The IGTP hosts the closing conference for experts in Cellular Therapy for the COST-AFACTT Action
The final conference for the project AFACTT (BM1305) (Action to Focus and Accelerate Cell-based Tolerance-inducing Therapies) took place in Barcelona 9-11 October
Dr Eva Martinez Cáceres, leader of the Immunopathology Group at the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) and coordinator of AFACTT hosted the meeting, which was held between Barcelona, at the headquarters of the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS), and the IGTP in Badalona.
AFACTT is the largest network for Tolerogenic Cell Therapies in Europe, created thanks to financing from the COST Program for Science and Technology in Europe. The project, which came into being in December 2013, has now reached its conclusion. For the final meeting, researchers from the 21 European countries participating in the network and guests from the USA and Chile shared outstanding work from the four years, celebrated the goals reached and discussed ongoing and planned future actions.
Dr Martínez Cáceres, coordinator of the project is very satisfied with the participation in the network and the results obtained. She highlighted the importance of projects such as this and the fact that "COST provides for the construction of networks and generates synergies which maximise resources and knowledge". In the case of AFACTT, the main objective was "to accelerate research and harmonize treatments based on cellular therapy and to do it in the most efficient and effective way".
The AFACTT Project is closing, but it has opened new possibilities for the treatment of graft rejection and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatioid arthritis and Type 1 diabetes. From the collaborations created between the participating centres, new projects have also been made possible and these will allow research in the field to continue and develop treatments based on tolerogenic dendritic cells and regulatory T lympocyles in order to make them available to patients.
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a pan-European intergovernmental framework. Its mission is to enable breakthrough scientific and technological developments leading to new concepts and products and thereby contribute to strengthening Europe's research and innovation capacities. It allows researchers, engineers, and scholars to jointly develop their own ideas and take new initiatives across all fields of science and technology, while promoting multi- and interdisciplinary approaches. COST aims at fostering a better integration of less research-intensive countries in the knowledge hubs of the European Research Area. The COST Association, an international not-for-profit association under Belgian law, integrates all management, governing, and administrative functions necessary for the operation of the framework. The COST Association currently has 36 Member Countries.