June 30th 2020 - Press notes

Two projects involving the IMIM selected in the Spanish Innovation Agency's Challenge-Collaboration call

Two projects involving the IMIM selected in the Spanish Innovation Agency's Challenge-Collaboration call

The successful projects are "Obtaining antioxidant active substances from the carob pod and validating their therapeutic potential", which involves the company Euronutra, the IBIMA (Malaga Biomedical Research Institute), the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), and the CRG (Centre for Genomic Regulation); and the project "Development of a new therapy for Fragile X syndrome", in which the company Connecta Therapeutics, the IMIM, and the CRG are participating.

The Spanish Innovation Agency call for these grants is part of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020. The goal is to finance cooperative projects between companies and research bodies in order to carry out joint R&D projects that are close to the market and that, due to their subject matter, are aligned with the priorities established in the challenges of the State R&D Programme Oriented to the Challenges of Society. This year's call has a budget of 260 million euros and one of the requirements is that the coordinator applying for the grant must be a company.

The project "Obtaining antioxidant active substances from the carob pod and validating their therapeutic potential" will combine the technological development of an organic solvent-free process for extracting active ingredients from the carob pod together with proof of concept of the efficacy of these active ingredients for chronic pathologies and the bioavailability of the active ingredients in animal models. The IMIM will analyse the composition and activity of the concentrate of the soluble fraction of antioxidants in the carob pod, as well as determine the bioavailability of the polyphenol extracts in animal models in single and repeated doses and their antioxidant capacity both in vivo and ex vivo. The total budget of the project is €2,203,233.48, distributed, according to the various activities, between the company and the IBIMA, IMIM and CRG.

The project "Development of a new therapy for Fragile X syndrome" will explore the mechanism of action, the scaling up, and the formulation of the drug from the molecule JRP655, a new first-in-class chemical molecule from the company Connecta Therapeutics capable of modulating neuroplasticity by addressing the physiopathological origin of Fragile X syndrome. All the necessary preclinical toxicology studies will also be conducted. The IMIM will be in charge of carrying out the Phase I clinical trials (single dose and repeated ascending doses), while the pharmacology studies will be carried out by the CRG. The total budget for the project is €1,759,853.67 euros, distributed according to the different activities between the company, the IMIM, and the CRG.

The objectives of this call include:

  1. To fund experimental development projects involving cooperation between companies and research organisations, in order to promote the development of new technologies, the commercial application of new ideas and techniques, and to contribute to the creation of new products and services.
  2. To boost the incorporation of scientific-technical knowledge and results that allow the validation and pre-competitive development of new technologies, products and services, establishing a context that stimulates, in accordance with the priorities established in the challenges, the generation of an interdisciplinary critical mass in R&D&I that enables the application, transfer, search for solutions and generation of results both in the technological and innovation trajectories of companies and the market.
  3. To mobilise private investment, generate employment and improve the country's technological balance, as well as strengthen the international leadership capacity of the Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation System and its agents, contributing to improving the competitiveness of the business sector.

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