Scientific project

GT4Health, ULiège's ambitious new gene therapy project, has just been selected for Win4Excellence funding.

The Walloon Region has just selected the GT4Health project led by the University of Liège as one of the projects to be funded under its Win4Excellence programme, which aims to finance particularly ambitious research in promising areas. Together with their colleagues from other universities, researchers from the GIGA, CIRM and CERM want to develop disruptive strategic research in gene therapy to strengthen Wallonia's position on the international stage and secure the future of its value chain. Of the overall budget of just over €10m, €4.5m will be allocated to ULiège laboratories.


he GT4Health project, which aims to develop various disruptive technologies as solutions to major challenges in the gene therapy sector, is a multidisciplinary collaboration involving ten partners from five French-speaking Belgian universities (ULiège, ULB, UCLouvain, UNamur and UMons), including four from ULiège, as well as the CER Groupe research centre. The ULiège researchers include Géraldine Piel (LTPB), Antoine Debuigne (CERM), Emmanuel Di Valentin and Catherine Sadzot (GIGA).

In this project, which brings together a network of multidisciplinary skills, viral and non-viral vectors will be used to develop innovative personalised therapeutic solutions, enabling researchers to tackle hereditary and serious chronic diseases and cancers by validating a variety of therapeutic objectives, ranging from relatively accessible liver targets to the pancreas. This target is notoriously difficult to treat.

GT4Health plans an integrated research programme focusing on the major challenges identified: design and formulation, production and control methods, and preclinical evaluation in vitro and in vivo on animal models.

GT4Health has identified four main areas for evaluating gene therapy products: diabetes, cancer (particularly breast cancer), chronic liver diseases and gene manipulation of haematopoietic stem cells. This approach will make it possible to validate objectives in therapeutic targets presenting different difficulty levels, from a relatively easy-to-reach liver target to the pancreas, which is reputed to be a particularly difficult target to treat.

GT4Health aims not only to strengthen research and clinical development in the field of gene therapy but also to support the production of these therapies, thereby creating a complete value chain. The project is also supported by four renowned companies: UCB, Genflow, Exothera and Qualiblood, demonstrating the importance of collaboration between academia and industry.

The Win4Excellence programme

Win4Excellence is, as its name suggests, a programme of excellence aimed at universities, in collaboration with accredited research centres, which aims to fund ambitious research with a strong upstream position in key areas for the Walloon Region, for example in the Strategic Innovation Areas of the RIS3, or in areas specifically highlighted in the Declaration of Regional Policy, such as space or cybersecurity.

Find out more

Your contacts at ULiège

Géraldine Piel

Antoine Debuigne

Catherine Sadzot

Marielle Lebrun

Emmanuel Di Valentin

Carine Bebrone

ODD 3 : Bonne santé et bien-être
Donner aux individus les moyens de vivre une vie saine et promouvoir le bien-être à tous les âges Le troisième objectif vise à assurer la santé et le bien-être de tous, en améliorant la santé procréative, maternelle et infantile, en réduisant les principales maladies transmissibles, non transmissibles, environnementales et mentales.

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