July 2, 2014
Launched in 2010, the EU co-funded EndoStem 7th Framework Programme is bearing its fruit – or stem cells. The fifteen-strong partnership, coordinated by Professor David Sassoon and composed of academic institutes, biotechs and pharmaceutical companies, pooled resources to develop new ways of stimulating stem cells in rare muscle disorders. The consortium investigates innovative methods to reproduce physiological signals, associating skeletal muscle, vessels, the immune system and stem cells, to promote self-repair in damaged muscle tissue.
This research holds great promise for the treatment of muscular dystrophies. Clinical trials, based on four different pharmacological approaches, are being conducted to mobilize endogenous stem cells in damaged muscle tissue. The research offers potential for translation into innovative and high-precision biopharmaceuticals. The project, due for completion by the beginning of next year, brings new hope to patients suffering from congenital muscular dystrophies and other rare diseases, as well as more common degenerative disorders.