Delft, July 11th, 2023
Bi/ond is proud to announce its participation in the groundbreaking project called “MAGIC” (Next-generation Models And Genetic therapIes for rare neuromusCular diseases). This ambitious four-year initiative, jointly funded with approximately 9.5 million EUR by Horizon Europe, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland (SERI), aims to revolutionize the treatment landscape for muscular dystrophies—a group of severe genetic disorders currently lacking effective therapies.
Muscular dystrophies (MDs) are characterised by muscle wasting, impaired mobility, and premature death, presenting significant challenges for patients and researchers alike. The lack of robust human(ised) models for development of advanced therapies has been a major barrier to clinical translation in the field of genetic therapies for muscle diseases. The MAGIC consortium is determined to overcoming this challenge by developing advanced models of human skeletal muscle pathophysiology and innovative gene therapy vectors.
Led by Prof. Francesco Saverio Tedesco (scientific coordinator; University College London and The Francis Crick Institute) with the support of Dr Mario Amendola (Inserm, coordinating institution), the MAGIC consortium brings together 15 partners from 9 countries, including 8 from academia/research hospitals, 4 SMEs among which, Bi/ond, and 3 charities/NGOs. (*)
By combining expertise in muscle stem cells, regeneration and disease modeling, microfabrication, and microfluidic technologies, the consortium aims to generate advanced multicellular models of neuromuscular diseases using “muscle-on-chip” devices. These devices will be utilized to test genetic therapies and genome editing strategies.
Bi/ond will empower the consortium partners by providing the technological platform and its biological expertise in the field of muscle-on-chip models. Bi/ond will support the development of multilineage 3D muscle models using human primary and iPSC-derived cells, enabling the creation of robust in vitro models of human muscle and neuromuscular disorders.
“We aim at revolutionizing muscular dystrophy treatment through the MAGIC Project, harnessing the power of Bi/ond’s cutting-edge technology. By uniting with esteemed researchers and partners worldwide, we will do our best to bring hope and transformation to the lives of patients who can’t wait any longer” – Cinzia Silvestri, CEO of Bi/Ond solutions.
Professor Francesco Saverio Tedesco is optimistic about the impact of MAGIC: “This project represents a significant step forward in the search for effective treatments for muscular dystrophies. Through cutting-edge bioengineering, innovative genetic therapies, and advanced preclinical translation, we aim to make a difference in the lives of people affected by these devastating diseases.”.” Professor of Neuromuscular Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University College London, Senior Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute.