On June 15th and 16th, the annual meeting of the European project ARDAT (Accelerating research & development for advanced therapies) will take place at the Student Hub of the University of Coimbra. The project aims to accelerate the development of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), such as cell therapies and gene therapies, which have great potential in treating complex genetic diseases like cancer, rare diseases, and degenerative disorders.
The ARDAT project is a consortium that brings together experts from European and American public and private organizations, including the "Gene and Stem Cell Therapies for the Brain" research group at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra (CNC-UC), led by researcher and president of CNC-UC, Luís Pereira de Almeida. The consortium is co-led by the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
During this meeting, specialists from 26 different institutions will be present to discuss the progress made to date and the next steps. The discussions will focus on understanding how these medications are processed by the body, identifying mechanisms by which patients' immune systems may react and compromise the effectiveness and safety of the treatment, developing predictive models of patient response to ATMPs, and adopting standard procedures for evaluating the safety and efficacy of ATMPs.
The meeting will feature the special presence of American researcher Jude Samulski, co-founder of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc (AskBio). Jude Samulski is considered one of the global pioneers of gene therapy. On June 15th, at 5:00 PM, at the Colégio da Trindade of the University of Coimbra, Jude Samulski will deliver a seminar dedicated to the challenges in treating ultra-rare diseases. This seminar will be open to the entire scientific and medical community.
The ARDAT project officially started on November 1st, 2020, and will conclude on October 31st, 2025, with support from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a program co-financed by the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
Laetitia Gaspar and Carolina Caetano