iPSpine animation launched at second annual consortium meeting

On the 29th and 30th of January 2020, the second annual consortium meeting of the iPSpine project was held in Nantes, France. iPSpine is a 5-year project aiming to design a novel therapy for chronic lower back pain related to disc degeneration. This therapy will use advanced stem cells and smart biomaterials that can rejuvenate deteriorated tissue, ultimately restoring function to the spine.

During the meeting, investigators discussed study achievements and next steps for the upcoming year. The meeting also marked the launch of the iPSpine story, told through an animation co-created by patients and the consortium members.

The iPSpine story

In the first year of the project, iPSpine formed a Patient Advisory Board (PAB) comprised of 5 patients, 2 patient engagement experts, a lower back pain expert, an ethicist, and the dissemination work package lead. As one of it’s first tasks, the PAB, together with the consortium, developed an animation to tell the iPSpine story. The purpose of this animation is to spread awareness of the iPSpine project in patient communities and the general public. 

Scientific progress and next steps

Consortium partners from across Europe, the United States of America, and China came together to reflect on a successful first year filled with scientific developments. The investigators have made the first steps towards the preparation and development of advanced stem cells and biomaterials. In the coming year, the investigators will study stem cells and biomaterials within the context of the degenerated disc. Further along, they will research safety aspects of the advanced therapy and determine how it will rejuvenate the healthy disc. The therapy will first be studied at the cellular level and later at the tissue and functional level by using specialized laboratory tools.

iPSpine is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme to fund research that improves knowledge, testing, and exploitation platforms that address the future of advanced therapies in Europe. This project has received funding under grant agreement No 825925. The project is coordinated by Professor Marianna Tryfonidou at Utrecht University.