OSR: Core activities within CARAT

OSR is the leading private scientific research Institute in Italy, recognized by the Italian Ministry of Health as a Research Hospital (IRCCS). It comprises both clinical and research activities, conducted within a highly specialized and qualified Hospital, and clinical as well as translational research. The premises also host the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (USR), which comprises the faculties of medicine, psychology and philosophy and provides specialized post-graduate courses, residency programs in various medical specialties, and International PhD programs. OSR performs cutting-edge science and aims at advancing the knowledge about human diseases and developing novel therapies through translational research. In particular OSR excellence areas are: Oncology; Neuroscience; Metabolic and Cardiovascular Sciences; Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells and Gene Therapy; Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases; Genetics and Cell Biology; Genomics, Bioinformatics and Imaging technologies.

Major determinants for successful CAR-T cell therapy in cancer patients include rapid expansion and long-term persistence of infused cells, as well as the execution of potent effector functions. As Work Package leader of WP1, OSR is responsible for the design and generation of biologically improved CAR T-cells. They are devoted to the identification of key factors to manufacture biologically-enhanced CAR-T cells (activation protocol, starting cell subset, co-stimulation). Especially, OSR is exploiting its unique experience with innovative efficacy/toxicity in vivo models to identify cell products with improved therapeutic indexes. Additionally, OSR will participate to the validation of the conditions for GMP manufacturing of improved CAR-T cells, with the ultimate goal of clinical translation.

OSR Profile

Question & Answers from the OSR Team

Monica casucci
Monica Casucci
Group Leader (Innovative Immunotherapies Unit)
Innovative immunotherapy strategies like CAR-T cell therapy have the potential to revolutionize the way of treating cancer patients, offering them a real opportunity to be cured. Due to the complexity of these approaches, deepening the knowledge of CAR-T cell biology and developing innovative preclinical models is crucial to increase responses, reduce toxicities and widen the applicability of these therapies to other cancers besides B-cell malignancies. This is the main focus of my research activity.
Barbara camisa
Barbara Camisa
Senior in vivo Technician
It is really inspiring to be able to observe the development of a possible cure for so many patients starting from the bench to the clinical testing. It really gives perspective to all our hard work and the compromises, such as animal experimentation, that have to be accepted in order to reach this goal.
Claudia mezzanotte
Claudia Mezzanotte
It is really fascinating to be part of such an international consortium. I particularly enjoy the exchange of ideas coming from people all working in the same field of research from different perspectives.
Laura falcone
Laura Falcone
Senior in vitro Technician
We have recently had the pleasure to host a CARAT researcher from partner PEI for a collaborative experiment. It was really inspiring to see how our different expertise combined to find a solution for a scientific question that would not have been answered otherwise.
Marta moresco
Marta Moresco
Grant Manager
The integration of so many different points of view really gives perspective to our academic work, both in terms of CAR-T cell biology understanding and the hope of therapy development in the next few years.
Silvia arcangeli
Silvia Arcangeli
The inspiring part of this consortium is the possibility of working on a product that will be translated to the clinics in the near future. I firmly believe that our effort to reduce production process and cost will really enable CAR-T therapy to become a more accessible therapeutic option for all patients.