Title: Research on the Production of Stem Cell Based Hepatocytes for Drug Development Purposes
Consortium Leader: Solvo Ltd.
Members: University of Szeged, HR-Pharma Ltd.
Duration: 01/07/2017 – 30/04/2022

Name of the principal beneficiary: SOLVO Biotechnology Ltd.
Grant amount: HUF 1 066 190 291
Grant intensity (%): 78.73%
Project implementation period: 01/07/2017 – 30/04/2022


Research on the Production of Stem Cell Based Hepatocytes for Drug Development Purposes

The consortium led by SOLVO Biotechnology Ltd. has won HUF 1.066 billion in non-reimbursable funding under the “R&D Competitiveness and Excellence Cooperation” call of the Economic Development and Innovation Operational Program. The project, with a total budget of HUF 1.354 billion, will research the production of stem cell-based hepatocytes for drug development.

The consortium of SOLVO Biotechnology Ltd, HR-Pharma Ltd. and the University of Szeged has won a 78.73% grant intensity non-reimbursable EU funding under the call for proposals “R&D Competitiveness and Excellence Cooperation”. In the project “Research on the production of stem cell-based hepatocytes for drug development”, GINOP-2.2.1-15-2017-00047, biotechnological research and development activities related to the pharmaceutical industry are being carried out.

A compulsory and a very important part of drug development is to carry out ADME studies. In ADME studies, we investigate the extent to which the drug molecule is absorbed from the intestine, which organs it enters, how and to what extent it is degraded and how it is excreted from the body. Liver cells are an important target for ADME studies and their properties have a major influence on the efficiency of the studies. In the project, HR-Pharma Ltd. performs animal studies and provides isolated liver cells from different animal models to the consortium members.

In the context of the project, the University of Szeged develops new primary human liver cell isolation technologies, including a quality management system for the procedures. In addition, a new innovative process is developed to generate liver cells from stem cells isolated from adipose tissue, which can be used in regenerative medicine, and to validate the metabolic pathways in these cells. Innovative techniques can open new horizons in ADME studies, thus ensuring the most tangible societal benefit of the project, to make one of the most important and costly criteria for ADME studies cheaper and more accessible, thus contributing to bringing new drugs to patients faster, safer and cheaper. In addition, the funds provided by the grant is used to establish a unique GMP cell laboratory and a Phase I clinical pharmacology research center at the University of Szeged, specializing in directly related advanced therapies. This new infrastructure is enable the next level of pharmaceutical research in the region and provides the basis for the treatment of new clinical diseases that are currently untreatable or difficult to treat, but which have not been available in Hungary so far.

The project is implemented in Szeged between 1 July 2017 and 30 April 2022.