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Day 1 // Closing keynote

Keynote 3:

Frank Luyten

17:30 - Clinical Translation in Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering

Frank Luyten

KU Leuven, BE

Director Skeletal Biology & Engineering Research Center

Curriculum vitae

Frank P. Luyten, MD, PhD is board certified Rheumatologist, tenured full Professor and Head of the Division of Rheumatology at the University Hospitals Leuven; Director of the Skeletal Biology & Engineering Research Center, KU Leuven and of Prometheus, the Tissue Engineering Division of Leuven Research and Development.
Training: He obtained his MD, PhD degree and Board Certification in Rheumatology at the University of Ghent, Belgium in 1986. He spent his postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA between 1986 and 1991. He became subsequently group leader at the  NIH till 1997. He joined the KU Leuven since the fall of 1997.
Research expertise: Discovery of novel molecular partners in both BMP and Wnt signalling pathways and their role in skeletal and joint biology and human arthritic diseases. Expert in regenerative medicine & tissue engineering supported by contributions in the field of cell based therapeutics for the regeneration of skeletal tissues. Clinical expertise mostly in the field of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Some Senior International Activities at Present:
ERC Advanced Grant holder 2012-2017
Member of the Scientific Panel for Health, European Commission
Co-Founder, scientific and medical advisor of TiGenix (Haasrode, BE)
Member of the board of directors of PharmaCell (Maastricht, NL)
Medical and/or scientific advisor of AstraZeneca UK Limited, Stealthyx (UK),  Beta-Cell (BE)


The clinical impact of cell based therapeutic approaches for applications in the field of tissue regeneration is still limited.  Therefore,  more insight is needed on many aspects of the development of these novel cell based therapeutic medicinal products including a mechanistic understanding of cell survival, local inflammatory processes, tissue formation and tissue integration in vivo.
Manufacturing of the cell based implants and upscaling is another major challenge. In order to address this, we introduced a “developmental engineering” approach for the fabrication of clinical size products. This methodology is based on the design of sequential in vitro sub-processes corresponding to in vivo developmental stages.  They follow a gradual and coordinated progression of cell growth, differentiation and tissue assembly that leads to organization of cells into intermediate tissue forms. New enabling technologies are required to translate this into robust manufacturing  processes and include miniaturization, automation, bioreactor and biosensor technologies with online monitoring and non invasive imaging. In addition, the reduction of cost of production becomes a major goal.
Based on progress on many fronts, a  second wave of new and more rational approaches for tissue engineering  will hopefully lead to more predictable clinical outcomes.  In view of this,  a regulatory framework has been defined both in Europe and the USA in which tissue engineered products can prove their safety and effectiveness. For these products, to live up to the standards of drug development, challenges arise towards practical implementation but also to legislation and ethics.

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