On March 3 2020, project coordinator Professor Tobias Winkler, welcomed 37 participants at the start of the 2nd Annual Meeting of the HIPGEN project, held at the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt, Berlin. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, 7 participants from Italy and Israel were participating via Video conference from their countries.
The two-day Annual Meeting brought together nine partner organizations from eight countries involved in the HIPGEN project, including the HIPGEN Steering Committee, the External Advisory Board and invited guests.
Presentations by Charité, Pluristem and ICON covered general and specific clinical trial updates. In total 19 clinical sites are involved in Germany, Israel, UK, Denmark and the USA. Activation of additional clinical sites are planned in Denmark, Bulgaria and the USA .
Given that the patients are typically elderly and frail, empathetic treatment and prudent care of these vulnerable and fragile patients is specifically warranted. The study staff is specially trained for this purpose in order to make the treatment and follow-up time as convenient as possible for the patients.
During the first day of the meeting all partners presented their work of the past year and the respective scientific projects were discussed among all participants. The day closed with an update on the ethics of EU Horizon program and ethical implications on the HIPGEN project (External Advisory Board).
Concluding the meeting and outlining the next steps, Professor Winkler stated:
"I want to congratulate all involved persons for the great success we have achieved until now in the set-up and the management of our HIPGEN project. We are proud to have already managed to recruit more than 50% of our patients at the end of 2019 and we do sincerely hope that the current Covid-19 situation will not endanger HIPGEN in the near future.”
The second day of the Annual Meeting was dedicated to meetings of the Steering Committee and the External Advisory Board of the HIPGEN project in order to prepare for the coming period. In a statement made prior to the Annual Meeting, Professor Cyrus Cooper, President of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), underlined the ultimate importance of the HIPGEN project and praised the trial partners for their continued dedication:
Currently, after a hip fracture, around 40% of individuals cannot walk independently, 10-20% require long-term nursing home care, and around 20% die within the year. This has to change. As the largest NGO in the musculoskeletal field representing patient societies and the medical community, IOF looks forward to a successful HIPGEN trial, which would lead to improved outcomes for people who sustain these life-threatening fractures.”
The next HIPGEN Annual Meeting is planned for the beginning of 2021.
HIPGEN is a Phase III, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study, designed to determine the efficacy, safety and tolerability of intramuscular injections of Allogeneic PLX-PAD Cells, for improved recovery following arthroplasty for hip fracture. The project is coordinated by the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and the partners include internationally renowned European orthopaedic and trauma centres (The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford and Odense Universitets Hospital) among other clinics and research institutes. It has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 779293.
To find out more about HIPGEN and to keep abreast of project news, visit the new website.