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News U1

A CXCR4-targeted nanocarrier achieves highly selective tumor uptake in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma mouse models

Researchers of NANBIOSIS Unit 1 and NANBIOSIS Unit 18,  led by Ramón Mangues, have published the article titled CXCR4-targeted nanocarrier achieves highly selective tumor uptake in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma mouse models .

One-third of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients are refractory to initial treatment or relapse after rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone chemotherapy. In these patients, CXCR4 overexpression (CXCR4+) associates with lower overall and disease-free survival. Nanomedicine pursues active targeting to selectively deliver antitumor agents to cancer cells, a novel approach that promises to revolutionize therapy by dramatically increasing drug concentration in target tumor cells. In the study carried out at NANBIOSIS ICTS the resarchers intravenously administered a liganded protein nanocarrier (T22-GFP-H6) targeting CXCR4+ lymphoma cells in mouse models to assess its selectivity as a nanocarrier, by measuring its tissue biodistribution in cancer and normal cells. No previous protein-based nanocarrier has been described to specifically target lymphoma cells. T22-GFP-H6 achieved a highly selective tumor uptake in a CXCR4+ lymphoma subcutaneous model, as detected by fluorescent emission. We demonstrated that tumor uptake was CXCR4- dependent because pretreatment with AMD3100, a CXCR4 antagonist, significantly reduced tumor uptake. Moreover, in contrast to CXCR4+ subcutaneous models, CXCR4- tumors did not accumulate the nanocarrier. Most importantly, after intravenous injection in a disseminated model, the nanocarrier accumulated and internalized in all clinically relevant organs affected by lymphoma cells, with negligible distribution to unaffected tissues. Finally, the researchers obtained antitumor effect without toxicity in a CXCR4+ lymphoma model by T22-DITOX-H6 administration, a nanoparticle incorporating a toxin with the same structure as the nanocarrier. Hence, the use of T22-GFP-H6 nanocarrier could be a good strategy to load and deliver drugs or toxins to treat specifically CXCR4-mediated refractory or relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma without systemic toxicity.

The bioluminescent follow-up of cancer cells and nanoparticle biodistribution and toxicity studies has been performed in the ICTS NANBIOSIS, using its  unit 18 of Nanotechnology of CIBER-BBN and Hospital Sant Pau The Protein production has been partially performed by the Protein Production Platform (PPP) Unit 1 of ICTS NANBIOSIS of CIBER-BBN and IBB-UAB.

Article of reference:

Aïda Falgàs, Victor Pallarès, Ugutz Unzueta, María Virtudes Céspedes, Irene Arroyo-Solera, María José Moreno, Alberto Gallardo, María Antonia Mangues, Jorge Sierra, Antonio Villaverde, Esther Vázquez, Ramon Mangues, and Isolda Casanova.  A CXCR4-targeted nanocarrier achieves highly selective tumor uptake in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma mouse models. Haematologica 2019


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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment with protein nanoparticles

A study result of collaboration between researchers of two NANBIOSIS units managed to produce a potent antitumor effect in an animal model with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

A non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL is a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system.
Lymphoma. NHL is a term that’s used for many different types of lymphoma that share some characteristics.  The most prevalent type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (LDCGB). Although there are treatments for this pathology, there are non-responders.

This nanoparticle can be developed as a nanopharmaceutical, in order to introduce a new treatment, which could be used in 40 percent of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who do not respond to current therapy, and avoiding the adverse effects associated with conventional treatment.

The research conducted by the CIBER-BBN at the Hospital de Sant Pau, led by Ramón Mangues (Nanbiosis U18 Nanotoxicology Unit) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, led by Antoni Villaverde Nanbiosis U1 Protein Production Platform (PPP) has demonstrated the high selectivity of a protein-based nanomedicine and created by the researchers themselves, for the targeted delivery of a toxin in the tumor cells to induce their selective death. The objective is that these nanoparticles can be developed as a nanopharmaceutical, which could be used in 40 percent of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who do not respond to current therapy, avoiding the adverse effects associated with conventional treatment

This selective effect of the nanopharmaceutical is due to the specific interaction between a targeting peptide that contains the protein nanoparticle that carries the toxin and the CXCR4 cell receptor that is highly overexpressed in lymphoma cells. This is the first time that the uptake of protein nanoparticles in different organs of a hematological neoplasm is quantified.

