Strategic Funding for ICCVS

The Foundation for Polish Science has announced the results of the IRA competition in call no. 2/2023. Out of 16 submitted applications, 4 received funding of a total amount of PLN 120 million. The funds will be allocated for the development of International Research Agendas implemented in the scientific centres. Among the awarded projects the International Centre for Cancer Vaccine Science will implement the project SWIFT- Science for Welfare, Innovations and Forceful Therapies.

The ICCVS received funding of PLN 30 million/ EUR 6,7 million for the project activities, planned until the end of year 2028. The funding received is a first step of the centre future development with focus on translational research and strong collaboration with business. This project will be part of the complementary funding to the application submitted in the frame of Horizon Europe call Teaming for Excellence (currently under review).

The researchers want to develop a comprehensive anti-cancer therapy that will be taken to the clinical trial phase and open up new research areas in oncology. The research is led by prof. dr hab. Natalia Marek-Trzonkowska, an eminent immunologist specialising in the therapeutic application of cells of the immune system.

‘The SWIFT project will enable ICCVS to enter a new research path. We plan to start a clinical trial in the second half of its implementation. This will be a personalised therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this therapy, we use the patient’s T lymphocytes to fight the cancer. These are so-called live drugs, which are referred to as advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP). The production of these types of drugs, however, requires a particularly stringent regime. We will work in a laboratory that meets good manufacturing practice (GMP) criteria. First, our manufacturing and quality control team will undergo months of training in such laboratories, which have been operating for many years at our strategic partners at the Technical University of Dresden (Germany) and Leiden University Medical Center (the Netherlands), and then at the laboratory in Gdańsk. Initially, we plan to rent space from GMP. However, we also have the construction of such infrastructure at the University of Gdańsk on the horizon. So please keep your fingers crossed that we will be able to put all the necessary elements together for this,’ added prof. Natalia Marek-Trzonkowska.

The Team of SWIFT (ICCVS)- from the left Natalia, Sachin, Wojciech, Umesh, Izabela

Teams coordinated by dr Sachin Kote (Clinical Peptidomics Group), dr Wojciech Siwek (Immune Memory and Cell Reprogramming Group) and dr Umesh Kalathiya (Structural Proteomics Group) will work on implementation together with the Cancer Immunology Group led by prof. Natalia Marek-Trzonkowska. The operation of the groups and the implementation of the project will as always be supported by the Management & Administration Team, headed by Izabela Raszczyk (MBA).

The article is written basing on the source text here.