300 million euros for a new international stem cell consortium

A grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation of up to 300 million euro now enables the establishment of a major international research center focused on stem cell medicine. The center will be a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia, and Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands. The partnership between these three world-leading research institutions will pave the way for future stem cell-based treatments.

Read more here:

EMA implements new measures to minimise animal testing during medicines development

EMA is putting in place special support to developers to replace, reduce and refine animal use for the development, manufacturing and testing of human and veterinary medicines. The Agency is promoting these three principles — replace, reduce and refine; commonly referred to as 3Rs — through EMA’s Innovation Task Force (ITF). This action will facilitate the development and implementation of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) that are in line with the European Union legislation on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

More information see the EMA website.

Source: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/ema-implements-new-measures-minimise-animal-testing-during-medicines-development

 

EUROoCS for and by members

EUROoCS is a growing society with currently 500 members from 32 different countries. Time to redefine the strategy and look ahead to the coming years. Together with the strategy consultancy Change21 a strategic plan was developed using the outcome of the results of a survey among the EUROoCS members, interviews with the backoffice and online field research. Based on this plan an action plan is now being developed, including the next steps towards: 

– a clear and future-proof Mission and Vision
– (multi)-annual plan with clear goals and evaluation
– stronger member engagement
– more events and activities
– clear communication strategy (website, social media, newsletter)
– visibility and balanced representation of national networks
– fundraising strategy
– supportive back office

The EUROoCS Board will seek advice from the IAB and RAB for working out this action plan further. Different committees, such as an event committee, dissemination/outreach committee, training committee and fundraising committee, will be set up and chaired by EUROoCS Board members, with strong involvement of the EUROoCS members.

 

Prestigious Lefoulon-Delalande prize for Christine Mummery

Congratulations to professor Christine Mummery from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands who is co-recipient of the 2021 Scientific Grand Prize from the Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation of the Institut de France. The second laureate is professor Gordon Keller from the McEwen Stem Cell Institute and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Canada. Continue reading “Prestigious Lefoulon-Delalande prize for Christine Mummery”

Dutch Organ-on-Chip project receives huge grant to make the leap from lab to fab

NWO, the Dutch Research Council, has awarded a Perspective grant of 4.8 million euros for a Dutch multidisciplinary consortium, led by Eindhoven University of Technology professor Jaap den Toonder to develop much-needed universal standard for the pharmaceutical industry.

A visual representation of one tissue chip of skin and hair and two engineering chips, which are precisely clicked onto the ‘docking’ plate and to each other. Picture: hDMT

Scientists are pushing ahead building ‘organ-on-chips’, small chips with human cells, which are useful, for example, for studying cancerous metastases in the bloodstream or the development of scar tissue, or for testing the effect of drugs or food outside a human body. To make the step to industry, a collective of dozens of research groups, companies and knowledge institutions, brought together by the Dutch organ-on-chip consortium hDMT, are building a universal standard, supported by a NWO Perspective grant of nearly five million euros. The ultimate goal in the future: to link multiple organ chips together to simulate a whole body.

The Dutch organ-on-chip consortium hDMT brought the following partners together for this NWO Perspective program: Amsterdam UMC/VUmc, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, UMC Utrecht, Leiden University, Maastricht University, Twente University, Wageningen University & Research, 300MICRONS, Applikon, BioLamina, Convergence, Demcon, dsRAT Stichting Proefdiervrij, Galapagos, Genmab, Hy2Care, IBA Lifesciences, ibidi, Life Science Methods, LipoCoat, Micronit Microtechnologies, OnePlanet Research Center/imec, Poietis, PolyVation, provio, Qurin Diagnostics, ReumaNederland, RIVM, Spektrax, TissUse, TNO, Unilever Safety & Environmental Assurance Centre, Ushio INC.

For more information see here

EUROoC Virtual lab tour in 11 laboratories

15 PhD students give you a virtual lab tour in 11 laboratories involved in the EUROoC International Training Network, where  they are working on finding alternatives to reduce animal testing.

You are guided through the processes of building and setting-up an Organ-on-Chip experiment for in vitro modeling and drug screening.
For the video and more information about the network please visit the EUROoC website: https://www.eurooc.eu/research/#projects.

Stem Cell Reports “home” journal for EUROoCS

 

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and the European Organ-on-Chip Society (EUROoCS) are pleased to announce an agreement that will have Stem Cell Reports, the ISSCR’s online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, serve as the “home” journal for EUROoCS member publications that focus on the use and application of stem cells. This alliance will help bridge the bioengineering and stem cell communities to enhance the development of technologies, the sharing and application of discovery and ultimately lead to a better understanding of human health and the treatment of disease.

