A network for cell and gene therapies for devastating diseases.

The coordinator of this project is Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII - Bergamo. The Principal Investigator responsible of the project is Dr. Martino Introna.

 Pathology of interest:  Haematological neoplasia, neurological e neurodegenerative disease,  kidney disease
 Area of research:  Devastating diseases
 Start date:  January 1, 2020
 End date:  December 31, 2022 (extended until November 30, 2023)
 Funding:  € 3.000.000,00
 Project partners:  - Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale Papa Giovanni XXIII di Bergamo – leading partner
 - Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale di Monza
 - Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico
 - Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo
 - IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele


Many severe diseases still lack a complete and long-lasting and complete cure – they are chronic and debilitating or very severe so as to be life-threatening - and therefore can be considered at the moment a “failure” for patients and their doctors. Recently novel types of drugs have been developed, which are not based on chemicals, but on cells that are modified in the Laboratory (either at the genetic levels or only through non-genetic modifications, for example by their amplification or their activation in the test tube). The original cells derive either from the patients themselves or from healthy donors, and, after their manipulation in the laboratory, are re-introduced into the patients just like standard drugs. These modified cells however need to be produced in very specialized laboratories called Cell Factories, that need to be authorized and have to guarantee the quality and sterility of the products they produce before administration to the patients.

These novel drugs have shown great promise in several diseases but need further development and testing also in different pathological conditions. In order to achieve this, a number of doctors and biologists very active and leaders in clinical research in Italy have com e together, in order to form a more effective research network that will include 4 of the local, academic no-profit Cell Factories as well as 5 important research hospitals in Lombardia. This network aims to develop and test in the clinic several types of these modified cells as drugs, which, on the basis of previous research, have a good chance of having a curative effect on several severe diseases, in particular some aggressive forms of cancer as well as genetic degenerative and chronic debilitating diseases.

The research, cell production and conduction of the clinical trials will be done according to national and European regulations and ethical standards, as guarantee for the patients.


17/11/2020 - At the following link you can find a press release on the project: PLAGENCELL - comunicato stampa