This observation has shown that 86 percent of the administered dose accumulates in cancer cells, a substantial improvement compared to other non-protein nanoparticles or other drug targeting systems such as drug-antibody conjugates, which only reach 1 percent of the dose in the tumor.

As Ramón Mangues, Scientific Director of Nanbiosis U18 Nanotoxicology Unit, explains, “the new protein nanoparticle contains a ligand that identifies a CXCR4 receptor on the surface of cancer cells in which it enters selectively, reaching a very high uptake of the tumor and very low in the rest of the body, which greatly exceeds the tumor uptake of drugs used for this type of lymphoma.”

The bioluminescent follow-up of cancer cells and nanoparticle biodistribution and toxicity studies has been performed in the ICTS NANBIOSIS Nanotoxicology Unit Protein production has been partially performed by the ICTS “NANBIOSIS”, more specifically by the Unit of Protein Production Platform.

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NANBIOSIS U1 PPP will take a critical role in one of the projects selected by La Marató TV3 to fight against cancer

Selectively humanized nanomedicines aimed at killing CXCR4 + tumor cells for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia”  is one of the Project awarded by La Marató TV3 Foundation and is participated by Dr. Antonio Villaverde, Estrategic of NANBIOSIS U1 Protein Production Platform (PPP)

The main objective of the project is the design and validation of humanized protein nanoparticles for the targeted delivery of antitumoral drugs for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. This will be done by the generation of protein-based nanoconjugates that will be targeted to the cytokine receptor CXCR4, overexpressed in this human neoplasia. The drugs will consist in a protein part, that will ofer nanoscale size, stability and CXCR4-targeting, and a small molecular weight chemical that will perform the cytotoxic effect over tumoral cells. The Protein Production Platform (U1 of NANBIOSIS), will have a critical role in the design and production of the protein amounts required for the in vivo experiments, that will be performed at the Institut de Recerca of Sant Pau Hospital.

In the 2018 La Marató TV3 edition, dedicated to cancer, 192 projects were presented, which were evaluated by 149 international scientists specialized in this field based on their quality, methodology and relevance. The management of the evaluation was carried out by the Health and Quality Assessment Agency of Catalonia, from the Department of Health. In accordance with the proposal of the Scientific Advisory Commission of the La Marató de TV3 Foundation, the Board agreed to distribute 13,149,870.76€ among the 43 scientific research projects.

The Project “Selectively humanized nanomedicines aimed at killing CXCR4 + tumor cells for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia“. Will be developed by the research groups led by:

  • Dr. Jordi Sierra GilHospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau – IRHSCSP Institut de Recerca Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
  • Dr. Antonio Villaverde CorralesFacultat de Medicina – UAB Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Dra. Lourdes Farré Vallvé Institut Català d’Oncologia – IDIBELL Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge

Financing: 399.178,75 €

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Targeting antitumoral proteins to breast cancer by local administration of functional inclusion bodies

Three units of NANBIOSIS have collaborated in obtaining the research results published in the article “Targeting Antitumoral Proteins to Breast Cancer by Local Administration of Functional Inclusion Bodies” published by Advanced Science

Protein production and DLS have been partially performed by the Unit 1 of ICTS NANBIOSIS Protein Production Platform (PPP) and the Unit 6 NANBIOBIS Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit. Biodistribution and immunohistochemistry assays were performed at NANBIOSIS U20 In Vivo Experimental Platform/FVPR

Two structurally and functionally unrelated proteins, namely Omomyc and p31, are engineered as CD44‐targeted inclusion bodies produced in recombinant bacteria. In this unusual particulate form, both types of protein materials selectively penetrate and kill CD44+ tumor cells in culture, and upon local administration, promote destruction of tumoral tissue in orthotropic mouse models of human breast cancer. These findings support the concept of bacterial inclusion bodies as versatile protein materials suitable for application in chronic diseases that, like cancer, can benefit from a local slow release of therapeutic proteins.

