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Xavier Salvatella's laboratory team behind the project (Photo: IRB Barcelona).

An IRB Barcelona project to develop new drugs for prostate cancer receives funding from the 1st AECC Innova call

The Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, led by ICREA researcher Xavier Salvatella at IRB Barcelona in the Barcelona Science Park, has received funding from the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) in the first AECC Innova call to advance the development of a potential new drug against prostate cancer. Expected to be developed over two years, the project has been awarded €180,000 of funding.

One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime.  Several treatments for this type of cancer are currently available, but the tumour develops resistance and the effectiveness of therapy is reduced.

Current therapies to treat prostate cancer are based on blocking a protein called androgen receptor, which stimulates tumour proliferation. However, the androgen receptor often loses a fragment, precisely the one that the drug binds to and that allows it to exert its action. Without that fragment, the drug does not “find” the receptor, it cannot exert its action, and the cancer continues to develop.

Now, Xavier Salvatella’s Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics at IRB Barcelona receives €180,000 to develop new drugs against prostate cancer from the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) in the the AECC Innova call,  focused on technology transfer and aim to get research results to the patient faster. The team behind the project is formed by Mateusz Biesaga (PhD student), Paula Martínez-Cristóbal (postdoctoral researcher), Israel Ramos  (Drug discovery expert) and Salvatella himself, principal researcher of the project.

“We are exploring drugs that can attack the new form of the androgen receptor when it has already detached from this fragment. Thanks to the support of the AECC, we will be able to advance the development of drugs and evaluate their effectiveness in an advanced animal model of prostate cancer,” Salvatella explains.

» More information: IRB Barcelona website [+]