Investigation of Biological Activity of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Products for Osteoarthritis

The project “Investigation of Biological Activity of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Products for Osteoarthritis” (THERACART+) aims to develop an Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) for this degenerative disease, based on adipose-derived MSCs as autologous regenerative cell therapy.

The final product consisting of suspension of functional MSCs in a syringe for intra-articular injection was named CARTIL-S. The work packages (WPs) include characterizing the biopsy collection and downstream processing method to establish an optimized culture, developing a method for functional characterization of expanded MSCs (potency assays), holistic protein characterization of the MSC secretome (dubbed “medicinal signaling”) by Proteomics, completing preclinical studies, collecting and evaluating results, promoting innovation in SMEs, and drafting a feasibility study for clinical development.

The project is implemented within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0,” funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.


Topical Delivery of Nanosystems Against Osteoarthritis

TheraCell in collaboration with the School of Chemical Engineering of National Technical University of Athens is developing a novel therapeutic approach for the management of osteoarthritis. The new approach uses local injectable nanosystems based on the encapsulation of natural therapeutic agents (natural products with confirmed anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant activity) in various biocompatible and biodegradable, non-toxic matrices. The novel nanosystems ensure:

— Controlled release and high accumulation of the drug at the arthritic joint sites
— Potential topical intra-articular administration
— Lower dose requirements
— Improved safety profile
— Protection of the active ingredient from photo degradation, oxidation, humidity

The new “multifunctional” nanoparticles can simultaneously achieve different therapeutic effects (e.g. anti-inflammatory and antioxidant) as well as, controlled delivery and release of the active substance in the suffering area.


Development of Nanomagnetic Bioreactor for the Continuous Production of Microangea Biomass and High Added Value Products Added Value

The worldwide consumption of food supplements is constantly increasing, thus, leading to intense research and business activity focused on their production from natural raw materials. In BIONAMA we aim to design and develop a magnetic-Photo-Bioreactor (mPΒR) for the continuous production and harvesting of microalgae as well as optimization of processes for the recovery and modification of products with high added value from the microalgae biomass. The production of microalgae will be carried out using bio-nanotechnological techniques that enhance cells’ growth and it will lead to an integrated process of continuous microalgae cultivation that improves productivity and reduces costs. Indeed, the biomass produced will be used to isolate – using supercritical CO2 – high added value natural products that can be used as food supplements, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.


Next Generation Food Supplement

The design and development of nutritional supplements is now performed in a more targeted way by abandoning the logic of “all supplements for all people”. Each new product is now designed based on the demographic and psychographic characteristics of the target market and addresses specific consumer characteristics. Companies are now focusing on less popular ingredients that have significant scientific data on health claims and potential for penetrating marketing. As far as health categories are concerned, there are now some extremely saturated categories directing companies to more complex situations. An innovative methodology successfully implemented in the pharmaceutical industry appears to be now applicable in the field of nutritional supplements. The methodology concerns the molecular design computational chemistry approaches. Nowadays, a number of computational algorithms and techniques are available to select compounds from large databases that meet specific activity and physicochemical characteristics.

In NextGFS a new methodological approach was developed with the aim to guide the design of a new generation of nutritional supplements.


Nanoemulsions of plant oils with moisturizing and insect repellent properties

Today, there is great public concern throughout the world about vector-borne diseases as varied as malaria, dengue fever, West Nile encephalitis, and more recently infants’ microcephaly due to Zika virus infection. Insect Repellents are considered to play an important role in the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases as they reduce substantially the frequency of contact between vectors and their human targets.

Over the last fifteen years, research for new insect repellents has been directed towards natural products, responding to consumers demand for natural, pure and healthy materials. These products are considered by consumers to be safer than synthetic ones. However, the main drawback of plant products is their short protection time due to the significant volatility of the active ingredients. Overcoming of this drawback constitutes a research challenge to be addressed. QFytoTera aims to create innovative plant nanoemulsions with long-lasting moisturizing and insect repellent properties for skin use.


Pre-Clinical Development of Innovative Neuroprotective & Neuroregenerative Synthetic Micro-Neurotrophins for The Treatment of Alzheimer Disease

This project focuses on the pre-clinical development of new medicines against Alzheimer Disease (AD), a devastaring condition affecting millions of people, with no cure so far. The new chemical entities will become proprietery of the partners of the project with new patent filling, b) the pre-clinical evaluation of the efficacy the TrkA and TrkB Microneurotrophins in the 5xFAD transgenic mice, an experimental animal model of AD. The completion of the appropriate pre-clinical pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies of the effective Microneurotrophins in the 5xFAD-AD animals will also be taken into consideration, for the preparation of the filling of an Investigational New Drug Application in FDA and EMA.


Smart Glove for Assessment of the Motor Condition of Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases

The aim of this project is to develop one innovative system for remote monitoring of motor symptoms in patients with neurodegenerative diseasesand their automatic evaluation, aimed at optimization and personalization of the treatment of each patient. The system will consist of a smart glove (SmartGlove), an application for smart devices (mobPark) and a database. The original idea for the smart glove, as well as the first original glove developed, won the MIT Innovation Award Health and Wellness Innovation 2013. In the present phase, the research team has advanced to the second improved version of SmartGlove, as well as the original version of the mobPark application (v1.0), which has limited possibilities


Formulation of Greek Flora derived innovative dietary supplements aiming to improve specific molecular biomarkers

The dramatic increase in average human life expectancy, one of the most remarkable achievements of modern society, is inevitably connected with the development of new strategies, aiming to promote and maintain well – being, through the employment of innovative solutions and ideas for better quality of life across the age spectrum; a fact that undeniably seems to be reflected upon current global market trends.

HealthSpan suggests the development of new dietary supplements, enriched with extracts and active components derived from Greek Flora. The new product line will incorporate innovative health claims, based on great scientific achievements within the field of Biomedical Sciences, for whom is expected to elucidate underlying mechanisms of processes relevant with human aging, These include telomeres’ and telomerase discovery (Nobel Prize 2009), the discovery of the proteasome, a complex responsible for protein degradation, with a pivotal role in many of the hallmarks of aging and a promising target for therapeutic interventions and also the epigenetics, a field that studies non heritable alterations in genes’ expression.


Design And Development of New Formulation Based on Natural Products as Additives in Contact Lenses for the Treatment of Microbial Keratitis

The use of contact lenses increases the risk for microbial-associated adverse events for lens wearers. The main microbial ocular surface infections ate bacterial conjunctivitis and keratitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis involves the mucous membrane of the eye, having as main causative agents in its not self-limiting forms Gram-positive microorganisms. This project aims in the design and development of new antibacterial compounds derived by either the modification of antibiotics of clinical use or non-antibiotics compounds form natural products as additives in gels from which contact lenses are made. As final outcome, this project aims in the development of new hydrogels for soft contact lens infused by the new antimicrobial compounds which can be used for the development of novel contact lenses with antimicrobial properties and for the treatment of microbial ocular infections.