Upcoming Events AMCARE and DRIVE Winter School

November 28th - December 1stGalway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Galway, Ireland

EC-funded projects AMCARE and DRIVE are at the cutting edge of advanced therapies and are characterised by strong partnerships between academic researchers and high-tech industrial partners capable of navigating the legal, regulatory and manufacturing obstacles to effect ATMP protection, approval, scale-up and distribution to the marketplace (read more)


Attended Events  DRIVE's Patient Panel 

At the DRIVE Patient Panel in Dublin diabetes patients or parents/spouses of diabetes patients discussed the potential risks, benefits, challenges and opportunities for DRIVE’s β-System diabetes reversing implant technology with scientific and medical experts from the DRIVE Consortium.

Patient comments, opinion and suggestions for improvement to the technology are summarised in the Patient Panel report (download here).




Safeguarding the delivery of pancreatic islets for the treatment of diabetes

DRIVE aims to improve pancreatic islet transplant therapy for diabetes mellitus, a chronic disease characterised by high blood sugar due to a shortage of insulin. Transplant of insulin-producing pancreatic islets restores tight natural control of blood sugar, eliminating the need for multiple daily injections of insulin, that ultimately affect patient’s quality of life.

Despite its proven effectiveness among current treatments for diabetes, this therapy, which involves infusing purified human pancreatic islets from donor pancreases into the patient’s liver, suffers from poor survival and engraftment of transplanted islets in the hostile liver environment. As a result, multiple donor pancreases are necessary for a successful islet transplant, which limits the use of this therapy to a small percentage of “brittle” type 1 patients for whom daily insulin injections are not sufficient to control their diabetes.

Thanks to the combined use of an injectable gel (“β-Gel”) acting as a protective matrix for the islets and of an innovative drug delivery system (“β-Shell”) for tuneable and localised release of immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory drugs, DRIVE aims to dramatically improve the survival and engraftment rate of transplanted islets, thereby widening the application of islet transplant therapy to more insulin-dependent diabetes patients (T1D and T2D).

DRIVE will also develop a minimally invasive injection catheter (“β-Cath”) and perform a series of pre-clinical studies on the integrated β-Gel/β-Shell/β-Cath system to assess its efficacy in vivo.

DRIVE is a 4-year project to be carried out by 14 European partners, coordinated by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

     This project has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Grant agreement No 645991