The costs related to sickness, morbidity and the productivity losses resulting from ischemic heart diseases alone amounts to about €45 billion/year in the EU (http://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/en/). The development of innovative tools and technologies enabling a curative, cell-based therapy for damaged hearts will therefore have a considerable socio-economic impact on Europe’s healthcare system and on patients’ personal well-being.
TECHNOBEAT’s contribution to achieving the expected impacts which range from:
Short-term impact: such as the development of improved bioreactor systems, cell monitoring and characterisation tools, large scale process for GMP-compliant stem cell -production, -differentiation, and µ-tissue engineering. These are all marketable tools, technologies, and cell-based products including µ-tissue based 3D assays of broad commercial value that will immediately strengthen Europe’s lead on biotechnology markets.
Mid-term impact: will in particular include the robust proof of concept for the functional engraftment of transplanted hiPSC-progenies (applied as injectable µ-tissues) in physiological relevant preclinical models of myocardial infarctions. Moreover, the regulatory framework for hiPSC-based cell therapies will be shaped in close exchange with the national, European and global competent authorities as well as other stakeholders and networks thereby preparing the ground for the clinical translation of the hiPSC technology.
Wider, long-term impact (TECHNOBEAT and beyond): will include the proof that hiPSC-based therapies can be safely applied to patients in clinical trials, can substantially support or even cure diseased hearts and thus help to overcome the shortage of donor organs. As a consequence, the approach might provide a substantial socio-economic benefit to the wellbeing of the aging European and global population.