The biotech company Omnia Molecular shared by IRB Barcelona, opens its new facilities in the Barcelona Science Park.
The advantage that Omnia Molecular offers over other companies working in this field is the use of sophisticated cell culture techniques that speed up and also cut the cost of the traditional process of drug development. “Experimental strategies used for drug development have evolved very little in recent years. This is why the technology that we have produced provide an important added value for pharmaceutical enterprises”, explains the director and founder of the company, Lluís Ribas de Pouplana, ICREA research professor at IRB Barcelona where he heads the Gene Translation Laboratory. In fact, the resistance that many antibiotics produce has led to the reawakening of this field of research in the pharmaceutical industry.
Omnia Molecular receives an investment of 600.000€ from the Caixa Capital Risk Programme
The company, which has just received an investment of 600,000 euros from the Caixa Capital Risk Programme of “la Caixa” and the CDTI, has announced that it has started up a research line to develop new drugs to more effectively treat Helicobacter pylori infection. This microorganism is found in the digestive system of almost 50% of the world population and is associated with several diseases, such as chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer (gastric and duodenal), and the development of stomach cancer (gastric lymphomas and adenocarcinomas). The current treatment used to fight this infection is complicated as it involves combined administration of several types of drugs. Furthermore, treatment is not always effective and can produce secondary effects and drug resistance. In Spain, it is estimated that Helicobacter pylori infection affects a considerable proportion of the adult population (30%), although these individuals do not always show symptoms.
The company is also investigating new compounds for the treatment of bacterial meningitis and aspergillosis, a condition caused by a fungus and associated with the infection produced by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS. Other diseases that could be treated with the new compounds developed by Omnia Molecular are tuberculosis, candidiasis and toxoplasmosis.
Omnia Molecular is a spin-off from the he Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), the Barcelona Science Park and the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (acronym ICREA in Catalan). The company was founded in 2005 by the researcher Lluís Ribas de Pouplana, and currently forms part of the PCB-Santander Bioincubator, a project that seeks to boost the development of technology-based enterprises.