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Mot de la Présidente

Since 2001 the mission of the SFTCG has been to represent the interests of the factors concerned by the development of new cell and gene therapies, from basic research to clinical applications. Thus, our company's mission is to promote therapeutic progress in the field of biotherapies, regenerative medicine and gene transfer for diseases of all types, whether genetic or acquired. The objectives of our company are therefore to facilitate the dissemination of scientific information, to promote discussions and exchanges and to play an interface role between the various players in the field (scientists, clinicians, government authorities, regulatory agencies, associations patients, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, the public, the press, etc.).

In recent years, major advances in gene and cell therapy approaches have enabled remarkable progress in the treatment of certain hereditary diseases of the retina, hemophilia, hematological or storage diseases, as well as in certain types of cancer. It is now clear that correcting long-term gene expression or protein function through gene therapy for clinical application is within reach. Our field of activity is now widening to a better follow-up of patients benefiting from this molecular medicine "à la carte" and from an excellent understanding of the associated molecular mechanisms, thus allowing an unprecedented overview of complex physiopathological processes, such as stem cell biology, the development of immune responses, or the growth of a tumor. These major advances are possible thanks to the meticulous work of scientists, whose objective is, for example, to provide ever more efficient therapeutic vectors in which the expression of transgenes is finely regulated, allowing targeted administration and reduced toxicity; these considerations are essential to antitumor cell immunotherapy approaches, or to improve engraftment of transplanted cells and thus tissue regeneration. 

The role of our company is to continue to promote the development of ambitious programmes and thus to improve the efficiency of research in cell and gene therapy; to do this, it is our duty to better promote collaboration, as well as the sharing of knowledge and resources. More particularly, it seems essential to me that our society opens up to more “fundamentalist” researchers, in particular in the field of the regulation of gene expression and epigenetics. 

We must continue to bring together the scientific and medical community to facilitate the implementation of clinical trials. For this, it is essential to promote interactions not only between researchers and clinicians in charge of patients, but also to involve the production centres of cellular and gene vectors essential for the manufacture of clinical grade tools, the agencies, regulators responsible for ethical review of applications and funding agencies. I also agree with my predecessor, whom I would like to thank for his remarkable work at the head of our company, on the need to develop student training, and to facilitate exchanges and rapprochements with other companies involved in the field of biotherapies at national and international level.

This ambitious project will be made possible thanks to the participation of all members of society. The role of the board and its chair will be to foster exchanges with scientists from other fields, industry stakeholders, patient organizations, journal editors and regulatory bodies. Finally, I would like to invite all researchers in basic science and translational medicine, our fellow clinicians and representatives from industry, regulatory and funding bodies, and patient organizations with an interest in the development and transfer applications of genes and cell therapy to join us and become an active member of our community today.

Verhoeyen, ELs_edited.jpg
Els Verhoeyen
President SFTCG
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