Cell and Gene Therapy Industry Forum in Galway addresses opportunities for innovation

Leaders in industry and science met and discussed recent advances in cell and gene therapy research and development at an industry-focused event held on Thursday, June 28, 2018, at the Meyrick Hotel in Galway, Ireland.  Industry representation included presentations from Takeda, ReNeuron, Avectas and Valitacell. ADIPOA-2 Coordinator Prof Frank Barry presented the project’s mission, progress and innovative aspects.

The emerging fields of cell and gene therapy are considered by many to be the next revolution in medicine, promising unprecedented and previously unimaginable treatments for major life-altering conditions and degenerative diseases. There are few areas of biomedical research which have attracted so much attention in recent years and been surrounded by so much expectation and promise. However, serious challenges remain in addressing manufacturing efficiency, cost reduction, clinical trials and delivery to patients.

The event sponsors were The Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network, an Ireland Wales 2014-2020 programme partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Speakers included: Robin Ali, University College London, Frank Barry REMEDI at NUI Galway, John Sinden, ReNeuron, Michael McGuire Avectas, Andrew Finnerty CCMI, Maria del Pilar Redondo, Takeda Europe, Mary Murphy REMEDI at NUI Galway, Stephanie Davis Valitacell and Gerry McCauliffe of Omnispirant.

Read the entire event programme: CALIN Galway Programme. 

ADIPOA-2 clinical study highlighted in University of Padua publication

On March 29, 2018, the online magazine Il Bo published an update on the ADIPOA-2 clinical trial ongoing at the University of Padua and other sites. Read the story here.


New ADIPOA2 research published from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Montpellier

‘Mesenchymal stem cells derived exosomes and microparticles protect cartilage and bone from degradation in osteoarthritis’ by authors: Stella CosenzaMaxime RuizKarine ToupetChristian Jorgensen & Danièle Noël was published online on 24 November 2017 in the open access Nature publication Scientific Reports.

Abstract: Mesenchymal stem or stromal cells (MSCs) exert chondroprotective effects in preclinical models of osteoarthritis (OA). Most of their therapeutic effects are mediated via soluble mediators, which can be conveyed within extracellular vesicles (EVs). The objective of the study was to compare the respective role of exosomes (Exos) or microvesicles/microparticles (MPs) in OA. MPs and Exos were isolated from bone marrow murine BM-MSCs through differential centrifugation. Effect of MPs or Exos was evaluated on OA-like murine chondrocytes and chondroprotection was quantified by RT-qPCR. In OA-like chondrocytes, BM-MSC-derived MPs and Exos could reinduce the expression of chondrocyte markers (type II collagen, aggrecan) while inhibiting catabolic (MMP-13, ADAMTS5) and inflammatory (iNOS) markers. Exos and MPs were also shown to protect chondrocytes from apoptosis and to inhibit macrophage activation. In vivo, Exos or MPs were injected in the collagenase-induced OA (CIOA) model and histomorphometric analyses of joints were performed by µCT and confocal laser microscopy. BM-MSCs, MPs and Exos equally protected mice from joint damage. In conclusion, MPs and Exos exerted similar chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory function in vitro and protected mice from developing OA in vivo, suggesting that either Exos or MPs reproduced the main therapeutic effect of BM-MSCs.

Read more about the role of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Montpellier in ADIPOA2 here.

Scientific Reports 7, Article number 16214 (2017)

Doi: 10.1038/s4 1598-017-15376-8

Published online 24 November 2017-11-29

Read the entire paper here.



Sports Surgery Clinic Plays Leading Role in European Clinical Trial on Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Prevention of progression of Osteoarthritis will improve the lives of millions of sufferers

Tuesday, 12th May 2015: The Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry has today announced it’s participation in the ADIPOA-2 stem cell trial for Osteoarthritis (OA), the aim of which is to find treatment(s) for the disease and prevent it’s progression.

This large-scale clinical trial using adult stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis is expected to be underway across Europe by the end of 2015. Almost €6 million has been granted to the project ‘ADIPOA-2’ by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an incurable and degenerative disease of the joints. Osteoarthritis has been identified as the eleventh highest contributor to disability and affects over 70 million people throughout Europe. There is currently no treatment to prevent progression of the disease.

ADIPOA-2 is contributing to the development of a novel cellular therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The Sports Surgery Clinic’s participation in the programme is being led by Professor Cathal Moran, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Professor and Chair of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Sports Surgery Clinic and Trinity College Dublin.

