Adverse immune responses occur in up to 30% of CT recipients causing rejection and failure.

VISICORT is a multi-disciplinary project with expertise in basic immunology, bio-sampling, systems biology/immune profiling, bioinformatics, clinical tissue transplantation and cell therapy.

Clinical data and bio-specimens from over 700 CT recipients at 5 leading transplant centres will be centrally collated and distributed to cutting-edge university- and SME-based laboratories for multi-platform profiling and integrated bioinformatics analyses

The Project

Immune system response is the most complex barrier to long-term success of tissue transplants/implants from allogeneic and bio-artificial sources. While newly developed tissue transplant procedures are not yet performed frequently enough for robust analysis of adverse immune responses in humans, corneal transplantation (CT) is a well-established allogeneic tissue transplant with >100,000 full- and partial-thickness procedures performed annually. Adverse immune responses occur in up to 30% of CT recipients causing rejection and failure. The high levels of CT clinical activity and immune complications create an ideal opportunity to comprehensively profile immune responses associated with adverse tissue transplant outcomes and to develop new approaches for their prevention or early diagnosis.

VISICORT is a multi-disciplinary project with expertise in basic immunology, bio-sampling, systems biology/immune profiling, bioinformatics, clinical tissue transplantation and cell therapy. It will complete the first systematic immune profiling of biological samples from animal and human CT recipients with diverse outcomes. Clinical data and bio-specimens from over 700 CT recipients at 5 leading transplant centres will be centrally collated and distributed to cutting-edge university- and SME-based laboratories for multi-platform profiling and integrated bioinformatics analyses. Profiling data will generate better understanding of adverse immune reactions to tissue transplants. This knowledge will be used to develop novel biomarker-based surveillance strategies and, coupled with SME-based expertise in cell product development, will also inform the design and initiation of an optimised clinical trial strategy of immunomodulatory stromal stem cell therapy in high-risk human CT recipients. VISICORT research will strongly impact multiple EU research/scientific communities, patient cohorts and SMEs.