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New ATMP center at Lund University

Lund University is establishing a university-wide development center for advanced therapies, LU-ATMP.

Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) are medicines that are based on cells, tissues or genes. With ATMP, injuries and illnesses can be treated in completely new ways and provide better opportunities to relieve and, to a progressively greater extent, cure a wide range of severe diseases.

“We want to contribute to the vision of Sweden becoming a world leader in the development and making available of advanced therapies,” says Erik Renström, rector at Lund University.

At the forefront of stem cell and gene therapy research

A crucial factor in the success of ATMP is being at the forefront of stem cell and gene therapy research.

“As a leading university, we have those conditions when it comes to basic experimental and translational research in cell, tissue and gene therapy. There are a large number of research groups at the Faculty of Medicine that conduct innovative research with great potential to develop new ATMP products,” says Kristina Åkesson, professor and dean at the Faculty of Medicine.

ATMP-relevant research is also conducted at Lund University’s School of Technology (LTH) in a number of areas, including pharmaceuticals, immune and nanotechnologies, and medical technology. For many years, the university has also been conducting successful ATMP-related clinical research together with the university health care sector in Region Skåne.

The manufacturing process needs to be translated from research routines to clean room routines

Many ATMPs have sprung from academic research and in order to facilitate the transition from discovery in the research laboratory to new treatment therapies for patients, the manufacturing process needs to be translated from research routines to clean room routines so that the medical product corresponds to so-called Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). This translation is carried out at a so-called pre-GMP facility, and the construction of one is currently underway at Lund University.

“The complexity of ATMP is greater than that of traditional drugs (small molecules) but also in comparison to protein and antibody drugs. Therefore, close collaboration is required between academic research, hospitals for manufacturing ATMPs and with patients for clinical trials, as well as the industry to be able to scale up production,” says Anna Falk, professor at the Stem Cell Center, Lund University.

Featured photo of Kristina Åkesson, professor and dean at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University (left)

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