PATIENTS

There are nowadays many diseases for which there is still no effective treatment. In the case of certain of these, we are making some advances in their research to find a treatment using advanced therapy medicinal products (cell therapy, tissue engineering and gene therapy). The Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies has as one of its main objectives to facilitate access to those therapies to the Andalusian population, on an equitable basis whilst guaranteeing their administration under the strictest legal requirements and the highest safety.

In general advanced therapy products are derived from cells or tissues which can come from the patient himself (known as autologous) or from other donors (allogeneic). These products are largely considered medicinal products and, therefore, their manufacturing must be carried out in specialized laboratories under strict quality and safety conditions. To manufacture these medicinal products, the Coordination Unit of the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies coordinates a network of laboratories distributed throughout Andalusia. Each of these is specialized in the manufacturing of one or more of advanced therapy medicinal products, with the mission to be of service not only to the Andalusian Community but to the rest of the population as a whole.

The three ways through which access to these therapies is facilitated are as follows:

  1. Clinical trials promoted by the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies.
  2. Compassionate use of medicinal products in research.
  3. Advanced therapy medicinal products incorporated in the National Health System’s portfolio of services.

Most advanced therapy medicinal products are currently in phase of research, as a matter of fact there are many clinical trials in which their safety and efficacy are being studied in patients with a variety of diseases. However, there are few drugs whose safety and efficacy have already been proved and, consequently, can be administered to patients not involved in clinical trials or have been authorised as compassionate use. The high number of patients who suffer from serious diseases and for which these kinds of therapies have been announced as a possible treatment, has led to the emergence of clinics and healthcare establishments offering these kinds of medicinal products without the corresponding authorisations and guarantees. Hence, the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies has the commitment to work to prevent any raise of false expectations and to help patients to avoid being object of fraud and, consequently, of undergoing treatments without adequate guarantees. In this mission, we collaborate with international scientific societies which aim to warn patients against the potential risks of undergoing unproven treatments. Further information in this link.

laboratoriosSince the launch of the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies, a large number of patients from Andalusia and other Spanish Regional Communities have participated in those clinical trials promoted by the Initiative. In some cases, their participation is still active and they are under the care of their hospital centre in accordance with the strict set protocol. In other cases, their participation has already been concluded, although they are still been treated by their doctors in their routine clinical practice. In either case, we are most interested to know their opinion and feedback by sending us any information they might wish to share.

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associationThe improvement in the health of the population as a whole is an issue which concerns us all, from the Health Authorities with appropriate policies, to the individual who has the greatest  responsibility for his/her own health, doing everything possible to lead a healthy lifestyle and receiving  attention when it is necessary  from the healthcare system.

Patient Associations, as social agents which are created for the purpose of giving support to persons affected by different pathologies, play a very important role in raising awareness in patients themselves about their health condition and of society’s need of being involved. In addition, a group of people, with a common purpose, has far more influence to drive forward advances in the search for effective solutions, both therapeutic and social.

The Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies shares a common framework  with Patient Associations , as most of the research it promotes is focused  on  serious, rare pathologies, for which there are few therapeutic options. In cases of this kind, Patient Associations have an important role in vital tasks of spreading, demanding and supporting.

If you are involved in the management of any such Patient Associations and are interested in establishing collaboration with the Coordination Unit of the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies, please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

We promote advanced therapy research because we are convinced of its potential in the ongoing search for new therapies for diseases where there is still no effective treatment or where improvements can be made in the quality of life of patients suffering from these diseases. In this regard, we try to collaborate with all institutions involved in this field. Our hallmark is the search for synergies among the academic world, research institutions, health centres, patients’ associations, biotechnological SMEs and the pharmaceutical industry. In this search, we have no geographic bounds, collaborating with numerous international institutions such as California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and different international universities.

The development of new therapies for chronic pathologies without an existing effective treatment will result in a definite benefit for us all and we can all play our part. Any donation you may make will not only help to give hope to thousands of patients but will also bring significant personal tax advantages.