MERLIN – Year 1 Report

You can read more about our work in the first year of the project here.


MERLIN report 1.

Rotterdam EMC

Successful MERLIN Plenary Meeting 12 – 13 Feb 2015

MERLIN Consortium

The MERLIN team met in Rotterdam 12 – 13 February 2015 to discuss progress in the first year of the project, and to make plans for the coming year. We’ve learned more about how MSC work in our in vitro and in vivo studies, and planning is well underway for the planned clinical trial with PSC patients.

We were joined by the Scientific Advisory Board, who added their expert insights to our discussions.

MERLIN SAB 13 Feb 2015 EMC

Professor Ansgar Lohse,University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Chair) – Expertise: Autoimmune liver disease & Liver immunology; Professor Willem Fibbe, Leiden University Medical Center – Expertise: Mesenchymal stromal cells; Dr. Neil Henderson, University of Edinburgh – Expertise: Liver fibrosis and stellate cells; Professor Tom Karlsen, Oslo University Hospital – Expertise: Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis; Professor Massimo Pinzani, University College London – Expertise: Liver fibrosis.

MERLIN researcher Steve Elliman interviewed by EuroStemCell

Steve Elliman of Orbsen Therapeutics has been interviewed by EuroStemCell – you can find videos of the interview by clicking here. Read more

MERLIN added to EuroStemCell’s Connections

MERLIN has now been added to EuroStemCell’s Connections. EuroStemCell is a European partnership of scientists, clinicians, ethicists, social scientists and science communicators. Launched in March 2010, the partnership unites more than 90 European stem cell and regenerative medicine research labs in a coordinated effort to engage with the public about our science.

MERLIN researcher presents to patients at PSC Support

MERLIN researcher Gideon Hirschfield of the University of Birmingham gave a talk about current and future therapies for PSC to patients. Watch a video of the presentation here.

MERLIN at 8th Annual UK MSC meeting

MERLIN researcher Steve Elliman of Orbsen Therapeutics presented at the 8th Annual UK MSC meeting hosted by REMEDI in Galway 29 – 30 Oct, 2014. To read more about the conference, and to see a list of the other speakers, click here.

New related publications on MSCs from MERLIN partners in EMC now available.

A new page dedicated to related publications has now gone live on the MERLIN site. This page can be accessed by following this link, and it will be updated throughout the project.

MERLIN covered on PSC Website

MERLIN recently received coverage on the Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Support website.

PSC Support is

the UK charity dedicated to helping people affected by Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). PSC Support is run by a small team of volunteers, totally funded from charitable donations, and here to help anyone affected by Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

Our objectives are to:

  • provide information and support to those affected by PSC.
  • work with partners to promote awareness of PSC, current research and the need for organ donation.
  • support PSC-related medical practitioners and researchers by:
    • giving PSC patients access to the latest relevant medical information to promote patient participation in essential trials;
    • providing grants towards projects that have specific target outcomes.
  • develop effective partnerships between PSC Support and medical practitioners, researchers, policy makers and people affected by PSC.

You can find out more about their organisation here.

MERLIN introduced at ISCT 2014

Project Partner Orbsen Therapeutics presented at the ISCT Paris Conference on April 22nd 2014, in a session entitled “EU funded projects in Cell Therapy”.

Read more

Coverage in The Irish Times

The Irish Times covered the MERLIN Project on April 22nd, 2014, in an article titled “Orbsen Therapeutics to take part in €6m liver disease clinical trial.”

Article Abstract:

Orbsen Therapeutics, a spin-out from NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (Remedi) has announced plans to partner with the University of Birmingham in a €6 million project to fight liver disease.

The stem cell research company, which was founded by Prof Frank Barry and Prof Tom O’Brien in 2006, will collaborate with the university on an EU FP7-funded project known by as Merlin (MEsynchymal stem cells to Reduce Liver INflammation). The project, which is led by Prof Phil Newsome, will advance Orbsen’s proprietary cell therapy to a Phase 2a clinical trial.

Please read the rest of the article here.