HEAL: HLA-homozygous iPSC-cardiomyocytE Aggregate manufacturing technologies for allogenic cell therapy to the heart

EU funds research project HEAL in cell-based heart repair

The European Union is funding the HEAL research project, which involves ten partners from all over Europe and Israel, with more than six million euros, of which the Medical School Hannover (MHH) is the coordinating institution. The international research team led by Dr. Robert Zweigerdt and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Martin from MHH (Germany) includes the following partners: Catalent Düsseldorf GmbH (Germany), Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht (Netherlands), Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversitat (Austria), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), Biological Industries Ltd. (Israel), European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (Europe), InnoSER (Belgium), Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf (Germany) and the University of Oxford (United Kingdom).

This highly interdisciplinary network of academic and industrial scientists is composed of stem cell biologists, bioengineers, cardio-vascular clinicians, veterinarians, ethicists, experts in GMP-regulations and other; together the partners aim at developing a new cell therapy for regenerating damaged hearts.

One goal of the network is establishing new tools and expertise for accelerating the development of advanced human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-based therapies. The project also aims for overcoming scientific, regulatory and in particular safety hurdles, necessary to initiate a first-in-man (FIM) clinical trial for the therapeutic administration of allogeneic, human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-homozygous iPSC-cardiomyocyte aggregates, for improving the function of damaged hearts.