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By Biocat

GlaxoSmithKline’s Open Lab Tres Cantos Foundation will fund a project to identify new tuberculosis treatments with Omnia Molecular. More specifically, the research will focus on finding compounds effective against pathogens resistant to existing therapies (MDR-TB). Thus, for one year, a scientist from this Catalan biotech firm will work at the GSK R&D center in Tres Cantos (Madrid), forming part of their drug-discovery team and taking advantages of the pharmaceutical company’s resources and facilities.

Omnia will screen the GlaxoSmithKline compounds using their patented technology platform. "This collaboration will be an important validation of Omnia’s technology, which has the potential to dramatically reduce development timelines for novel TB treatments by optimizing and de-risking drug candidates in the pre-clinical phase of development", explained Dr. Lluís Ribas, founder and CSO of Omnia Molecular. Ribas has more than 18 years of experience as a research in the field of aminoacyl tRNA synthetase, part of which was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1993-97) and the Scripps Research Institute (1997-2003).

According to Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, trustee and chair of the governing board of the Open Lab Tres Cantos Foundation and vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, "Tuberculosis remains a global scourge which requires concerted effort to develop effective medications. Through this interaction we hope that harnessing complementary technologies will accelerate the process of discovery and drug optimization".

Omnia’s innovative technology

Omnia Molecular designs and develops novel anti-infectives targeted at difficult-to-treat infections in hospitals, in particular those caused by pathogens that have developed a resistance to existing antibiotics. Omnia's business model is to co-develop with pharma industry partners and out-license pre-clinical candidates after proof of efficacy in animal infection models.

Candidate compounds are synthesized and optimized using a proprietary biotechnology platform that measures drug effect on the target infectious agent in human cells The competitive advantage of this biotechnology firm based in the Barcelona Science Park is to shorten development timelines and reduce risk in the later stages of development. The platform can be applied to a broad spectrum of pathogens including MRSA, pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Helicobacter, Acinetobacter, Mycoplasma, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, fungal agents and parasites like Plasmodium falciparum (malaria).

With the Catalan delegation to BIO Boston 2012

Omnia is one of the 72 companies and research organizations that are travelling with the Catalan delegation, coordinated by Biocat, to the BIO Boston 2012 convention, from 18 to 21 June.

Related news: GlaxoSmithKline’s Open Lab opens doors to scientists (15/12/2011)

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