Sports Surgery Clinic is one of Ireland’s leading providers of clinical care in orthopaedics and sports medicine. Professor Cathal Moran has extensive international clinical and academic experience in orthobiological therapies as an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in Knee and Shoulder surgery and shall act as the Lead Knee Surgeon at SSC for ADIPOA-2. Under Professor Cathal Moran’s direction, Sports Surgery Clinic will facilitate the recruitment and treatment or trial participants as part of the multicentre international trial.

The overall scientific programme is being led by Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway. ADIPOA is a multi-phase programme of research in exploring new treatments for Osteoarthritis. In its first phase, the EU consortium ADIPOA1 carried out a first-in-man Phase I safety study in 18 patients. This study demonstrated that a single dose of stem cells cultured from the patients’ own fatty tissue (autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASCs)) injected into the knee was well tolerated, had no adverse effects, and resulted in an improvement in pain score and functional outcome. The results of this were sufficiently encouraging to warrant a larger, multi-centre Phase 2b trial to further test the safety and efficacy of autologous (patient derived) ACSs in the treatment of advanced OA of the knee. ADIPOA-2 will now build on the work of ADIPOA1 to deliver a randomised clinical trial across 10 hospitals in Europe involving 150 patients.

Speaking about the research Professor Cathal Moran said, “We are delighted at Sports Surgery Clinic to be participating in this landmark international clinical trial. Finding new ways to help delay the deterioration of joints caused by Osteoarthritis will improve the lives of millions of people worldwide, relieving them from debilitating pain, and helping them to continue an active life. Large scale stem cell research is in itself incredibly exciting and we look forward to contributing in the next phase of the programme. The specialised environment of Sports Surgery Clinic is an ideal environment in which to deliver highly regulated and controlled clinical trials”.

The international ADIPOA-2 clinical team includes clinicians from ten centres across Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and two in Ireland – Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin, and REMEDI in Galway. The first meetings of the ADIPOA-2 team took place in December last year in Paris, followed up by plenary planning meetings in Dublin in January 2015. The clinical trial will be delivered in conjunction with the National Clinical Research Facilities in Galway and Dublin. Clinical trial arrangements are being put in place at the partner institutes across Europe and Ireland and patient recruitment is anticipated in the first quarter of 2016.

Anyone interested in the programme; patients, doctors and other healthcare providers, are welcome to contact Professor Cathal Moran or Sports Surgery Clinic for more information. See www.adipoa2.eu and www.sportssurgeryclinic.ie

For more information please contact:

Mary Gleeson | 086 2213077 | mary@moggypr.ie

About Professor Cathal Moran:

Professor Cathal Moran is the Professor and Chair of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Sports Surgery Clinic, Santry. He has also recently been appointed Honorary Professor at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and a Professorial Fellow of Trinity.

The new Academic Orthopaedic Unit at Trinity is only the second such academic unit in Ireland. In addition to it’s base in Orthopaedic Surgery, this is also the first ever Chair of Sports Medicine at an Irish University. The venture between Sports Surgery Clinic and Trinity College Dublin also represents the first time the clinical component of a Chair in a surgical discipline is hosted by a private hospital.

The Academic Unit of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine will be be officially opened with the Inaugural Lecture of Cathal Moran, Professor of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Trinity on May 13th at 18.00pm in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.

Professor Moran’s sub-specialty clinical interest is in the management of soft tissue and sports injuries, including ACL and ligament reconstruction, cartilage injury, meniscus repair and replacement, limb alignment surgery, rotator cuff and shoulder stabilisation surgery. He also performs shoulder and knee replacement surgery.

The new Academic Unit of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine led by Professor Moran is based in the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. The clinical host for the Chair is Sports Surgery Clinic and the unit functions in collaboration with Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, and affiliated clinical sites.

In terms of research activity Professor Moran is a Principal Investigator at Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, RCSI Bioengineering and AMBER research centres. He links research at these centres to the development new options for treatment in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Sports Surgery Clinic. His specific interest is in cartilage and soft tissue repair and regeneration, including the delivery of clinical trials in stem cell and biological treatment options for musculoskeletal injury and disease. Sports Surgery Clinic is host to many of these new trials.

Professor Moran completed his early training in Ireland, followed by sub-specialty training at the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and Shoulder Fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery and Cornell Medical College in New York, the Cartilage Repair Centre at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Antwerp Orthopaedic Centre in Belgium.  He has also completed research periods at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in Ireland; University of California, San Francisco; UC Irvine, California and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He has worked extensively with professional athletes and teams across Ireland, the US and Europe, and has published over 50 papers and given over 200 presentations internationally.



