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Cytotherapy. 2020 Jan;22(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2019.11.001. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Spanish Cell Therapy Network (TerCel): 15 years of successful collaborative translational research.

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Servicio de Hematología, IBSAL-Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, CIC y CIBERONC, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.
"Fundación Jiménez Diaz" University Hospital, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Servicio de Hematologia y Terapia Celular, Clinica Universidad de Navarra y CIMA, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
Instituto de Neurociencias UMH-CSIC, CIBERSAM, San Juan de Alicante, Alicante, Spain.
Department of Cell Biology, Complutense University, Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Servicio de Cardiología, IiSGM-Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Universidad Complutense, CIBERCV, Madrid, Spain.
Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla (IBiS), Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío/CSIC/Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain.
Cardiovascular Development Program, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, CNIC, Madrid, Spain.
Departamento de Biología Celular, Biología Funcional y Antropología Física, Estructura de Recerca Interdisciplinar en Biotecnologia i Biomedicina (ERI BIOTECMED), and CIBERNED, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.
ICCC Program, IR-Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Research Center for Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases (CIMUS), University of Santiago de Compostela and Networking Research Center on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Instituto de Biología y Genética Molecular (IBGM), Universidad de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain.
Servicio de Hematología, Hospital Clinico Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca, IMIB, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain. Electronic address:


In the current article we summarize the 15-year experience of the Spanish Cell Therapy Network (TerCel), a successful collaborative public initiative funded by the Spanish government for the support of nationwide translational research in this important area. Thirty-two research groups organized in three programs devoted to cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and immune-inflammatory diseases, respectively, currently form the network. Each program has three working packages focused on basic science, pre-clinical studies and clinical application. TerCel has contributed during this period to boost the translational research in cell therapy in Spain, setting up a network of Good Manufacturing Practice-certified cell manufacturing facilities- and increasing the number of translational research projects, publications, patents and clinical trials of the participating groups, especially those in collaboration. TerCel pays particular attention to the public-private collaboration, which, for instance, has led to the development of the first allogeneic cell therapy product approved by the European Medicines Agency, Darvadstrocel. The current collaborative work is focused on the development of multicenter phase 2 and 3 trials that could translate these therapies to clinical practice for the benefit of patients.


cell therapy; regenerative medicine; research network; stem cells; translational medicine

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Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Competing Interest This manuscript has been supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) through the project “RD16/0011/0001: Red de Terapia Celular”, from the sub-program RETICS, integrated in the “Plan Estatal de I+D+I 2013-2016” and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund “A way to make Europe”. D.G.O. has been an Advisory Board member of TiGenix SAU, and received consulting fees from Takeda. He also holds patents 10157355957US and US11/167061 related to Darvadstrocel. The remaining authors do not declare any conflict of interest regarding this article.

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