ADVANCE Summer School 2023 Report

The ADVANCE Summer School on Cell and Gene Therapies took place from June 5th to 9th, 2023, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This intensive five-day program provided participants with a comprehensive understanding of the benefits and challenges associated with cell and gene therapies. The curriculum covered a wide range of topics, including scientific advancements, manufacturing processes, regulatory affairs, and marketing strategies in the field of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs).

A total of 34 participants engaged in the summer school, representing various sectors of ATMP development and originating from seven different countries. The distinguished speakers at the workshop included:

• Matjaz Jeras, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Laboratory of Cell Engineering Celica Biomedical, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
• Emil Cochino, European Medicines Agency (EMA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
• Helena Haque Chowdhury, Laboratory of Cell Engineering, Celica Biomedical, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
• Trudy Straetemans, UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands.
• Grega Strban, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Law, Slovenia.
• David Morrow, EATRIS ERIC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
• Lucia Gabriele, Department of Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
• Mitja Kos, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Slovenia.
• Luigi Aurisicchio, Takis Biotech, Rome, Italy.
• Samo Zver and Vojko Andjelić, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

In addition to informative presentations, the summer school provided participants with valuable insights into the production processes of Educell, a prominent biotechnology company based in Slovenia. The program was carefully designed to facilitate interactive communication and the exchange of experiences among the attendees.

Throughout the week, participants collaborated in groups to work on a project task related to the development, production, and market introduction of a selected ATMP. The final day was dedicated to presentations and evaluation by the scientific committee. Prior to attending the summer school, all participants were required to complete the online course on Cell and Gene Therapies offered by the EATRIS Transmed Academy.

The registration fee for the summer school was fully covered by the EU-funded program NOO ULTRA. This financial support made the event accessible to a diverse range of participants.

Here are a few impressions shared by some of the participants of the ADVANCE Summer School:



Here are a few impressions shared by some of the participants of the ADVANCE Summer School:

As a first year PhD student, I started the course with very limited knowledge in the field. I am leaving with a lot of new knowledge, new friends, outlooks and experiences. The school really exceeded my expectations. The range of speakers was brilliant, and it was extra special that we got to have such great conversations with them.

It's been a great week, thank you very much for the organization!

I enjoyed most discussing with other ATMP researchers and officials about shared problems and possible solutions!

The combination of lectures in the logical order given by excellent speakers, followed by the group assignment altogether, helped me to understand the steps in obtaining the EMA approval for the ATMP. What's more, the talks given showed that it's all possible.

Overall, the ADVANCE Summer School on Cell and Gene Therapies provided a valuable platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and collaborative learning in the dynamic field of ATMPs.