13 March, 2015 · Overview

NanoPilot present in the ETPN Nanomedicine

Continuing our nanomed series, Nicolas Gouze of the European Technology Platform Nanomedicine Secretariat discusses the potential impact of a new Nanomedicine Translation Hub – the consolidation of new infrastructures, programmes and projects to enhance the innovation capacity of SMEs and academia in order to accelerate the development of nanomedicines towards the market

THE IMPORTANCE OF the new Nanomedicine Translation Hub for the emerging industrial sector in nanomedicine has been recognised by the European public authorities. Subsequently, three European projects,completely in line with the Hub’s concept, have been positively evaluated by the EC for funding under Horizon 2020, and are currently in the finalisation stage of their EU grant agreements.


The Enabling NAnomedicine TRANSlation project (ENATRANS) willencompass measures to support the efficient networking of stakeholders,and in particular SMEs, in the nanobiomedical sector and, to a large extent, support these SMEs with their endeavour to translate their products from the laboratory phase to clinical applications. As a Coordination and Support Action funded by the EC for a three-year period, ENATRANS is also meant to ensure the global coherence of the Nanomedicine Translation Hub and build a functioning supply chain of nanomedicine projects – mainly run by SMEs – that are ready to meet industrial and clinical needs. In this sense, a nanomedicine translational advisory board will serve as the cornerstone to provide specific advice, guidance and recommendations to all nanomedicine actors dealing with translation issues and in need of assistance in specific areas of expertise.


The NanoFacturing project has two principal objectives. The first consists of scaling up an existing good manufacturing practice (GMP) pilot line to a medium-scale sustainable manufacturing process for solid core nanopharmaceuticals with a primary focus on glycan-coated gold nanoparticles. The process will also support consortium partners’ clinical programmes such as the antiviral dengue fever nanopharmaceuticals at the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research’s Institute of Molecular Biology, and other EU-wide nanomedicine programmes. The second objective is to create a large scale process platform that would serve as the basis for GMP compliant industrial manufacture and that will be available as a model for other European companies wishing to develop their own products.


The NanoPilot project will build a GMP pilot line for the production of polymer-based nanopharmaceuticals. The size of the plant aims to be very small, with three systems to be produced at the end of the project. Continuous flow microreactors will be employed for two of the nanopharmaceuticals to be manufactured.


The first announcement related to these upcoming projects was released during the European Technology Platform Nanomedicine (ETPN) Annual Event 2014, which took place in San Sebastian, Spain, on 15 October. The choice of this location was perfectly adapted to this announcement as the Basque country has developed an in-depth expertise in nanotechnologies in the last few years, particularly in the area of nanomedicine, with a high concentration of universities, research centres and SMEs, and with strong support from the local authorities.

Patrick Boisseau, Chairman of ETPN, stated: “We are very proud to announce such important news for the European nanomedicine community during this annual event of the platform. The success of theEU calls – [exemplified by the fact that] 18 proposals have been received for pilot lines for upscaling the manufacturing of nanopharmaceuticals – shows the adequacy of ETPN recommendations with real SMEs needs. We also look forward for the perspectives on a nanocharacterisation infrastructure, another major pillar of the Translation Hub asked for by European nanomedicine actors. The ETPN is excited to work hand in hand with the different coordinators for global coherence of actions and a more effi cient European value chain in nanomedicine”.
The Nanomedicine Translation Hub is thereby taking a more concrete shape and should be reinforced in the near future with further projects and measures to provide the European nanomedicine stakeholders with adequate support, facilitating the emergence of new, innovative and nano-based solutions for a better health.

The above mentioned proposals have been positively evaluated by the EC‘s services and are under finalisation. Changes in the projects’ duration, consortium, budget or activities may occur within the coming months.