of stem cell research in close collaboration with researchers and patients from many countries. In particular, they will explore the notion of ‘responsibilization’ by looking at the interplay of ethical, policy, and regulatory analysis and assessing the implications of the findings in successful and responsible innovation of advanced therapies of the future.

The iPSpine consortium includes 20 partners across Europe, the United States of America, and China. Members have expertise in fundamental science (e.g. induced pluripotent stem cells, genome editing, pathobiology, regenerative medicine, intervertebral disc degeneration, bioreactor technology, MRI analysis); therapeutic design (e.g. biomaterials, safety, clinically relevant animal models, biomechanics, GLP-like biodistribution studies, clinical orthopaedics); and final implementation (e.g. smart business management platforms, ethics, policy and regulatory affairs, stakeholder engagement & dissemination).

The IPSpine project is funded by the @EU_H2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No° 825925

To learn more about iPSpine, visit the Utrecht University website: https://www.uu.nl/en/news/15-million-euros-towards-solving-chronic-back-pain