Skip to main content


Capturing innovation where it is generated, mainly that which offers possibilities of change in the current approach to treating a disease. Dr. José Carlos Gutiérrez Ramos, senior vice-president and head of Biotherapeutic R&D at Pfizer, recently traveled from the United States to Europe in order to learn more about the programs being carried out by some of the research institutions and companies on the continent. Gutiérrez Ramos was invited by Biocat —as the organization that promotes the biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology sector in Catalonia— with collaboration from ACC1Ó.

"The idea is to sit down with representative from enterprise and academia to find out what is being done,” explained Gutiérrez Ramos. With this information, the American multinational company will study which collaboration agreements to establish in order to accelerate research into innovative molecules from discovery through clinical research. According to this Pfizer executive, “bringing together public academic institutions and private organizations plays an important role in promoting new molecules from the laboratory into the clinic, and this makes the transformation from basic research to innovative therapeutic options that can benefit patients more agile.”

José Carlos Guitérrez Ramos: “We will have two new Centers for Therapeutic Innovation in Europe, one in the North and the other in the Mediterranean area”

His visit also served to assess the possibility of establishing new Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI). “We will have at least two new CTIs in Europe –one in the North and the other in the Mediterranean area—, and Spain has a long history in experimental medicine.” This American multinational already has three CTIs in the USA (Boston, New York and California), which work closely with leading academic institutions like the Harvard, Mount Sinai and Albert Einstein schools of medicine, Rockefeller University, Columbia University, the University of California and Boston University. These centers are an innovative model for R&D collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and universities, which aims to optimize R&D time and efforts in order to put new therapies on the market more effectively.

Additionally, on 14 and 15 November, Dr. Maria Flocco, head of Strategic Research Alliances at Pfizer in Canterbury (United Kingdom), held meetings with 23 Catalan companies, organizations and research groups. This group of companies and organizations was selected previously in line with Pfizer’s interests with guidance from Biocat. After the meetings, which were held at Biocat’s Barcelona headquarters, Nerea Alonso, project director in Biocat’s Innovation Department explained, “Dr. Flocco’s visit aroused great interest and a number of the businesspeople expressed their satisfaction with this internationalization action driven by Biocat.”

After her visit to Barcelona, Dr. Flocco gave a keynote speech at the second meeting on technology transfer Research to Business in Health Sciences and Technologies, organized under the framework of the Interbio European cooperation project — of which Biocat is a member— in Valencia.

Sign up for our newsletters

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and trends in the BioRegion.