Researchers at University Children's Hospital Tübingen, Germany, win the Astellas European Foundation's Transplantation Grant

   Researchers at University Children's Hospital Tübingen, Germany, win the
          Astellas European Foundation's Transplantation Grant 2013

  PR Newswire

  CHERTSEY, England, September 10, 2013

CHERTSEY, England, September 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

                                      

Dr Steffen Hartleif and Dr Ekkehard Sturm win $150,000 grant to support their
research 'Safety and Tolerability of Immunomodulating Therapy with Mesenchymal
         Stem Cells in Paediatric Living-Donor Liver Transplantation'

The Astellas European Foundation is delighted to announce that a research team
led by Dr Steffen Hartleif and Dr Ekkehard Sturm from the University
Children's Hospital Tübingen, Germany, has been selected as the recipient of
the 2013 Transplantation Grant. The US$150,000 award will support their work
to demonstrate safety and tolerability of donor-specific Mesenchymal stem
cells in children with chronic liver failure treated with living-donor liver
transplantation. The fourth Transplantation Grant to be made since the
establishment of the Astellas European Foundation in 2005, it also marks the
beginning of a new period, since the award will now be made annually, rather
than every two years as previously.

Open to research units and institutions anywhere in the world, the
Transplantation Grant has previously been awarded to teams in Spain (2007, Dr
Nuria Lloberas, Hospital Universitarie de Bellvitge, Barcelona), Belgium (Dr
Lidia Ghisdal, Hôpital Erasme) and Switzerland (Dr Christian Toso, University
of Geneva). This year it attracted 63 applications from across the European
region.

Dr Ayad Abdulahad, Astellas European Foundation Trustee and Senior Vice
President Medical Affairs and Health Economics, Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.
commented, "Research is the life blood of medical science, only by furthering
our understanding of the human body and the effects of disease can we develop
new and more effective medicines and treatments. The project proposed by Dr
Hartleif and Dr Sturm stood out to the judging panel. The pilot study, to be
conducted by the University Children's Hospital Tübingen, is very exciting and
will be the first time the use of these types of stem cells has been tested in
children and the hope is to increase the tolerance of transplanted organs.
This is one demonstration of why it is so important that research funding is
available, whether sourced privately or publicly, to projects such as this." 

Speaking on behalf of his team, the recipient of the Grant, Dr Steffen
Hartleif said: "Receiving the Transplantation Grant 2013 is a great honour for
all of us in our interdisciplinary team of paediatricians, transplant surgeons
and stem cell scientists. The support by this Grant will help us to test
mesenchymal stem cells in children after liver transplantation. These cells
may contribute to establish immunotolerance of liver transplant and to reduce
toxicity of immunosuppressive medication."

The Astellas European Foundation is a registered charity. It was established
in 2005 with the goal of providing support for programmes and activities that
contribute to the advancement of an increasingly healthy society. The Astellas
European Foundation Transplantation Grant supports basic medical and related
scientific programmes which contribute to advancements in transplant medicine.
The winner of the grant was chosen by a jury that includes independent
European transplantation leaders.

Notes to Editors

About The Astellas European Foundation

The Astellas European Foundation is a registered charity, formed in 2005, with
the long-term goal of providing support for programmes and activities that
contribute to the advancement of an increasingly healthy society. In line with
this aim, the Foundation made substantial donations to global charities. The
Astellas European Foundation also supports Astellas employees in their private
fundraising efforts for charitable causes. The Astellas European Foundation is
registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, number 1036344.

The Astellas European Foundation was established by funding from Astellas
Pharma Inc., but operates independently of it.

APEL/13/0027/EUSeptember 2013

Contact: For further information please contact: Joe Barker, Astellas European
Foundation, Tel: +44-(0)203-379-8039, Email: joe.barker@astellas.com
 
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