Dutch media reports the launch of ADIPOA2

The launch of ADIPOA2, which includes Dutch partner, has created interest in news outlets in the Netherlands. See examples of coverage at




ADIPOA2 has also been publicised by the Dutch Arthritis Foundation, Reumafonds



RUMC press release:


Nijmegen, 09 juni 2015

Europese subsidie van bijna 6 miljoen euro voor innovatieve therapie

Onderzoek naar stamcelbehandeling voor knieartrose

De afdeling Reumatische Ziekten van het Radboudumc neemt deel aan een grootschalig klinisch onderzoek waarbij stamcellen worden gebruikt voor de behandeling van knieartrose. Dit ADIPOA2 project, gecoördineerd door prof Frank Barry (Ierland), start binnenkort en wordt uitgevoerd door achttien instellingen in Ierland, Frankrijk, Nederland, het Verenigd Koninkrijk, Duitsland en Italië.

Artrose is een ongeneeslijke en invaliderende ziekte waaraan meer dan zeventig miljoen Europeanen lijden. De ziekte veroorzaakt ernstige en chronische pijn, gewrichtsverstijving en functieverlies. Op dit moment is er geen medicijn of andere medische behandeling die de ziekte kan beïnvloeden en veel patiënten ondergaan uiteindelijk een gewrichtsvervangende operatie.

Stamcellen uit buikvet

Het onderzoek bouwt voort op ADIPOA1. In dit project, dat in 2014 werd afgerond, werden artrosepatiënten behandeld met een eenmalige injectie van stamcellen die waren gekweekt uit lichaamseigen buikvet. Hier werd vooral gekeken naar de veiligheid van de behandeling, die toen bij achttien patiënten werd uitgevoerd. Op de positieve resultaten volgt nu dus een Europese Horizon 2020 beurs waarmee de effectiviteit van de behandeling verder wordt getest.

Gespecialiseerde centra

In het ADIPOA2 project worden 150 patiënten behandeld in tien Europese ziekenhuizen, waaronder  de afdeling Reumatische Ziekten van het Radboudumc in Nijmegen. De noodzakelijke stamcellen worden gemaakt door gespecialiseerde centra in Frankrijk, Duitsland en Ierland. Rogier Thurlings, reumatoloog en coördinerend klinisch onderzoeker in het Radboudumc: “Het ADIPOA2 project is uniek door de grootte van het onderzoek en de nauwe samenwerking van Europa’s leidende wetenschappelijke, klinische en technische experts in dit veld. We gaan zowel het effect van de behandeling nader onderzoeken als het mechanisme dat er aan ten grondslag ligt.”

Innovatieve therapie

Peter van Lent – medisch bioloog in het Radboudumc en leider van het onderzoek naar het mechanisme van de stamceltherapie voor knieartrose – hoopt dat deze innovatieve therapie met stamcellen de behandeling van artrose zal verbeteren. Van Lent: “Het zou mooi zijn als ADIPOA2, in combinatie met het werk van vele wetenschappers, clinici en stamcelexperts, binnen afzienbare tijd een effectieve behandeling oplevert voor de nu nog ongeneeslijke aandoening artrose.”

Noten voor de redactieMeer over het project op: http://adipoa2.eu/
Persvoorlichters bij het Radboudumc: 06-31970558 (Pieter Lomans), buiten kantooruren 06 – 51291446.E-mailadres voor de media: persvoorlichting@radboudumc.nl.
Volg ons ook op twitter.
klik hier voor meer persberichten van het Radboudumc.
Wilt u onze persberichten niet ontvangen? Stuur een mailtje naar persvoorlichting@radboudumc.nl.

Het Radboudumc staat geregistreerd bij de Kamer van Koophandel in het handelsregister onder nummer 41055629.
The Radboud university medical center is listed in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce under file number 41055629.

ADIPOA2 Researcher among six Irish researchers chosen to attend prestigious Masterclasses with 66 Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany

Jessica Hayes, a postdoctoral researcher from NUI, Galway, who has been involved in ADIPOA2 since proposal stage, is among a group of Irish researchers who have been recognised by the Irish Research Council for the excellence of their research. The six exceptional early stage career researchers under the age of 35 will, later this month, travel to Lindau, Germany, to participate in the prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting. There, they will join  over 650 scientists from across the world to engage in a week-long series of lectures, discussions and masterclasses in the presence of 66 Nobel Laureates.

