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Belgium consolidates its leading position in cell therapy in Europe

Press release: bio.be/essenscia
Brussels, January 14, 2019 

Belgium is a recognized and respected cell therapy player in Europe and worldwide. We are indeed at the top in terms of scientific research and pharmaceutical innovation. Belgium increases now its potential for excellence, thanks to the modification of the law regarding access to human cells and tissues for allogenic cell therapies production.

Cell therapy involves using cells to replace sick or destroyed cells or to stimulate their regeneration when it is still possible. With first resounding successes, cell therapy gives hope that, in the XXI century, medicine will have an array of more efficacious products to treat serious illnesses like cancer, for example.

Belgium plays an international leadership role in developing knowledges and medical applications of cell therapy. In this positive context was published on December 28 the law amending the modalities of getting and using human body material intended to be used in human medical application or in scientific researches (previous law of December 19, 2008).

The amendment facilitates access to human cells and tissues to produce allogenic cell therapies, namely when the donor cells are used to cure various patients. This represents a significant progress in developing cell therapy in Belgium. Companies are now able to get human cells and tissues or import them from abroad on a more transparent way. An ethical and responsible management of these cells and tissues allows an access of these medical improvements to the greatest number of people.

This new legislation sees the day on the most opportunistic moment of the medical knowledges, thanks to the dialog opened by the Minister Maggie De Block with the different players and stakeholders : the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP), the Superior Health Council (SHC), the Conference of academic hospitals of Belgium (RUZB-CHAB), the representatives of the banks of Human Corporal Material and the university hospitals as well as the representatives of the Belgian biopharmaceutical sector.

Thanks to this new legislation, Belgium reinforces its ecosystem, that is unique in terms of R&D in cell therapies, and this, by making our country even more attractive for local but also for international companies interested in developing production facilities related to cell therapy in Europe.

Frédéric Druck, General Secretary of  bio.be/essenscia

More information:

Isabelle Van Lint, Communication Advisor, essenscia, +32 (0)478 74 33 12, ivanlint@essenscia.be
Gert Verreth, Head of Communication, essenscia, +32 (0)2 238 99 12, +32 (0)477 46 42 27, gverreth@essenscia.be

About bio.be/essenscia: bio.be/essenscia is the Belgian federation of companies active in life sciences and biotechnology, that represents and defends the interests of its member companies, both at the Belgian (federal and regional) and European level.  The mission of bio.be/essenscia is to develop a legal framework to support innovation in biotechnology.  bio.be/essenscia is part of essenscia, the federation of chemistry and life sciences, and is member of the European biotech federation EuropaBio and the International Council for Biotechnology Associations.

 

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