Barcelona receives European green light for cell therapy treatment

Hospital Clinic will be the first Catalan medical centre to provide cells for clinical use to fight some pathologies. The hospital has received the European certificate allowing such practices.

Xavi Sorinas

June 8, 2010 02:37 AM

The Hospital Clínic in Barcelona is the first Catalan medical centre to provide cells for clinical use. From now on, the hospital will prepare cell therapy treatments to fight against Crohn's disease, digestive system diseases, pathologies in the cornea and treatments for colon cancer. The Transplant Service Foundation, the Clínic's tissue bank, has received the European certification that allows such practices. The Hospital Clinic has been granted permission after improving its facilities at its treatment plant in Sant Boi de Llobregat, just outside of Barcelona.
The plant can now produce medicines for advanced therapy products based on cells and tissue engineering. The next big goal is to produce cells to cure Crohn's disease, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the digestive system. However, the project is awaiting approval by medical authorities. This is the seventh centre in Spain to carry out these kinds of activities.

Conventional transplants will also benefit from the European quality standards because the organs and tissues which are transplanted in the Clínic must also pass through the treatment plant in Sant Boi. The Hospital Clinic is now the first hospital in Europe able to transform, process and store this material.

"Any treatments of advanced therapy products must be produced under certain conditions", explained Blanca Miranda, director of the Transplant Service Foundation. The European quality label certifies the proper handling of tissues, organs and cells. Hygiene and sterilization controls are much more restrictive than those of an operating room.