Major investment in advanced cell therapy
The funding from the Trond Mohn Foundation will give researchers in Bergen the opportunity to develop new ways of treating chronic and acute wounds, bone damage and psychosis using stem cells. Many patient groups will benefit from the establishment of the regenerative medicine centre and its research.
Mohn Research Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Haukeland University Hospital will be a potent arena for the development of knowledge that will benefit several groups of patients,’ says centre leader Einar Klæboe Kristoffersen. He is a professor at the University of Bergen (UiB) and head of the Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine at Haukeland University Hospital's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.
– The goal of regenerative medicine , also known as advanced cell therapy, is to replace lost organ function by providing patients with manipulated cells created in specialist laboratories.
Kristoffersen emphasises that regenerative medicine is developing globally, both as a form of treatment and as an emerging field of medicine.
So far, three different research projects are scheduled to take place in the new centre in Bergen over the coming four years. In addition, there will be a collaboration project with the experimental immunotherapy research group at Oslo University Hospital. The Trond Mohn Foundation supports these efforts with a total of NOK 30 million, and the UiB and Helse Bergen health trust will both match this contribution.
Cell transplant as wound treatment
The establishment of the centre in Bergen is intended to promote both the development of new cell therapies and the application of forms of cell therapy developed at similar centres abroad.
One of the projects, led by Cecilie Bredrup, associate professor at UiB and senior consultant at the Department of Ophthalmology at Haukeland University Hospital, and Stian Almeland, associate professor at UiB and senior consultant at the Department of Plastic, Hand, and Reconstructive Surgery at Haukeland University Hospital, aims to introduce cell-based products in the treatment of certain wound healing problems affecting the eyes and skin.
Different forms of wounds represent a major health problem, and these novel approaches are revolutionising treatment of wounds that are difficult to get to heal. This project will apply established methods for using mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and investigate whether these methods are suitable for treating acute burns and chronic corneal ulcers. Sophisticated and innovative methods will be used to assess the treatment outcomes.
Further, the center will also specialize in stam cell treatment for bone damage and personalised medicine in treatment of psychosis.
Since its establishment in 2004, the Trond Mohn Foundation has provided a total of approx. NOK 1.6 billion in funding to around 190 research projects. The projects have been selected on the basis of the expert assessments of the universities and university hospitals themselves and the prioritisation of important fields of research.