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The Autonomous University of Barcelona, in the elite of the 300 best universities in the world

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), known as Shanghai Ranking, which was made public on August 15, places the Autonomous University of Barcelona among the elite of the 300 best universities in the world.

This indicator organizes up to 20,000 university centers worldwide,
based on transparent methodology and objective third-party data. ARWU is regarded as one of the three most influential and widely observed university rankings

The Autonomous University of Barcelona houses two of NANBIOSIS Units:

U1 Protein Production Platform (PPP), led by Toni Villaverde, Neus Ferrer and Paolo Saccardo, offer an “tailored” service for the design, production and purification of recombinant proteins using both prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems

U25 NMR: Biomedical Applications I, led by Carles Arús and Ana Paula Candiota, with a recognized research track record in the use of NMR as a tool for biomedical applications, and more especifically to identify biomarkers of different pathologies, the main objective of this unit is the acquisition, processing and/or interpretation of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance data

Here you can check the results of the University of Zaragoza in this year’s Shanghai Ranking:

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The first Nanocomposite that slows the spread of colon cancer

The creation of a nanodrug capable of blocking the spread of the disease, which is known as metastasis, has been highlighted by Guia Medica, as a heavy blow struck against to colon cancer, the malignant tumor with the highest incidence in our country, a process that affects 40% of the million cases of this type of cancer that are diagnosed every year in the world, and that represents the main cause of death.

The research, jointly carried out by scientists from the IIB Sant Pau, Sant Pau Hospital, the UAB, CSIC and CIBER-BBN, led by Esther Vázquez and Antonio Villaverde, Strategy Director of NANBIOSIS U1. Protein Production Platform (PPP) in the IBB-UAB and Ramon Mangues, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U18. Nanotoxicology Unit in the Sant Pau Hospital, were published in the scientific journal EMBO Molecular Medicine ando pen a new way to prevent metastasis in colorectal cancer in humans, using a nanomedicine that selectively eliminates metastatic stem cells.

NANBIOSIS Unit 18 of Nanotoxicology has been involved in the study of the biodistribution and the antimetastatic effect and on normal organs of the nanoconjugate administered and the unit and Unit 1 PPP, has contributed to the production of the protein part of the nanoconjugate.

The new drug works like a drone that identifies a receptor (CXCR4) in metastatic stem cells. Once localized, it administers the drug and destroys it, blocking the metastasis, according to research sources. By acting only on metastatic tumor cells, the new nanodrug avoids the general toxicity associated with the usual treatments against cancer and preserves healthy cells. Although up to now it has been successfully tested in animals suffering from colorectal cancer, the researchers who have carried out the trial believe that it could be used in 20 types of additional tumors, which also express CXCR4, as in prostate, breast, ovarian and other tumors.

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NANBIOSIS Scientific Women in the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to raise awareness of the gender gap in science and technology.

According to the United Nations, while yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science, science and gender equality are vital to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Thus, in recent years, the international community has made a great effort to inspire and promote the participation of women and girls in science.

