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Newsletter 2 - November 2022
Arthur Mulle - new project manager
1st periodic report submitted to EU
Major steps forward
Save the dates
E-Learning: New Masterclass videos
Watch our interview series from ILC 2022
Free access to EASL education for A-TANGO trainees

Welcome to our 2nd newsletter

A-TANGO is an international, collaborative research project, funded by the Horizon 2020 framework programme of the European Commission. The project started in March 2021 and brings together 14 partner institutions from 8 European countries to fight decompensated cirrhosis and develop an effective treatment for acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). We perform Phase 2 clinical studies of an innovative therapeutic strategy that improves hepatocyte proliferation through granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and reduces systemic inflammation by repurposing TAK-242, an antagonist of toll-like receptor 4. We call this novel combinatorial therapy “G-TAK”. In addition, A-TANGO strives to identify reliable biomarkers for better patient stratification and an increased survival rate. About 20 liver centers in Europe will participate in the clinical study and we are very grateful that both the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) as well as the European Liver Patients' Association (ELPA) actively support A-TANGO as project partners. Sign up here to receive our newsletter

Arthur Mulle - new project manager
In October 2022, Arthur Mulle (concentris) has stepped into the shoes of the A-TANGO project manager, performing all administrative tasks under the scientific coordination of Prof. Dr. Rajiv Jalan and Dr. med. Cornelius Engelmann, who supervises the clinical G-TAK study.

Arthur has a Master's degree in European Project Management and more than five years of experience in successfully managing research projects in various research centers across Europe within the framework of FP7 and Horizon 2020. He is interested in intercultural cooperation, loves languages, and wants to contribute to offering patients a better life.

We kindly thank Dr. Céline Gravot for doing a great job managing the project from kick-off in March 2021 until September 2022.
1st periodic report submitted to EU
The project's first periodic report (March 2021 - August 2022) has been submitted to the European Commission (EC) on 28 October 2022. Read about A-TANGO's progress in our Public Summary of the 1st Research Period, including progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project, and their potential impact and societal benefit. You can also download the summary from the Downloads page. The full report is confidential and contains detailed results of all work packages (WPs) so far, including deliverables and milestones. 
Major steps forward
Significant hurdles have been overcome and huge progress has been made. We plan to recruit the first patient in the first quarter of 2023. The study protocol and regulatory documents have been completed and have received clearance in the UK, while the EU submission is imminent. Difficulties with the drug manufacturing process have been overcome and the investigational medicinal products and placebos will be available soon. While the costs of drug manufacturing have exceeded earlier estimates, a reduction in sample size helps balance the budget to deliver the aims of A-TANGO. The clinical trial sites have been engaged, and education on the protocol is currently taking place. Dissemination activities have already started to make an impact with the establishment of the A-TANGO website, social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, and YouTube), and patient-targeted activities and interviews. Measurable impacts are the engagement of the A-TANGO coordinator with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for trial designs, the initiation of a clinical practice guideline on ACLF commissioned by A-TANGO partner EASL, and the publication of the underlying preclinical data in the Journal of Hepatology. Intellectual property is owned by one of the A-TANGO partners, Hepyx, and has now entered the national phase, prompting interest from a medium-sized pharmaceutical company. The early career scientists (ECS) have built a network, meet regularly for a journal club-style seminar, benefit from A-TANGO's Masterclasses and E-Learning, and - as the next generation of clinician-scientists with an interest in ACLF - are already working on several ancillary collaborations.

You can find A-TANGO's Public Deliverables under "Results" on the website. Feel free to download and read the newly submitted public deliverable reports:
Save the dates
4th A-TANGO Steering Committee (SC)  Meeting
Remote (Zoom)
29 November 2022

Next EASL Studio Sessions
Regenerative Hepatology: from stem cells to tissue engineering
Moderator: Pedro Baptista
16 November 2022, 18:00 CET
Meeting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in cirrhosis: the invisible threat that lies within 
Moderators: Prof. Jonel Trebicka, Prof. Debbie Shawcross
23 November 2022, 18:00 CET

International Congress of ILTS, ELITA, and LICAGE
Rotterdam, Netherlands
03 – 06 May 2023
Abstract submission: 05 December 2022

EASL Congress 
Vienna, Austria
21 - 24 June 2023
Abstract submission: 31 January 2023

The Liver Meeting
Boston, USA
10 - 14 November 2023
E-Learning: New Masterclass videos
Masterclass by Prof. Dr. Thomas Berg 

In our newest Masterclass on YouTube, Prof. Dr. Thomas Berg, Head of Hepatology at Leipzig University Medical Center (ULEI) and Secretary General of EASL, provides an in-depth overview of the current clinical challenges and newest treatment advances for patients suffering from cirrhosis and ACLF. The Masterclass was recorded during the 2nd GA Meeting in Barcelona, Spain, on 11 May 2022, and now cut and produced for publication. 

Advances in the Treatment of Cirrhosis and ACLF
Masterclass by Daniel Green

Our other Masterclass video is for up-and-coming company founders: Listen to Daniel Green, A-TANGO project partner, entrepreneur, and CEO of project partner Yaqrit (YAQ), holding an interactive and fun Masterclass on “Medical Device Design, Biotechnology, and Entrepreneurship”. The Masterclass was recorded as part of the early-career scientists (ECS) programme during the 2nd GA Meeting in Barcelona, Spain, on 11 May 2022, and later cut and produced for publication. More E-Learning.

Medical Device Design, Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship 
Watch our interview series from ILC 2022
Following the patients’ interest in A-TANGO, we tried a new communication format during the International Liver Congress (ILC) in London in June 2022 and recorded several video interviews with Dr. med. Cornelius Engelmann (Charité), supervisor of the clinical G-TAK study, based on questions brought forward by representatives of the European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA).  Watch all videos or individual ones, depending on your interest and curiosity:
 Will I develop alcoholic hepatitis if I drink alcohol?
What is multiorgan failure? What organ stops working first? Do I need all organs?
If I develop acute-on-chronic liver failure, will it go away if I stop drinking?
What is a biomarker in acute-on-chronic liver failure? Can I measure it myself?
What about gender balance in the project? Is ACLF different in men versus women?
Free access to EASL education for A-TANGO trainees
All A-TANGO early-career scientists (ECS) can now benefit from EASL’s extensive educational tools and the Young Investigators (YI) community. EASL campus is currently open access for individuals with a MyEASL account. Soon, some of the content will be restricted to EASL members. Therefore, EASL invites the project’s ECS to create a MyEASL account and request a complimentary membership. Feel free to contact Wouter Kruijs (Association & Community Services Manager at EASL) if you have questions. More info.
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 945096. This newsletter reflects only the authors' view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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