“Stem Cell Reports is excited to partner with EUROoCS to provide a first-class venue for outstanding studies that use stem cells or their derivatives in Organ-on-Chip and microphysiological systems. This is an exciting emerging area of interdisciplinary research that is building the next generation of powerful stem cell modeling tools for the study of human development, physiology and disease.” Martin Pera, Editor-in-Chief, Stem Cell Reports

“EUROoCS is delighted to have Stem Cell Reports as “home” for papers from its members using Organ-on-Chip and Microphysiological systems to create more predictive models of human tissue based on stem cells. These bioengineered models capture organ physiology beyond the state-of-the art by mimicking complex multi-cell type structures in a microphysiological environment that includes vascular-like perfusion and tissue biomechanics. Partnering with the ISSCR’s premier stem cell journal Stem Cell Reports will provide new perspectives for both EUROoCs and ISSCR members as well as a broader readership to advance understanding of human health and disease.” the EUROoCS Board

EUROoCS Industrial Advisory Board installed

Since June 1st 2020 EUROoCS has implemented an Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), consisting of six members from important industrial stakeholders and chaired by Thomas Singer from Roche.

The IAB advises the EUROoCS Board on translational aspects and industrial adoption of the technology. Among other tasks, the IAB will scout for new relationships for EUROoCS among companies in order to catalyse greater industry involvement and collaboration in research activities.
The IAB will support the EUROoCS community in strengthening science and technology and promoting the acceptance of Organ-on-Chip technology by the health authorities. Members are appointed for three years and are eligible for re-appointment for another three years.

During the EUROoCS 2020 conference, Christine Mummery introduced the members and mentioned that their input and advice in promoting the visibility and utility of Organ-on-Chip, in many facets of the life sciences and engineering, is highly appreciated.

The members of the IAB are:

Thomas Singer (Chair)
Global Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences/ Senior Vice President
Roche Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development
Roche Innovation Center Basel, Basel Switzerland

Lisa Benincosa
Global Head of Translational Medicine
Merck KGaA
Darmstadt, Germany

Eckhard von Keutz
Senior Vice President and Head of Translational Sciences
Bayer AG
Research & Development, Pharmaceuticals
Translational Sciences
Wuppertal, Germany

Jochen Kühnl
Lab Manager
Representative Cosmetics Europe
Beiersdorf, Hamburg, Germany

Bennard Ravenzwaay
Senior Vice President
BASF SE, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany

Armin Wolf
Chief Scientific Officer InSphero AG, Schlieren, Switzerland
Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Department of
Chemistry, Kaiserslautern, Germany

 

Queen Mary opens Organs-on-Chips Centre for advancements in medical research and drug development

The new ‘Queen Mary – Emulate Organs-on-Chips Centre‘ will use Organs-on-Chips to recreate the human biology of different organs by incorporating the appropriate types of cells and tissues cultured under continuous fluid flow and mechanical forces, such as cyclic breathing and peristalsis, which create the microenvironment experience by cells in the body.

Organs-on-Chips research offers the potential to improve the testing of new drugs or therapies to predict their safety and efficacy in the human body. These living, microengineered systems also offer the potential to reduce the reliance on animal testing and enhance understanding of disease mechanisms in the development of new medicines.

Queen Mary has established the Centre in partnership with Emulate, Inc., a U.S.-based company that is on the leading-edge with a portfolio of Organs-on-Chips products and lab-ready systems for use by researchers worldwide.

The Centre will provide access to Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips technology to enable researchers to develop organ models of their design for use in a wide variety of experiments and drug development programmes. It will also provide opportunities for collaboration with Emulate and support for commercialisation and translational impact.

For more information see the Press Release here.

Source: Press Release

European Organ-on-Chip Society open for active membership

Press release: European Organ-on-Chip Society open for active membership

The founding phase is complete: the European Organ-on-Chip Society (EUROoCS) is now welcoming members to join. The annual conference, held this year in Graz (Austria), saw launch of the community website and the start of its availability as an information resource. “We invite scientists, engineers, as well as regulators and patient representatives interested in these new laboratory models to become active members of the society and contribute to efforts of the Organ-on-Chip community in promoting recognition and implementation of  this exciting research field,” says Christine Mummery, chair of EUROoCS and professor of Developmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands

 

3 July 2019 – Organ-on-Chip (OoC) systems are among the latest emerging technologies for healthcare research. It is believed they will accelerate drug discovery, advance drug efficacy and toxicology testing and open new opportunities for personalized medicine. “Organ-on-Chip systems can reduce and perhaps eventually replace animal experiments and provide predictive human data before expensive and lengthy clinical trials actually start,” vice-chair Peter Loskill says. The biophysicist heads the Organ-on-Chip research group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Germany.

