“La Vanguardia”, together with other national and international media outlets, has published a news story about “Spark”, a project launched by a public-private consortium led by Iproteos, an IRB Barcelona and UB spin-off located at PCB. IRB Barcelona, CRG, the University of the Bask Country, and the biopharmaceutical company Ascil-Biopharma are also involved in the project.
The aim of Spark is to carry out the first preclinical stage of the development of a first-in-class drug to prevent, stop and reverse the progression of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia.
The Wall Street International Magazine has published in an article on the development of compounds with therapeutic purposes capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from infection. The article highlights recent projects led by Ernest Giralt, group leader of the Peptide and Protein Laboratory at IRB Barcelona and co-founder of the spin-off Iproteos, and includes many statements from the researcher.
Read the article in the Wall Street International Magazine (in Spanish)
The goal of «Spark» is to carry out the first preclinical stage of the development of a first-in-class drug that will prevent, stop and reverse the progression of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia and other mental disorders, and to be able to start first-in-humans trials by 2016
The project, which has just won a 500,000 euro endorsement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and FEDER funds through the “Retos-Colaboración” (Challenges-Collaboration) subprogram- will be developed by a consortium led by the biotech Iproteos -located at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona- and comprised by the company Ascil-Biopharm, IRB Barcelona, the Centre for Genomic Regulation and the University of the Basque Country
Currently there is no drug targetting the cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, the third most disabling disease even above paraplegia and blindness- according to the WHO and that affects about 24 million people worldwide. It is also the fifth disease with a higher annual cost to society, with more than 35,000 million euros cost only in the Europe Union
Researchers in Barcelona discover more potential candidates on the route to tailored, photo-switchable therapies by disproving design limitation
Radio 5 (RNE) interviews Meritxell Teixidó, associate researcher in the Peptide and Protein Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, about the line of investigation on substances capable of crossing the hematoencephalic barrier —a structure that protects the brain from infection. Teixidó talks about a new peptide that they have produced based on apamine, a peptide present in bee venom. This finding would allow the design of new drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system. Another project related to these peptides is the treatment of glioblastoma, a joint project conducted with Joan Seoane, researcher at the “Hospital Vall d’Hebron” Oncology Institute (VHIO).
Listen to the interview...
The project, led by Natàlia Carulla, has been awarded funds from “La Marató de TV3” initiative held in 2013.
The project, which will be undertaken over three years, aims to verify a new therapeutic target to fight Alzheimer’s.
“La Sexta Columna” television programme has broadcasted a report about the initiative taken by families with relatives that suffer from Friedreich’s Ataxia, a rare illness with no cure. Joined in an association called Genefa, these families raised the funds necessary to launch a research project – involving IRB Barcelona - to find a treatment.
The programme featured Juan Carlos Baiges, head of the association, Meritxell Teixidó, partner researcher in the Peptide and Protein Laboratory at IRB Barcelona, and Javier López Nido, researcher at the Severo Ochoa Centre of Molecular Biology in Madrid, with whom Teixidó works in coordination to carry the project forward.
Interview with Teresa Tarragó, co-founder together with Ernest Giralt of the spin-off Iproteos, about the discovery of new drugs for diseases that affect the central nervous system.
Tarragó explains the scope for biotech business opportunities is very big. "The projects have great potential but require a lot of funding. During the valorisation, spin-offs need more support, " says Tarragó. The IRB Barcelona researchers states that in Catalonia there are lots of good ideas but that "if we want more technology transfer we will have to make it carry greater weight when evaluating a researcher’s scientific production."
Extensive article published in Sunday’s issue of ARA on the research line developed by Meritxell Teixidó in Ernest Giralt’s lab to extract natural poison from bees, scorpions and spiders, which provides peptides able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Many drugs cannot enter the brain because of this barrier, which serves to protect this organ against infections. Several projects at IRB Barcelona seek to find and modify natural peptide venoms that have the capacity to cross this barrier without damaging it, in order to use them as drug transporters into the brain.
Extensive report on three "crowdfunding" initiatives, among them one led by
the company Iproteos, co-funded by researchers at IRB Barcelona.