The Banc Sabadell Foundation and IRB Barcelona have signed a collaboration agreement and announced their intention to join forces to fight cancer.
Through this agreement, the Banc Sabadell Foundation renews its commitment to the Metastasis Challenge, the call for citizen mobilisation launched by IRB Barcelona to raise social awareness of the need to promote research to stop the metastasis of different types of cancer and to stop this serious disease from killing. Metastasis is currently responsible for 90% of cancer deaths.
At the scientific level, stopping metastasis is an extremely complex challenge. It is for this reason that, since its creation, IRB Barcelona has made the fight against cancer one of its great scientific challenges. In this regard, it promotes different lines of research that, from a multidisciplinary approach, advance in parallel to unravel the process of metastasis and find therapeutic solutions. To accelerate these lines of research and open new ones, the Metastasis Challenge aims to raise €5M in private donations.
The scientific ambition of this great challenge is fully coherent with the long-standing commitment of the Banc Sabadell Foundation to supporting biomedical research of excellence through projects such as the Banc Sabadell Foundation Award for Biomedical Research.
The formalisation of this strategic alliance took place during an institutional visit of the management team of the Banc Sabadell Foundation to our research centre.
Mr. Miquel Molins, President of the Foundation, Ms. Sonia Mulero, Director and Ms. Helena Roca, Director of Communication, were received by the Director of IRB Barcelona, Dr. Francesc Posas, and visited three of the leading laboratories currently working on metastasis. There, they received detailed explanations from Dr. Manuel Serrano (Group Leader of the Cellular Plasticity and Disease Laboratory), Dr. Salvador Aznar (Group Leader of the Stem Cells and Cancer Laboratory) and Dr. Eduard Batlle (Group Leader of the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory and Head of the Cancer Biology Programme at IRB Barcelona), who stated that "90% of deaths from cancer are caused by metastasis. This is a very serious and urgent problem for which no treatment is available. This is why we have launched the Metastasis Challenge, through which we are driving various lines of research to identify new therapies able to solve this problem."
All three Group Leaders have received the Banc Sabadell Foundation Award for Biomedical Research in the past.
In the second part of the visit, the directors of the two organisations shared future action plans and proceeded to sign the collaboration agreement for 2021. Mr. Miquel Molins stated: "I am convinced that any investment made in this centre will result in a substantial improvement not only in scientific knowledge but also in clinical practice. And I hope that IRB Barcelona continues the excellent work that it has been doing for many years." On the other hand, Dr. Francesc Posas thanked the foundation with these words: "I would like to thank the Banc Sabadell Foundation for joining the Metastasis Challenge and for its commitment to supporting biomedical research commitment against cancer."
The signing of this agreement concluded with the presentation of a gift to the Banc Sabadell Foundation in acknowledgement of its commitment to research and the fight against cancer.
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).