NANBIOSIS wants to acknowledge  the efforts made by scientific women who struggle every day to contribute their bit to Science and highlight their essential role in nowadays research. Especially we want to recognize the work of scientists women involved in our units, whatever is the nature of their contribution: technical, scientific development, management, coordination, direction, etc; just to mention some examples:
Neus Ferrer in the Scientific Direction of Unit 1 Protein Production Platform (PPP)
Pilar Marco and Nuria Pascual in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) 
Miriam Royo in the Scientific Direction of U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit
Laura Lechuga and M.Carmen Estevez in the Direction and Scientific Coordination of U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit
Nora Ventosa and Nathaly Segovia in the Scientific Direction and Technical Coordination of U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit
Isabel Oliveira and Teresa Galán in the Coordination of U7 Nanotecnology Unit
Rosa Villa and Gemma Gabriel in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U8 Micro – Nano Technology Unit
Gema Martínez in the Scientific Coordination of U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit
Fany Peña in the Scientific Coordination of U13 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Mª Luisa González Martín in the of Direction and Scientific Coordination of U16 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Gemma Pascual and Isabel Trabado in the Coordination of the U17 Confocal Microscopy Service
Mª Virtudes Céspedes in the Scientific Coordination of U18 Nanotoxicology Unit
Beatriz Moreno in the Scientific Direction of Unit 19 Clinical tests lab
Ibane Abásolo in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 20 In Vivo Experimental Platformt
Verónica Crisóstomo in the Scientific Direction of Unit 24 Medical Imaging 
Ana Paula Candiota in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 25 Biomedical Applications I 
Maria Luisa García in the Scientific Direction of U28 NanoImaging Unit from Bionand, recently incorporated to NANBIOSIS

Thanks to all of you and your teams!

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NANBIOSIS Against Cancer

The World Health Organization, the International Cancer Research Center (IARC) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) celebrate February 4 of each year as World Cancer Day

Every year, 14 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide and the disease causes 8.2 million deaths.

Thanks to scientific research, great advances have been made in the fight against cancer. Through surgery, chemotherapy or radio therapy and, in the last 20 years, through immunotherapy, hormonal treatment or cell therapies, tools have been obtained to improve early diagnosis and treatments, increasing cancer survival by 20%.

The only way to understand cancer and, someday, eradicate it or eliminate the suffering and death due to this disease, is RESEARCH

NANBIOSIS as an ICTS (Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructures) for biomedical research plays a very important role in the fight against cancer. Some examples are bellow:

Thanks to a coordinated action between units U1 of Protein Production Platform (PPP), U18 of Nanotoxicology and U29 of Nucleic Acid Synthesis, NANBIOSIS is developing nanopharmaceuticals with a high degree of efficacy for the treatment of metastases in colon cancer, by using of proteins with high specificity of binding to metastatic cells and a high degree of permanence in the blood flow, loaded with anti-cancer drugs that are selectively released inside the tumor cells that are going to form the metastases. Through the public financing of a NEOTEC project and a RETOS-COLABORACION and the company NANOLIGENT SL, the first antimetastatic drug on the market will be developed.

The Protein Production Platform-PPP collaborates with research projects whose objective is the development of new cancer therapies based on recombinant modular proteins with the ability to self-assemble. These multimeric complexes have shown, in animal models, a high stability in serum and an improved biodistribution compared to that observed with drugs for clinical use. These principles have been valued in different types of cancer, including colorectal cancer and breast cancer. The modular design of these constructions allows the incorporation or substitution of direct peptides and therefore they are presented as a transversal tool for more effective treatments against cancer. In addition, the PPP has served the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) of Barcelona, the Josep Vilanueva group (CIBERONC) in the field of biomarker study and new targets associated with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

Unit 6 of NANBIOSIS Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit is working on a project in collaboration with VHIR, financed by the Spanish Goverment and CIBER-BBN, for the development of a new nanomedicine for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma, one of the most frequent childhood cancers.

Unit 6 is also working on the project Artificial Lymph Nodes for Cancer ImmunoTherapy (ALYCIA) A project born of a initiative of CIBER-BBN/ CIBERONC to enhance scientific interdisciplinary collaborations between research groups working on oncology and nanomedicine. Researchers of unit 6 will develop Artificial Lymph Nodes (ALN) based on dynamic 3D scaffolds able to promote efficient ex vivo lymphatic cell expansion of relevant phenotypes. Such ALN represent a new approach to lymphocyte expansion, which not only includes artificial Antigen Presenting Cells in suspension like the state-of-the-art expansion techniques, but also mimics the function of the LN ex vivo.

