Anna Falk, professor at Lund University’s Stem Cell Center, will be the director of the newly established Center for Advanced Therapies, LU-ATMP.
“My vision is that we will accelerate the development of all the advanced therapies underway at Lund University. Together with the healthcare and life science industry, we have the potential to make a significant contribution to new breakthrough treatments, and in some cases cures, where there is little to offer today’s patients,” says Anna Falk.
With many years of experience in stem cell research behind her, Anna Falk will lead the efforts to drive and support ATMP research and development at Lund University’s Center for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (LU-ATMP). To succeed, stem cell and gene therapy research must be at the forefront. These conditions are in place at Lund University with a large number of research groups conducting internationally successful experimental and translational research in cell, tissue, and gene therapy.
One reason why more and more advanced therapeutic drugs are now being developed is the progress made in molecular biology, genetic engineering, and cell therapy.
“In a report presented in September, we identified 23 ongoing ATMP projects at the Lund Stem Cell Center alone. There is also other research relevant to ATMP development, both within the Faculty of Medicine and at Lund University,” says Anna Falk.
Collaboration will be crucial
Collaboration with the ATMP center at Skåne University Hospital and the life science industry will also be crucial, highlights Anna Falk.
“ATMPs are not just a trend, advanced therapy medicinal products represent a new era in medicine. Sweden has a vision of becoming a world leader in ATMP development, and there are many ATMP projects with great potential in Swedish academia. It can be likened to unique and valuable seeds that are grown and require very special care to develop into innovative and effective ATMP therapies. I want LU-ATMP to help us harvest them in Sweden,” says Anna Falk.
The first step towards a new ATMP treatment is often taken in academia. Even there, says Anna Falk, researchers need support and advice so that the products that go to clinical trials can be scaled up and become a drug or therapy to reach many patients. She will play an important role in this, together with Deputy Center Director Mats Ohlin.
Photo of Anna Falk: Tove Smeds, Lunds universitet