On September 15, 2023, it was announced the granting of public aid to public-private collaboration projects, of the state program to promote scientific-technical research and its transfer to the productive sector, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan. In this call, the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas (CSIC) participates in four of the selected projects, for the execution of which it will receive funding of 875.500 euros.
The objective of this call is to support experimental development projects in cooperation between companies and research organizations, in order to promote the development of new technologies, the business application of new ideas and techniques, and to contribute to the creation of new products and services.
The four selected projects, led by researchers from the CIB departments of Molecular Biomedicine and Structural and Chemical Biology, were:
- Bioengineering of induced pluripotent stem cells for advanced immunotherapy for fungal infections (EPIFIN, Daniel Bachiller)
In collaboration with the Banc de Sang i Teixits, a public company of the Health Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the project aims to develop a treatment for fungal diseases based on immunotherapy. Fungal diseases can be extremely serious, especially for people with compromised immune systems, causing more than 2 million deaths annually. The new therapy under development is based on two CSIC patents and uses macrophages and NK cells derived from immunocompatible human iPS cells. These cells are endowed with a battery of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) capable of recognizing the main pathogenic fungi.
- Toward a complete simulation environment for complement-associated pathologies: Physiology-inspired pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, digital twins, and artificial intelligence-assisted digital pathology (TwinKidz, Cristina Vega)
The TwinKidz project aims to extend C-model, a physiology-inspired PK/PD simulation system developed by Dr. M. Cristina Vega's group and the biopharmaceutical company Abvance and designed to quantitatively understand the evolution of the complement system in health and disease. In collaboration with the Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica del Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, it aims to integrate the C-model into clinical practice in the two main medical areas for the complement system, hematological pathologies, and renal pathologies, with the capacity to assist in the diagnosis, therapy and follow-up of patients, enabled by artificial intelligence.
- Development of MP004 as an innovative treatment for retinitis pigmentosa and other retinal diseases: efficacy and toxicology study, validation of the mechanism of action and development plan of preclinical regulatory activities (Enrique J. de la Rosa and Catalina Hernández)
The group led by Drs. Enrique J. de la Rosa and Catalina Hernández-Sánchez participates together with groups from the University of the Basque Country, the University of Barcelona, the Foundation for the Management of Biomedical Research of Cadiz and the company Miramoon Pharma in the development of an innovative treatment for retinitis pigmentosa and other retinal diseases. Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare disease of genetic origin, neither preventable nor curable to date. It evolves inexorably towards blindness, causing great personal and family suffering, as well as a major economic impact on social protection systems.
This project will use the fruit of Argania spinosa to develop a novel group of functional extracts that can be marketed and provide important benefits in the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, and colon cancer. The project is led by the companies Cellbitec, S.L. and Agrointec, S.L. and involves two research groups from the University of Granada and two others from the CIB-CSIC with expertise in nutrition, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and plant micropropagation.