 

Building a community network

Although the potential of OoC technology is high, it is also very complex. Organ-on-Chip systems hold human cells, tissues or mini-organs in mimics of their own microenvironment while they perform real-life tissue functions. This requires considerable interdisciplinary collaboration – especially between biology, engineering and physics, disciplines only recently in close contact. “We established the European Organ-on-Chip Society to bring together all relevant stakeholders and build an expert network. In this way we provide a platform for exchange of scientific knowledge across disciplines and collaboration opportunities,” says Janny van den Eijnden-van Raaij, secretary of EUROoCS and managing director of the Dutch institute hDMT. “Involving all stakeholders at an early stage is key to success and rapid development of Organ-on-Chip technology.”

Many scientists with interest registered earlier are now invited to contribute and participate actively in the OoC community.

 

Making the difference

High on EUROoCs agenda is identifying “showcases” that demonstrate the potential of OoC-technology and how it can make a difference in discovery of safe and effective drugs. EUROoCs promotes the development of reliable and robust model systems, open technology platforms, standardization and discussion of ethical aspects. “We have to work on approaches for the integration of physical or chemical sensors, and ensure that the test systems deliver reproducible and comparable results and can also be standardized from a regulatory point of view,” says board member Albert van den Berg, professor of sensor systems for biomedical and environmental applications at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. “Furthermore, we need to think about the manufacturability and integration in the user’s workflow at an early stage if we want to have real impact.”

  

Membership benefits

The society is open to individual researchers and students worldwide and to individual representatives of industry and regulatory agencies. Anyone with a real interest in Organ-on-Chip technology is welcome to join and share ideas and knowledge. Student members enjoy a 50% reduction on the € 40,-  annual membership fee.

Member benefits include exclusive access to the digital platform (with forum, research projects and expert profiles), discounted registration for the annual conference and up-to-date information on advances and activities in the OoC field.

Stay tuned and join the Organ-on-Chip Society: https://www.euroocs.eu/become-a-member/

Become part of a growing network and help move this emerging technology forward.

More information

www.euroocs.eu

 Contact

Dr. Janny van den Eijnden – van Raaij
Board EUROoCS
Managing Director hDMT
T: +31 6 1299 8074
E: j.vandeneijnden@hdmt.technology

 

About Organ-on-Chip systems

An Organ-on-Chip is a fit-for-purpose microfluidic device, containing living engineered organ substructures in a controlled microenvironment, that recapitulates one or more aspects of the organ’s dynamics, functionality and (patho)physiological response in vivo under real-time monitoring.

Organ-on-chip models are expected to result in a paradigm shift for healthcare, leading to new ways to elucidate disease mechanisms in humans, identify effective drugs and improve health by prevention and personalized cure of many diseases.

About EUROoCS

The European Organ-on-Chip Society (EUROoCS) is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to encourage and develop Organ-on-Chip research, and to provide opportunities to share and advance knowledge and expertise in the field towards better health for all. EUROoCS was launched November 2018 during the 3rd International Organ-on-Chip Symposium at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

EUROoCS is an outcome of the Horizon 2020 project ORCHID (Organ-on-Chip in Development) carried out by a European consortium of seven partner organizations.

www.euroocs.eu

About ORCHID

The Horzion 2020 ORCHID project (Organ-on-Chip development) is an EU initiative, coordinated by Leiden University Medical Center and the Dutch Organ-on-Chip consortium hDMT in the Netherlands. The main goal of ORCHID is to create a roadmap for Organ-on-Chip technology and to build a network of all relevant stakeholders in this promising innovative field. In the two years ORCHID project that started on 1 October 2017 in total seven leading European research institutions from five different European countries are involved.

H2020-ORCHID.eu

  About hDMT

hDMT (Institute for human Organ and Disease Model technologies) is a pre-competitive, non-profit, technological research institute, in which renowned scientists from 15 Dutch organizations (academic research centers, research institutes, University Medical Centers, and biotech companies) work together. In this consortium hDMT researchers share and integrate their knowledge, expertise and research facilities in technology, biology, physics, chemistry, pharmacology and medicine to develop Organs-on-Chips largely using human stem cells. hDMT aims to disseminate Organ-on-Chip models and research data via open access publication and valorization.

www.hdmt.technology