- The spin-off of IRB Barcelona, the UB and SJD has a patented technology based on peptides (small proteins) that efficiently cross biological barriers, such as the blood-brain barrier that protects the brain.
- As if they were molecular shuttles, these peptides can carry drugs that unaided cannot reach the brain to cure it.
- The first indication that will benefit from the technology is in the field of pediatric brain tumors.
As Dr. Meritxell Teixidó, CEO of Gate2Brain, explains, the 2.5 million euros received through the EIC Accelerator program will contribute to advancing the preclinical regulatory studies of their drug G2B-00. This development is being conducted in collaboration with the Sant Joan de Déu Pediatric Hospital and targets the brain tumors with intact barriers. In two or three years, these results will open the doors to a clinical trial.
“Man has dreamed of traveling to the brain for decades and, in fact, science fiction has dedicated books and films such as Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage. Gate2Brain's dream is to improve the health and quality of life of people suffering from central nervous system diseases by improving drug delivery to the brain and treating it" says Dr. Teixidó. She also adds that “today, just before Christmas, that dream is one step closer thanks to funding from the EIC Accelerator."
EIC Accelerator is a program of the European Innovation Council (EIC) that supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spin-offs, to develop and scale breakthrough innovations.
EIC Acceleration selected 78 innovative companies from among 1,092 startups and SMEs, of which 240 were interviewed by a panel of experienced investors and entrepreneurs. The selected companies will together receive close to €470 millions of funding in a combination of grants and equity investments. The program covers a geographical distribution of 17 countries and is characterized by the fact that 15% of companies are headed by women.
Gate2Brain is a spin-off of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute (SJD). Created in July 2020, thanks to the financial boost received from the Fundación Botín -through the Mind the Gap program-, Banco de Sabadell -through BStartup Health, and "la Caixa" Foundation -through CaixaResearch Consolidate-, and later the NEOTEC Program of the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI).
About IRB Barcelona
The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to offer pioneering solutions to unresolved medical needs in cancer and other diseases related to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).