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FLAMIN-GO’s 4th interim meeting in Slovenia: “We identified key adjustments that will enhance our progress”

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Flamin-Go project, a pioneering initiative aimed at revolutionizing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment, has concluded its fourth interim meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s vibrant capital. Held on the 20th and 21st of June, the event brought together leading scientists and researchers to review progress, exchange insights, and plan the next steps for this groundbreaking project.

“Ljubljana is a fantastic city,” remarked Dr. Annalisa Chiocchetti, Flamin-GO’s project coordinator, at the conclusion of the event. “This meeting was crucial as it followed the second review meeting with the European Commission, providing us with invaluable feedback. We now have a new roadmap, and I am confident we will advance swiftly and overcome the challenges we face,” said Dr. Chiocchetti.

The Flamin-GO project is at a pivotal juncture. In its first year, the focus was on developing individual tissues of the joint. The current challenge lies in integrating these technologies to create a complete joint model, Dr. Chiocchetti explained. “During these two days, we identified several key adjustments that will enhance our progress. Our ultimate goal is to build a complete joint model for our patients,” she added.

First Flamin-GO’s meeting in Slovenia

The Ljubljana meeting was hosted by the Science on the Street team, renowned for improving public understanding of science by organising public talks, science slams, roundtables, science blogs, and competitions over the past decade.

Dr. Saša Novak, the initiator and leader, expressed her satisfaction with the meeting’s success. “I am thrilled that we could host the fourth meeting. We visited the Jožef Stefan Institute, attended an engaging lecture by our project coordinator, and enjoyed a dinner at the historic Ljubljana Castle. I hope everyone had a memorable and productive time in Ljubljana,” said Dr. Novak.

The meeting kicked-off with a seminar

The meeting kicked off with a passionate public lecture by Dr. Annalisa Chiocchetti titled “Is Precision Medicine the Answer to Disease Treatment?”. In her lecture, Dr. Chiocchetti explored the transformative potential of precision medicine in treating autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Precision medicine tailors treatment to individual genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, contrasting with the traditional one-size-fits-all approach.

Despite significant progress, fully realising precision medicine by 2030 remains unlikely, necessitating alternative approaches. One promising solution is the RA joint-on-chip model developed by Flamin-GO, which replicates patient-specific joint tissues to test and identify the most effective drugs. While precision medicine’s full potential is still emerging, Flamin-GO’s innovative efforts provide hope for more personalised and effective RA treatments, explained Dr. Chiocchetti.

Optimising Drug Selection for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Flamin-GO project is a vital endeavour aimed at optimising drug selection for rheumatoid arthritis patients, offering hope to millions affected by the condition. “Currently, treatment involves a trial-and-error approach, but Flamin-GO seeks to change this,” said Dr. Liliane Fossati-Jimack from Queen Mary, University of London, one of the project’s partners.

By analysing synovial tissue where inflammation occurs, the project aims to test drugs in vitro using an organ-on-chip model. This innovative approach allows for precise drug testing, potentially enabling doctors to prescribe the correct medication within one to two months, thus significantly improving patient outcomes. “It’s imperative to determine the right drug for each patient to avoid the trial-and-error process, which can be life-altering. Immediate remission could be possible with the correct drug, transforming the patient’s quality of life,” Dr. Fossati-Jimack emphasised.

Exploring commercial potentials

The project is also exploring the commercial potential of its scientific discoveries, with significant efforts underway to enhance the economic impact of the results, said Francesca Gervaso from CNR-Nanotec. According to Dr Alessandro Polini, also from CNR-Nanotec, the team is making small but critical adjustments to ensure the technology is compatible with conventional microscopes and laboratory equipment, transitioning from prototype to a more developed platform.

About the Flamin-Go Project

Led by the University of Eastern Piedmont, the Flamin-GO project involves several public and private organizations, including the Institute of Nanotechnology of the National Research Council (CnrNanotec) in Lecce, Queen Mary University of London, the Max Planck Institute, the AO Foundation of Switzerland, and high-tech companies Trustech, Fluidigm, Enginsoft, and RegenHU. In total, 12 partners from 10 countries are involved in the project. The project was awarded funding of 6 million euros under the Horizon 2020 program.

For more information about the Flamin-Go project and its latest developments, please visit Flamin-Go’s website


Prof. Annalisa Chiocchetti, UPO, Novara, Italy (