A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) established PACT (Platform for Advanced Cellular Therapies) in December 2012 in agreement between the Medical University of Vienna, The Veterinary Medical University, The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology and The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (The Founding Members). Since then the Austrian Red Cross, Linz has become an Associate Member and a number of other distinguished Universities and Institutions have expressed an interest to join or support this initiative. Indeed, the concept has been introduced to a number of other Universities and Institutions throughout Europe and has received an overall positive response.
The PACT is therefore, an alliance amongst several key players in research, medicine, veterinary medicine and the life sciences. The objectives of the PACT association are to harvest the benefits of the potential synergies anticipated from creating an infrastructure (platform) that will accommodate a larger critical mass of interest, expertise and endeavour. It will be active in promoting or enabling meaningful collaborations and communications in the area leading to the establishment of advanced cellular therapies. It will operate in an environment of focused dialogue and consultation with those responsible for establishing standards of safety and efficacy in regulatory or ethical affairs and also attempt to address any socio-economic implications. It is expected that this approach can offer a model to accelerate the concept, development and application of cell based therapies or treatments with significantly positive outcomes to patients for the relief or even cure of diseases, conditions, the severe pain or suffering of animals and/or human beings.
The Platform for Advanced Cellular Therapies – PACT was established in acknowledgement of the long and globally recognised academic excellence, the excellent teaching and training capabilities and the exceptional research infrastructure that the four Foundation Partners can confer in the provision of an exceptionally strong synergistic potential in cutting edge health-care and socioeconomic advancement for Austria and in particular Vienna and is proposed to join intellectual and structural resources. The PACT provides the forum to achieve a unified community of mutual interests and collaborations in order to create meaningful clinical research programmes and trials in the area of cellular therapies for the relief of suffering human beings and animals. The Foundation Partners involved in the PACT will contribute each to the other in order to create the synergy and the thereby added value of joint venture research endeavours into finding treatments and cures for specific conditions (also including rare diseases or “orphan” status treatments for which there are no known cures or adequate treatments). The PACT will work in close consultation with all authorities and agencies e.g. the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to provide the highest appropriate standards necessary in ethics, efficacy and safety for all concerned. Within the areas of mutual interest and pending appropriate funding the Foundation Partners propose to establish forthwith and will seek to involve and harmonize research groups working on Molecular, Cellular and Regenerative Medicine as associates and/or partners in mutual research efforts within the PACT.
PACT is founded in the form of a network bound by a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU). Initially the Foundation Partners will utilize their combined effort in obtaining funding with the purpose to support research and furthermore, in a second phase, to design and build a ‘Centre’ focused on personalized cell based therapies and advanced medical treatments. The proposed “Cell based Therapies Centre” will provide “state of the art” facilities for treatments for patients, accessible to the Foundation Partners, their collaborators, agencies or other relevant organisations and/or charitable institutions. Based on this network it is proposed to explore, in conjunction with all Foundation Partners, the definition of ‘leading collaborative projects’ with the intent of forming a legal entity under contract, bringing together the Partners, that will form the basis for establishing a world class Academic and Clinical Research Centre and research groups. These groups will form the basis for the core foundation of the aforementioned.
The medical and scientific teams will work in unison and for each defined ‘leading collaborative project’ a “Principal Investigator” (PI) will be appointed to be responsible for the co-ordination, direction, oversight and the supervision of the particular defined project until its termination.
All procedures will be approved medically and ethically by the corresponding agencies (AGES, EMA, FDA) and Ethic Boards.
The PACT will agree an IP policy in relation to its activities in accordance with the individual Code of Practices or Policies of all partners and national and international guidelines.
The PACT will comply with all the regulations and guidelines specifically within aspects of ethical and legal considerations and issues.