The Generate Your Muscle (GYM) project was recently set up with the aim of developing and commercialising affordable stem cell therapies to combat the loss of muscle mass and strength associated with several muscle pathologies.
The GYM team is composed of academic researchers in Maastricht, Leuven, Hasselt, Liège and Aachen working in synergy with industrial biotechnology partners across the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany).
The initiative aims to develop autologous stem cell therapies for several muscle conditions including mitochondrial myopathies, muscular atrophies and dystrophies, including LAMA2-CMD. Autologous stem cell therapies rely on collecting stem cells directly from the patient’s muscle, then genetically correcting these cells before returning them to the patient so that they can produce healthy muscle tissue. More information on autologous stem cell therapies can be found here.
GYM has laid out a clear and structured plan to achieve their goals:
- First, assess the safety and preliminary effectiveness of autologous stem cell therapy in a Phase I/II clinical trial.
- The applicability of these therapies to other muscle pathologies will then be determined and genetic editing strategies will be optimised.
- Finally, the overall manufacturing process to produce the stem cell therapies will be optimised and transferred to a company that will be able to produce the cell therapy on a commercial scale.
More information and updates on GYM can be found here.