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Pharmaceutical start-up SOM Biotech is moving forward successfully towards a product portfolio with a new international patent. The company submitted their third patent application at the end of October, which protects the use of the product SOM0226 to treat transthyretin-related amyloidosis.

SOM0226 is a repositioned drug previously authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other medical uses. “As a repositioned product the costs and risks associated with the development of this new indication are significantly reduced,” explains the company’s CEO Dr. Raúl Insa.

Transthyretin-related amyloidosis (ATTR), also known as Corino de Andrade’s disease, is a debilitating rare disease with a severe prognostic, which affects the peripheral nervous system and is passed genetically from parents to children. The disease begins when the liver produces an abnormal protein, transthyretin, which is deposited in amyloid fibers mainly in the nervous system and over time leads to sensory, motor and autonomic neuropathy.

Treatment of this disease must be multidisciplinary, involving a neurologist, a geneticist, a cardiologist and a liver surgeon. Liver transplant is currently the only known treatment to prevent and/or slow the progression of this disease in the early stages. At this time, there are no drugs available to treat or prevent this orphan disease.

Depending on preclinical results, SOM Biotech expects to patent two products before the end of the year: SOM0777 to treat glioblastoma and SOM0606 to treat psoriasis. "We are moving forward satisfactorily according to our business plan,” explained Raúl Insa. "Our highly qualified team, in conjunction with the international experts on our scientific advisory board, allows us to continue exploring new opportunities and to ensure a global and robust intellectual property portfolio in record time.”

Opportunities at the 2011 Healthcare Barcelona Investment Forum

SOM Biotech was one of the companies that presented their business project at the fifth Healthcare Barcelona Investment Forum in 2011. This forum is held by the Medical Association of Barcelona, Keiretsu Forum, Barcelona Activa and Biocat. "This opportunity is part of a new round of funding to increase capital initiated by the company valued at €700,000, which aims to move forward in developing projects in order to obtain our first licenses. So far, half of this round of funding has been covered through private investment," explained Insa.  

Founded in December 2009, SOM Biotech is located in the Barcelona Science Park (BSP) bioincubator.

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