On November 22-23, the OSTEOproSPINE consortium followed the invitation of their coordinator, Professor Slobodan Vukicevic (UZSM), and met in the capital of Croatia for their first progress and investigators meeting. On the premises of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in the heart of Zagreb, the partners found perfect conditions to discuss the project progress and define the next steps to take. Dr. David Gancberg, EC Project Officer, attended the meeting and gave valuable advice to the partners as well as an outlook on the Horizon Europe programme.
The first meeting day started with Dr. Gancberg presenting the new framework programme of the EC, Horizon Europe. Then, Professor Windhager from MUW presented the results of the OSTEOGROW study, before Professor Vukicevic gave a general summary of the basic concepts and preclinical results of OSTEOproSPINE.
After this overview, it was time to discuss the progress achieved in the different work packages during the first eleven months of the project. Starting with the protocol and patient enrollment in WP1, which was presented by the clinical trial lead, the Medical University of Vienna as well as Clinres Farmacija, the partners discussed regulatory affairs (WP2) – presented by Mihaela Peric (UZSM) and Bernhard Liegl from the newly added partner QBEX. The meeting day ended with a status update on data management (WP3) by Przemek Mistur from 2KMM and the progress of the clinical badge for the drug used in the study, presented by Herman Oppermann and his team from Genera, who are responsible for the BMP6 production in OSTEOproSPINE.
After the scientific part of the meeting day came to an end, the partners were honoured with a reception by the mayor of Zagreb in the Palace Dverce. Mr. Milan Bandic welcomed the consortium and offered finger food and wine in the famous wine cellar of the Palace in the heart of Zagreb.
The second meeting day started with WP5: studies to boost the differentiation of the allograft and the market potential of the drug. Then, Innovation management – communication, dissemination and exploitation was discussed, before the status of the project was shown from a project management point of view. Last but not least, the ethics requirements status was presented. After a general discussion and wrap up, EC project officer David Gancberg gave short and constructive feedback on the progress shown and the challenges ahead of the consortium. After lunch, the investigators meeting took place, where the partners discussed the next steps and challenges ahead in the clinical trial in detail.
All in all, the two meeting days were a great success and prepared the partners well for the upcoming tasks in the OSTEOproSPINE project. The consortium was very happy to welcome Dr. Gancberg at the meeting and wants to thank him once again for his clear words and helpful advice.