CARAT consortium getting together for their 1st CARAT Progress Meeting

Nine months into the project and with the 1st project interim report around the corner, the CARAT consortium gathered together on September 29-30, 2016 for their 1st Progress Meeting. The meeting was hosted by CARAT’s partner Ospedale San Raffaele (OSR) in Milan, Italy, the perfect location to discuss the way forward motivated by some last late Italian summer days.

The meeting started off with a set of progress sessions relating to the five technical Work Packages in the project. Each Work Package leader presented the work done since the project’s Kick-off Meeting and the next steps to be taken. Lively discussions ensued during the presentations, covering inter alia the subject of appropriate protocols, establishment of a CAR sharing platform and improvement of technologies.

In the afternoon, the partners were encouraged to give exploitation issues some very first considerations during a 2-hour exploitation workshop. The workshop focused on raising awareness about the importance of exploiting CARAT results. Accordingly, three groups discussed key exploitable results deriving from the project and presented their potential for exploitation to the entire group.

The day closed with a short virtual tour through the hospital given by OSR’s Deputy Scientific Director Prof. Luca Guidotti and OSR’s Principal Investigator in CARAT, Attilio Bondanza, showing the participants the lab and the campus.

After an enjoyable evening with the entire consortium, the partners met refreshed on the next day to discuss general issues regarding regulatory aspects and dissemination of CARAT results. The largest part of the morning session was dedicated to group work where the partners split up in smaller groups to precisely prepare the next steps in the individual Work Packages.

In the upcoming months, the consortium will continue to intensify their efforts towards the final goal of CARAT, i.e. the setup of an automated, cost-efficient and ready-to-use manufacture of effective CAR-modified T cells for personalized cell therapy (“CARAT platform”).

In this regard, the first of two training events will be held at Miltenyi in December 2017. Look out for more information on the website in the upcoming months.