See the full story here

EU MSC2 2015: Contributing to MSC Knowledge-Sharing, Research & Development

Our sister project REDDSTAR and Leiden University Medical Center are co-organizing EU MSC2 2015, a meeting in Leiden, NL on September 7th and 8th to bring together nine EU-funded, mesenchymal stromal cell-focussed consortia. Projects include: REDDSTAR, REACH, RETHRIM, Stellar, MERLIN, Nephstrom, SCIENCE, VISICORT and Adipoa-2. This two day, interactive meeting will be held at the Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden.
The objectives of the meeting are to:
• Enhance knowledge-sharing between EU research groups working in the mesenchymal stromal cell biology domain
• Engage with European Commission Project Officers and other stakeholders from International Society of Cellular Therapy, stem cell ethicists and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
• Assemble trans-disciplinary research groups working across the global health spectrum but with a common focus of mesenchymal stromal cell biology
• Bring up-and-coming researchers together for networking purposes, and to explore future consortium building and international funding application opportunities

Expected impacts and outcomes:
• Provide opportunities to develop new mesenchymal stromal cell networks
• Disseminate the findings and challenges between MSC-focussed consortia
• Improve the communication potential of research, outcomes and the value of the research
• Explore potential for new commercial technologies
• Collectively enhance the quality and impact of planned clinical trials
These EU projects are:
• Boosting human capital: 20-30 positions created
• Improving the quality of life for European citizens
• Progressing the clinical translation of MSC research and developments

For more information, please visit EU MSC2 2015 and register via Eventbrite.
For queries: LeidenRM@gmail.com
Danielle Nicholson, Orbsen Therapeutics, NUI Galway and Brigitte Wieles, Project Manager LUMC

New hope for patients as large-scale stem cell trials for osteoarthritis expected

A large-scale clinical trial using adult stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis is expected to be underway across Europe by the end of 2015. Almost €6 million has been granted to the project ‘ADIPOA-2’ by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme. The project will include 18 partners from Ireland, France, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway is coordinating the project.

Osteoarthritis is an incurable and debilitating disease. It has been identified as the world’s eleventh highest contributor to disability and affects over 70 million Europeans. It causes severe and chronic pain, joint stiffness and loss of function. Currently there is no drug, medical intervention or therapy that alters the progression of osteoarthritis and many patients ultimately undergo total joint replacement surgery.

In its first phase, completed in 2014, the EU consortium ADIPOA carried out a first-in-man Phase I safety study in 18 patients. Treatment involved a single injection of stem cells cultured from the patients’ own fatty tissue. The results of this were sufficiently encouraging to warrant a larger, multi-centre Phase 2b study to further test the effectiveness of the treatment.

ADIPOA-2 will now build on the work of ADIPOA to deliver a randomised clinical trial across 10 hospitals in Europe involving 150 patients. The research will further assess the safety and efficacy of patient-derived stems cells in the treatment of advanced osteoarthritis of the knee.

Another major element of ADIPOA-2 will involve the production of consistent batches of high-quality autologous (patient’s own) stem cells under GMP-compliant conditions. These cells will be produced in centres in France, Germany and Ireland. This multi-site approach will consolidate expertise in the preparation of clinically approved batches of stem cells across Europe in a ground-breaking cooperation between manufacturing centres.

Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway, is Coordinator of the ADIPOA-2 project. Professor Barry explains: “The results from ADIPOA’s first-in-man-trials were very encouraging and paved the way for another study to further test the safety and effectiveness on a wider scale. ADIPOA-2 is bringing together Europe’s leading scientific, clinical and technical expertise on this project.

Professor Christian Jorgensen, Head of The Clinical Unit for Osteoarticular Diseases University Hospital Montpellier in France, who led the Phase 1 trial and is Clinical Sponsor of the new trial, said “Ambitious as it sounds, we are aiming to deliver an effective treatment for the debilitating and incurable condition of osteoarthritis within as little as five years. We have arrived at this point because of a great deal of work by many scientists, clinicians and stem cell experts who have made enormous contributions in understanding the therapeutic potential of stem cells.”

Media Coverage









ADIPOA-2 gets underway

The first meetings of the ADIPOA-2 consortium have taken place, as work begins on this exciting new European project, which is developing a novel stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis. The ADIPOA-2 clinical team, which includes clinicians from ten centres in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands, met in Paris on December 16, to agree the details of the clinical trial protocol to be used for the large-scale trial, which will demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of cellular therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Following this successful meeting, the ADIPOA-2 consortium held its first plenary meeting in Dublin on January 27 and 28. Project partners engaged in productive sessions of planning and preparation, and are looking forward to working together to deliver an effective treatment for a debilitating and incurable condition that affects over 70 million Europeans.