The European Union's (EU's) Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007-2013), under grant agreement number 304961, is providing €4.2m for the design and development of a biomimetic bioartificial liver (Re-Liver) that could be used as a minimally invasive transplantation therapy for treating metabolic diseases such as hemophilia A.
A consortium of the universities of Manchester, Pisa, the Electrospinning Company and Medicyte will undertake the development of Re-Liver.
The collaborators aim to reconstitute a standardised, reproducible bioartificial liver organoid (BLO) using healthy human liver as an architectural and biomaterial template.
The BLO is a cell-based complex medicinal product, according to the European Medicines Agency criteria.
In addition, new diagnostic tools and further products in cell-based applications will be developed and validated by the Re-Liver collaborators.
Re-Liver consortium coordinator and Medicyte CEO and CSO, Joris Braspenning, said the combination of complimentary areas of expertise will give a deeper insight into the complex bioartificial liver design, but is also an approach to develop better and quicker diagnostic tools and cell-based products.
"This will be of great benefit for tomorrow's advanced therapies and of course for patients suffering from liver diseases," Braspenning added.
The EU includes 6% of the population suffering from chronic liver diseases and scientists are experiencing several limitations with replacing livers, as therapeutic approaches are making it impossible.
In-vitro and ex-vivo technologies for recapitulating liver function are falling short of reliability, consistency and predictability, as well as suitable donor livers for solid organ transplant being in short supply.