Home » SWEDISH UNIVERSITIES ENGAGED IN SOUTH ASIA RESEARCH 2015 » Linköping University, 2015 » Integrative Regenerative Medicine Centre, Division of Cell Biology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, 2015

Integrative Regenerative Medicine Centre, Division of Cell Biology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, 2015

Postal address: Integrative Regenerative Medicine Centre, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden
Visiting address: Sandbäcksgatan 7
Web page: http://www.hu.liu.se/igen?l=en

Contact person: Professor May Griffith, Director, phone: +46 (0) 10 103 42 54 

The LiU IGEN Centre was established as one of the strategic areas identified by Linköping University and the County Council of Östergötland to provide a catalyst for the development of cell based therapies for regenerative medicine. Its mission is to encourage and enable multidisciplinary teams from basic science, technology and clinical medicine to work together to develop bold innovative treatment methods that would restore function to damaged or diseased organs and tissue; and to enable a continuum of R&D that include a discovery module (to develop methodologies for modulating stem cell behavior for target therapy); a pre-clinical testing unit, stem cell and biomaterial manufacturing facilities (GMP facility); and clinical trials unit with ‘enabling’ infrastructure to conduct early phase human testing.

South Asia related research

In December 2013, the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine was selected for funding from the Strategic Indo-Swedish Cooperative Innovation Programme, jointly administered by The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (DBT); the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA); and the Swedish Research Council (SRC). The project, to be carried out in collaboration with the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad (photo), India, is entitled ”Regenerative Implants as an Alternative to Transplantation of Donated Corneas for Treating Blindness”, and it receives SEK 4.7 m. for the period 2013 – 2016. The project leaders are May Griffith at Linköping University and  Dr. Virender Sangwan at LV Prasad Eye Institute. More information about the project.

A Call for the programme was announced in the spring 2013, and decisions were taken in December 2013. Altogether five Indo-Swedish projects in the field of Health and Disease prevention were selected to receive funding. Full information about the selection.

The goal of the programme is to support long-term Indo-Swedish research and innovation collaboration in the field of Health. Indian and Swedish industry and researchers in both private and public sectors were invited to submit joint project applications for collaborative research and innovation projects. The approach is to establish and strengthen collaborative industry and research networks between India and Sweden by funding joint research and innovation projects, exchange visits, demonstration and proof of principle. 

Project abstract: Corneal Blindness is one of the most common causes of blindness in India. India in fact shoulders the largest burden of global blindness, about 3.5 million across the country with 30000 new cases being added each year. While many cases of corneal blindness is treatable by transplantation, within India. An estimated 35,000 corneas harvested every year, and only 60% of these are of sufficient quality for use whereas 150,000 are required annually to combat corneal blindness. For cases of severe trauma, e.g. chemical burns, which is also very common in India, even if available, donor cornea transplantation is contra-indicated as they have a high risk of immune rejection. There are also a range of infectious causes of blindness that fall into the same category. Therefore, an alternative source of corneas to meet the shortfall of donated tissues, and better yet, a source that can also treat high risk cases would be of great use.
The objectives of the project are to develop and test biosynthetic corneal implants that can regenerate the human cornea as an alternative to transplantation, and where needed, we can convert into a prosthesis to treat the high risk cases. To date, the Swedish partner has shown in a Phase I clinical trial, the ability of a previous generation of implant based on chemically crosslinked recombinant human collagen to promote stable regeneration of human corneas without the need of immunosuppression in 10 Swedish patients.
A series of exchanges of staff and trainees are planned to pool the expertise. Within this 3 year project, there will be at least one formlation of a regenerative prosthesis tested in large animals under GLP conditions for regulatory approval, followed by a clinical trial at LV Prasad Eye Institute.