New CNTRP international collaboration with the “Gregorio Maranon” Health Research Institute (IISGM)
We are very pleased to announce a new collaboration with researchers from the “Gregorio Maranon” Health Research Institute (IISGM) in Madrid, Spain, to explore the use of thymic tissue as an alternative source to isolate regulatory T cells. This exciting collaboration brings Dr. Rafael Correa-Rocha, Group Leader of the Laboratory of Immune-regulation (LIR) at the IISGM, into the CNTRP as an International Member on our CNTRP Project 4 - Strategies for Immunomodulation and Transplant Tolerance.
Dr. Correa-Rocha (picture left) is working with Dr. Lori West (picture right) and Dr. Megan Levings on developing an international partnership to explore using thymic Tregs as cellular immunotherapy in transplanted patients to prevent rejection. Dr. Correa-Rocha and his team at the IISGM have developed an optimized protocol to produce massive quantities of GMP thymus-derived Treg (ThyTreg) with a high purity and suitability to be transferred to patients as immunotherapy.
Over the next year, we will work with Dr. Correa-Rocha and his team, in collaboration with Project 4, to initiate at Madrid the “first-in-human” clinical trial to test the safety and feasibility of the adoptive transfer of autologous thyTreg in heart-transplanted children. The expertise and knowledge of CNTRP members will be crucial to the development and success of the project, which we believe is an ambitious and ground-breaking therapeutic strategy that could have a big impact in the clinical management of transplanted patients worldwide.
The IISGM is the reference for pediatric heart transplantation in Spain and one of the institutions in Europe performing more pediatric cardiac transplantations per year, providing sufficient numbers of transplanted children to conduct this clinical trial. As a new international CNTRP member, we hope to further promote synergies or collaborations between CNTRP and international institutions and organisms such as the ONT (Spanish national transplant organization) and other European groups. This also provides the opportunity to promote the training of CNTRP students in one of the largest hospitals in Europe with a large background and interest in the training of researchers and clinicians in multiple disciplines.
(The Laboratory of Immune-regulation team at the IISGM in Madrid, Spain)