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XNA-HUB, platform to boost therapeutic modified oligonucleotides

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  • The project to create the XNA-HUB platform receives a significant boost thanks to PERTE funding. The platform will design therapeutic molecules based on modified nucleic acids using supercomputing techniques and predictive AI models.
  • These compounds are one of the most promising pharmacological strategies, tailor-made for diseases such as Alzheimer's, various types of cancer, or multiple sclerosis.
     

The creation of the XNA-HUB platform involves a multidisciplinary consortium composed of the company Nostrum Biodiscovery, a joint spin-off of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and the IRB Barcelona; the Nucleic Acid Chemistry group of the del Instituto de Química Avanzada de Cataluña (IQAC-CSIC); the Nucleic Acid NMR Spectroscopy group of the Instituto de Química Física Blas Cabrera (IQF–CSIC); and the Molecular Modeling and Bioinformatics group of the IRB Barcelona.

The objective is the development of innovative therapies based on chemically modified oligonucleotides (XNA, "Xeno Nucleic Acid") to enhance their properties for drug development targeting various chronic and oncological diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and various types of cancer. All partners specialize in different areas involved in the drug development cycle based on oligonucleotides. This platform also aims to position Spain as a leader in the field of nucleic acids and provide valuable technological resources for the country's growth.

The project has been selected to receive funding as one of the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE), which will be a significant boost to its development.

Modified nucleic acids are one of the most promising pharmacological strategies at the moment. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have approved around 20 therapies based on nucleic acids. The market volume for these therapies is expected to grow at an annual rate of 13.35% until 2027, with estimated revenues of $3.9 million, according to industry sources.

 

More information at the R+D e-magazine from CSIC.
 

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).