Spanish Cell Therapy Network (TerCel): 15 years of successful collaborative translational research
Fermín Sánchez-Guijo, Damián García-Olmo, Felipe Prósper, Salvador Martínez, Agustín Zapata, Francisco Fernández-Avilés, Juan José Toledo-Aral, Miguel Torres, Isabel Fariñas, Lina Badimón, José Luis Labandeira-García, Javier García-Sancho, José M Moraleda, TerCel
In the current article we summarize the 15-year experience of the Spanish Cell Therapy Network (TerCel), a successful collaborative public initiative funded by the Spanish government for the support of nationwide translational research in this important area.
Thirty-two research groups organized in three programs devoted to cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and immune-inflammatory diseases, respectively, currently form the network. Each program has three working packages focused on basic science, pre-clinical studies and clinical application. TerCel has contributed during this period to boost the translational research in cell therapy in Spain, setting up a network of Good Manufacturing Practice-certified cell manufacturing facilities- and increasing the number of translational research projects, publications, patents and clinical trials of the participating groups, especially those in collaboration.
TerCel pays particular attention to the public-private collaboration, which, for instance, has led to the development of the first allogeneic cell therapy product approved by the European Medicines Agency, Darvadstrocel. The current collaborative work is focused on the development of multicenter phase 2 and 3 trials that could translate these therapies to clinical practice for the benefit of patients.