Joint Public Outreach Event – cmRNAbone and CARTHAGO Projects Present their Results to the Davos Public

Presenting results to the public, celebrating years of groundbreaking research, and discussing future synergies – two EU-funded research projects organised a joint outreach event to make all this possible.

On June 18th, the cmRNAbone and CARTHAGO projects met in Davos, Switzerland, to engage with the local community of a town that has been a pivotal point for their work. The AO Foundation, based in Davos, has coordinated the cmRNAbone project and has been a key partner in CARTHAGO.

The event began with presentations by the project coordinators, Prof. Martin Stoddart (cmRNAbone) and PD Dr. Sibylle Grad (CARTHAGO). They provided insights into the challenges, approaches, and results of their projects, explaining the importance of advancing regenerative medicine and gene therapy. Following this, a session focused on exploring future applications of their research.

Inspired by the presentations, the group of around 30 participants had the opportunity to ask questions and gain a deeper understanding of the behind-the-scenes work of EU-funded research projects. This sparked meaningful discussions that continued over an aperitif afterwards.

About the projects

The cmRNAbone project was coordinated by Prof Martin Stoddart from ARI and has been running from 1st January 2020 to the end of June 2024. The project involved 11 partners from 7 countries with a total budget of €6.3 Million. With bone being the most transplanted tissue after blood, the need for graft materials is enormous. In search of optimised regeneration solutions, the EU-funded cmRNAbone project has set out to develop a novel gene therapy to improve the lives of people with large traumatic injuries or bone degenerating diseases such as osteoporosis. The proposed approach is a unique combination of genetic research, advanced nano- and biotechnology and 3D-printing. It successfully developed a new clinically relevant 3D printer and bio ink that can be used to locally delivery therapeutic nucleic acids to increase bone formation during healing.
For more information, please explore the project website.

CARTHAGO is an EU-funded PhD student training program tackling the problem of osteoarthritis and disc degeneration. The program recruited and trained 15 PhD students at 11 centres in 10 countries across Europe. ARI's participation was coordinated by PD. Dr. Sibylle Grad and, along with Prof Martin Stoddart, ARI trained 2 PhD students. For people with osteoarthritis (OA) and chronic lower back pain, moving around becomes a daily struggle due to pain. Chronic Lower Back Pain is caused by the degradation of the intervertebral disc, which is the soft buffer between the bony parts of your spine. Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. It can affect all parts of the joint and most commonly hips and knees. Here the cartilage, the smooth surface of the joint, is destroyed. CARTHAGO aimed to stimulate both tissues to regenerate by delivering nucleic acids that produce growth factors to induce repair. The consortium made use of ARI's unique cartilage and disc bioreactor systems, which are only available in Davos.
For more information, please see visit the project website.