The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, reNEW, has released its first annual report, highlighting the stellar work accomplished since its launch on Jan 1, 2022.
Our global consortium focuses on translating stem cell science into therapies at its three research nodes in Copenhagen, Leiden, and Melbourne. With 29 principal investigators working across these three nodes, reNEW’s inaugural year has focused on pivoting from fundamental science to targeted product-focussed projects.
“reNEW researchers perform cutting edge underpinning stem cell research across almost all organ systems in the body. With this knowledge, we are moving towards therapies within our targeted research portfolio. From start to end of Year 1, we have funded 29 targeted research projects each focused on a distinct stem cell product,” said Professor Melissa H. Little, the CEO of reNEW. “This represents a forward commitment of more than 200 million Danish kroner.” This sum is equivalent to around 30 million US dollars.
reNEW’s targeted projects cover the development of novel therapies using stem cell models of human tissues as well as cell and gene-modified cell based advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs). More than 80 percent of the teams now working toward these products represent global cross-node collaborations. The synergy created by the collaborations is already evident, with the dream to create more than the sum of reNEW’s parts already moving to reality.
“Our collaborative gain is a significant driver. By funding critical facilities and infrastructure required by all nodes, we are enabling teams to adopt new approaches previously out of reach,” Little explains. “We also are working toward outcomes across a wide array of disease states and are very excited to be associated with two clinical trials, one in pluripotent stem cell derived dopaminergic neurons and the other in gene modified blood stem cells for the treatment of severe combined immune deficiency,” she adds.
Valuable exchange of researchers
Another major outcome from reNEW’s first year in operation has been the successful international exchange of researchers. Across 2022, reNEW supported almost 300 days of researcher exchange enabling training in new techniques, planning within teams, as well as attendance at workshops and conferences.
We are confident that changing the incentives around research will drive outcomes. You can read more about our exciting journey in reNEW’s annual report found here.