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Optogenerapy project aims to develop and demonstrate a new optogenetics implant for controlled beta interferon (IFN-ß) protein delivery for treating Multiple Sclerosis patients.

The implementation of electronic systems in the human body has led to numerous medical progresses, but cell therapy-based clinical trials have shown serious adversities such as tumour formation and the transmission of infectious agents. The Optogenerapy project addresses this urgent clinical need for safe cell-based protein delivery therapies and applies the results for improving the quality of life of patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.

Technological Goals

  • To develop a miniaturized implant including: a cell chamber, a frame of biocompatible plastic optics and a membrane with a defined pore size designed for optimal protein therapeutic delivery.
  • To develop stable therapeutic cell lines having the interferon transgene under the control of a synthetic optogenetic pathway.
  • To develop a miniaturized wireless powered NIR light source.
  • To develop suitable in-silico modelling tools to assist in the therapeutic cell line development considering the optogenetic pathway activation and IFN-ß delivery.
  • To develop an industrial micro-injection moulding process for manufacturing the minimally invasive implant.
  • To validate suitable sterilization protocols for the implant.
  • To prove biocompatibility and therapeutical efficiency of the new implant by in vitro and in vivo
Clinical and operational Goals
  •  To prove a health gain due to continuous low dose drug delivery that will prevent relapses and will delay disease progression into neurological decline stages.
  • To define a clear regulatory path as a combined advanced-therapy medicine.


Project pictures (by ETHZ)
ASE Optics medical devices optics
Members of the Consortium
Led by Eurecat – Centre Tecnológic de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), the Optogenerapy top-class consortium comprises 11 partners from 7 European countries. The team integrates research, clinics, manufacturing expertise and Medical Device market knowledge, ensuring that the preclinically validated prototype obtained at the end responds to market demands.
More information in the official website of the project: OPTOGENERAPY
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