One of the singular capabilities of the U25 of NANBIOSIS NMR: Biomedical Applications I is the acquisition of high quality, high resolution preclinical magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy/spectroscopic imaging data. This allows performing leading-edge studies in preclinical cancer models such as noninvasive therapy response follow-up in murine brain tumours, revealing new response biomarkers with translational potential for brain cancer patients.

NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit  is currently developing the national project PREDICT Point-of-care Nanoplasmonic Platforms for Novel High-Value Diagnostics and Therapy Follow-Up , which works in the early detection of lung cancer. PREDICT project will use the Unit 4 of Nanbiosis for the multiplexed biofunctionalization of the biosensor chips and their methodology optimisation.

Finally, Unit 20 of NANBIOSIS In Vivo Experimental Platform at VHIR, is the most implicated of the CIBER units on projects in the field of cancer, just to name some of them: H2020-NoCanTher: magnetic nanoparticles against pancreatic cancer through the use of hyperthermia combined with conventional treatment. H2020-Target-4-Cancer: nanotherapy based on polymeric micelles directed against specific receptors of tumor stem cells in colorectal cancer. H2020-DiamStar: nanodiamonds directed against leukemia for the potentiation of chemotherapy. FET-OPEN EvoNano: in silico and tumor-tumor models for the prediction of PK / PD and tumor efficacy of antitumor nanomedicines against tumor stem cells. FIS-ISCIII: polymeric micelles for siRNA and combined therapy against breast cancer tumor stem cells. CarboXigel: hydrogels for the sustained release of chemotherapeutic drugs against the metastatic spread of ovarian cancer. MelanoMir: nanomedicine applied to skin cancer, melanoma, beside other projects promoted by CIBER-BBN.

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NANBIOSIS in the Posters presentation in CIBER-BBN ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018

Last 12 and 13 of November, CIBER-BBN  has celebrated its 12th Annual Conference in Hotel Felipe IV in Valladolid. In poster session participated  NANBIOSIS  itself and some of its units.

