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Four companies at PCB get €300,000 for new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

Intelligent Pharma, Neurotec Pharma, PaloBiofarma and SOM Biotech, joined in a consortium since 2010, will carry out research in two lines: designing new active ingredients and repositioning drugs already on the market.

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30.10.2012

By Biocat

The BioCloud Research consortium —an Economic Interest Group (EIG) made up of the companies Intelligent Pharma, Neurotec Pharma, Palo Biofarma and SOM Biotech, all of which are located in the Barcelona Science Park (PCB)— has received €300,000 to discover treatments for neurodegenerative diseases using new cheminformatics applications. The grant is from ACC1Ó's Technological Innovation Clusters program and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Through this project, with a total budget of €750,989 and a duration of two years, a new pharmaceutical screening system will be created to identify new molecules with therapeutic effects on disorders of the central nervous system, which will become candidates to treat neurodegenerative diseases with chronic brain inflammation like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

The research will be carried with two complementary approaches: designing new active ingredients and identifying and validating drugs already on the market, with one or various newly synthesized or repositioned molecules that have proven to act on this type of disorders.

The project is highly complex technologically, as it combines several disciplines ranging from chemical science, to artificial intelligence and cell and animal experiments in order to generate products that will eventually be administered to patients.

The expertise of each company

Intelligent Pharma (founded in 2007) will develop a computational chemistry technology called Prometheus, which will use evolutionary algorithms to design new drug-candidate molecules. Once the virtual screening has been done, the molecules will be synthesized by Palo Biofarma (2005). SOM Biotech (2009) will use their proprietary computational technology for drug repositioning. Finally, Neurotec Pharma (2006) will use their in vitro and in vivo models to evaluate the efficacy and preclinical safety of the newly synthesized and repositioned potential drugs generated through the computational chemistry techniques.

“There are more than 5,000 authorized drugs on the market that may be useful for another medical application. Repositioning is already a $20,000-millions market. The BioCloud initiative is an example of how various companies can create synergies to turn knowledge into value and take advantage of new drug-development methods that are lower risk in terms of time and investment,” explained Raül Insa, CEO of SOM Biotech.

More information is available on the PCB website.

Julio Castro, Marco Pugliese, Raül Insa and Ignasi Belda (from left to right) in front of the Barcelona Science Park.

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