The EU-funded iPSpine consortium consists of 21 partners and aims to develop a novel therapy to cure lower back pain (LBP) due to intervertebral disc degeneration, a major contributor accounting for at least 40% of all lower back pain cases. Unfortunately, there is no curative treatment to prevent or reverse it. iPSpine is leading research efforts to identify novel therapeutic strategies for a radical new treatment of disc-related back pain. The main goal is to develop a new advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) employing induced pluripotent stem cells and smart biomaterials. Upon successful implementation of the iPSpine therapy, we envision improved outcome and quality of life for millions of patients with disc-related back pain, through effective regeneration of the diseased disc with restored biomechanical function, and long-lasting pain reduction. The project is at the point of entering its 3rd year of research and will last five years in total. By the end of the project, the aim is for the therapy to be in the first phases of pre-clinical testing in canines suffering to from back pain.
In 2020, Pain Alliance Europe’s Vice President (Liisa Jutila) joined as a member of the Patient Advisory Board (PAB). Over the first two years of the project, the PAB developed educational materials for patients and have led the creation of an animation that tells the iPSpine story. The next steps for the PAB in 2021 will be to focus on improving patient and scientist communication, including open panels, workshops and building a communication platform.
For more information, to watch the animation, or to read the FAQ and patient stories, visit the iPSpine website: https://ipspine.eu/
If you’re interested in providing your patient perspective in the project activities please contact email@example.com