  • NANBIOSIS, Infrastructure for the Production & Characterization of Biomaterials, Nanomaterials and medical devices up to preclinical validation. Nanbiosis management team.
  • Divalent cation effects on assembly of histidine-rich protein nanoparticles. López-Laguna, U. Unzueta, O. Conchillo-Solé, A. Sánchez-Chardi, M. Pesarrodona, O. Cano-Garrido, E. Voltà, L. Sánchez-García, N. Serna, P. Saccardo, R. Mangues, A. Villaverde, E. Vázquez (NBT-UAB) (U1 -U18)
  • Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) anchored on the surface of contact lenses to prevent corneal infections. Emiliano Salvagni, Clara García, Àngels Manresa, Carlos Rodríguez, María José García-Celma, Claudia Müller-Sánchez, Manuel Reina, Jordi Esquena (QCI-CSIC) (U12)
  • Preliminary studies on ultrasound characterization of perfluorocarbon-loaded polymeric nanocapsules. Gabriela Calderó, Marie Pierre Krafft, Da Shi, María José García-Celma, Conxita Solans, Carlos Rodríguez-Abreu (QCI-CSIC) (U12)
  • Multiplexed analytical platforms based on the use of antibodies for monitoring pollutants in marine environment samples. -Pablo Salvador, Ana Sanchís, Klaudia Kooper, Andrea Miti, M.-Pilar Marco (Nb4D-IQAC-CSIC) (U2)
  • In vitrodiagnostics of neurological disorders through the immunochemical detection of kynurenine. Montserrat Rodríguez Núñez, Ana Sanchís, Lluïsa Vilaplana, Roger Galve, M.-Pilar Marco (Nb4D-IQAC-CSIC) (U2)
  • Custom Antibody Service: From the molecule to the bioassay. Núria Pascual, Ana González-Gomzález, M.-Pilar Marco (Nb4D-IQAC-CSIC) (U2)
  • Hyaluronic acid enhances insulin release of microencapsulated pancreatic progenitors differentiated from mesenchymal stem cells. Alberto Cañibano-Hernández, Laura Sáenz del Burgo, Albert Espona-Noguera, Gorka Orive, Rosa María Hernández, Jesús Ciriza, Jose Luis Pedraz (NANOBIOCEL) (U10 )
  • Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus reversal via implantation of magnetically purified microencapsulated pseudoislets. Albert Espona-Noguera, J. Etxebarria-Elezgarai, L. Saenz del Burgo, A. Cañibano-Hernández, H. Gurruchaga, Gorka Orive, Rosa M. Hernández, F. Benito-Lopez, J. Ciriza, L. Basabe-Desmonts and J.L. Pedraz (NANOBIOCEL) (U10 )
  • Unraveling the immune system participation in therapy response in GL261 glioblastoma: correlation with MRSI-based molecular imaging techniques. Calero, N. Arias-Ramos, R. Rabanal, M. Pumarola, C. Arús, A.P. Candiota (GABRMN-UAB) (U25)
  • Dual T1/T2 nanoscale coordination polymers as novel contrast agents for MRI: a preclinical study for brain tumor. Suárez-García, N. Arias-Ramos, C. Frias, A.P. Candiota, C. Arús, J. Lorenzo, D. Ruiz-Molina, F. Novio (GABRMN-UAB) (U25)
  • Impact of high glucose levels and ketoacidosis associated to diabetic complications on bacterial growth and attachment to Ti6Al4V. Miguel A. Pacha-Olivenza, María Fernández-Grajera, Daniel Romero-Guzmán, M. Luisa González-Martín (AM-UEX) (U16)
  • Preparation, characterization and bacterial performance on PLDA and PLDA 10% Mg films. Verónica Luque-Agudo, Daniel Romero-Guzmán, Coronada Fernández-Calderón, Miguel A. Pacha-Olivenza, María Fernández-Grajera, Margarita Hierro-Oliva, M. Luisa Navarro-Pérez, Ciro Pérez-Giraldo, M. Luisa González-Martín, Amparo M. Gallardo-Moreno (AM-UEX) (U16)
  • A wavelet-based approach for automatic diagnosis of strict left bundle branch block. Alba Martín-Yebra, Juan Pablo Martínez (BSICoS) (U27)
  • ECG-derived respiration in atrial fibrillation. Spyridon Kontaxis, Jesús Lázaro, Valentina D. A. Corino, Frida Sandberg, Raquel Bailón, Pablo Laguna, and Leif Sörnmo (BSICoS) (U27)
  • Development of highly metastatic, CXCR4-overexpressing, colorectal cancer models. Rita Sala, Alberto Gallardo, Ugutz Unzueta, Patricia Álamo, Carmen Cabrera, Esperanza Medina, Isolda Casanova, Irene Arroyo, Aïda Falgás, Carlos Navas, Manuel Trías, Antonio Villaverde, Esther Vázquez, Ramón Mangues, Mª Virtudes Céspedes (GOA-HSPau) (U18)
  • PATHGATE: Oligonucleotide-gated sensing nanodevices for pathogen detection. Luis Pla, Angela Ribes, M. Angeles Tormo-Mas, Javier Pemán, Félix Sancenón, Elena Aznar, Ramón Martínez-Máñez and Sara Santiago-Felipe (IQMA-IDM-UPV) (U26)
  • Towards chemical communication between abiotic nanoparticles and living systems. Beatriz de Luis, Paola Ricón, Cristina de la Torre, Antoni LLopis, Jose Gadea, Jose R. Murguía, Félix Sancenón, Ramón Martínez-Máñez, Elena Aznar (IQMA-IDM-UPV) (U26)
  • Development  and  in vitro evaluation  of  antimicrobial  polymer  coatings  for the prophylactic treatment of hernia repair materials. Bárbara Pérez-Köhler, Selma Benito, Mar Fernández-Gutiérrez, Gemma Pascual, Marta Rodríguez, Verónica Gómez-Gil, Francisca García-Moreno, Julio San Román, Juan Manuel Bellón (GITBIT-UAH) (U17)
  • Experimental study of the application of a new bone cement loaded with broad spectrum antibiotics for the treatment of bone infection. Joaquín García, Galo Azuara, Blanca Ibarra, Miguel A. Ortega, Ángel Asúnsolo, Blanca Vázquez, Julio San Román, Julia Buján, Basilio De la Torre, Natalio García-Honduvilla (GITBIT-UAH) (U17)
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A new pathway for the prevention of metastasis in colorectal cancer in humans is open: a nanomedicine that selectively eliminates metastatic stem cells

Researchers of NANBIOSIS U18  Nanotoxicology Unit and U1. Protein Production Platform (PPP) at the Biomedical Research Institute of Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), of the Hospital of Santa Creu i Sant Pau, of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Superior Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Center for Biomedical Research in Network (CIBER) have published an article in one of the most prestigious international scientific journals in the field of Molecular Medicine, EMBO Molecular Medicine. This article demonstrates the efficacy of the  nanopharmaceutical  that selectively removes metastatic stem cells in animal models of colon cancer. The new drug works like a drone that has a ligand that identifies a receptor (CXCR4) in the metastatic stem cells, administers the drug and destroys these cells by blocking the metastasis.  The drug acts only on metastatic tumor cells and not on healthy cells, so it avoids the general toxicity associated with the usual treatments

This nanopharmaceutical has been successfully tested in animal models of colorectal cancer, but could be used in 20 additional tumor types that express CXCR4,
as in those of prostate, breast, ovary and others

This is the first drug in the world selectively antimetastatic that addresses the medical need to block metastatic spread, the main cause of death in cancer patients, while eliminating the toxicity and adverse effects of conventional treatments

The Hospital de Sant Pau could be the first center in the world to carry out clinical trials that evaluate this new drug in patients, prior to its possible introduction in clinical therapeutics

It has been observed that this receptor is overexpressed in at least 20 different types of cancer, including those of the prostate, breast, ovary and others not as common as the pancreas. This means that this nanoparticle can be targeted to treat different types of neoplasms, making it a very versatile vehicle that can transport different therapeutic molecules of high potency.


Article of reference:

María Virtudes CéspedesUgutz UnzuetaAnna AviñóAlberto GallardoPatricia ÁlamoRita SalaAlejandro Sánchez‐ChardiIsolda CasanovaMaría Antònia ManguesAntonio Lopez‐Pousa,Ramón EritjaAntonio VillaverdeEsther VázquezRamón Mangues.  Selective depletion of metastatic stem cells as therapy for human colorectal cancer. EMBO Molecular Medicine DOI 10.15252/emmm.201708772

The team of researchers, led by Dr. Ramón Magues de l’IIB Sant Pau, Prof. Antonio Villaverde of the UAB and Dr. Esther Vázquez of the UAB, have shown that the drug acts only on metastasis-initiating cells through its specific interaction between a peptide present in the protein nanoparticle that transports it and the cellular receptor CXCR4 that is overexpressed in tumor cells. This allows attacking only the tumor cells, blocking their dissemination in early stages, in a way that prevents the appearance of metastasis while avoiding the adverse effects derived from the usual treatments.


Nanoligent, a new spin-off to finance the nanoparticle

In June 2017, researchers from the IIB Sant Pau, from the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine of the UAB and the CIBER from Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) who signed the article published now in EMBO Molecular Medicine created a spin-off, Nanoligent , with the aspiration to develop the first drug designed to eliminate metastatic cells.

This company, which has more than 10 years of studies behind it, is directed by Dr. Manuel Rodríguez Mariscal, a professional with a long experience in the field of investment and the creation of biotechnology companies and aims to obtain financing for the realization of the project.

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