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Humanfarma a project of public-private partnership of translational research for drug discovery

By 22 February 2012November 18th, 2020No Comments
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 22.02.2012

Humanfarma a project of public-private partnership of translational research for drug discovery

The Barcelona Science Park (PCB) is a member of the consortium Humanfarma, whose goal is to develop new active compounds for drug discovery through translational research directly in patient samples. The project, which has a budget of 4.1 M € and will be partially financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the subprogramme Innpacto - also involves the participation of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) and four biotech companies: GalChimia, Oryzon Genomics, Vivia Allosterics and Vivia Biotech, coordinator of the project.


Pharmaceutical companies are changing the traditional way to address the process of drug discovery and development to incorporate new paradigms such as public-private partnerships or open innovation to seek synergies with institutions and biotech or academic companies to use common infrastructures to share data and materials, or access new technologies. The Humanfarma consortium is an example of public-private partnership that is fully aligned with these new paradigms.

Humanfarma is partly funded by the INNPACTO subprogramme, promoted by the former Ministry of Education and Science and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with the aim of promoting stable cooperation and exchanges between the productive sector and R & D stakeholders. The project proposes to implement two elements to the process of drug discovery: access for all partners to a new technology for screening of compounds in blood samples of patients, generated in private companies which, in at least one occasion has already led to a product of clinical research, and access off all partners to an academic research infrastructure in Chemical Biology, the ChemBioBank initiative.

The PCB is involved in Humanfarma through the Combinatorial Chemistry (PQC-PCB) and Drug Discovery (PDD-PCB) platforms, under the coordination of Miriam Royo and George Quintana, responsible for the PQC and the PDD, respectively. The contribution of Combinatorial Chemistry focuses on the synthesis of new libraries of compounds in the processes of identification and optimization of hits from various projects. The contribution of the Drug Discovery Platform will be focus on logistics management and distribution of chemical compound libraries to the participating entities for biological screening experiments, as well as the management of chemical and biological data generated by all the organizations. In addition, the PCB will coordinate the academic aspects of the research carried out by the medical chemistry group at the University Complutense of Madrid and the molecular modeling and drug design group of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

A track project of the ChemBioBank initiative

The Parc Científic de Barcelona and the participation of the University of Santiago de Compostela are two of the three organizations that supports the ChemBioBank initiative representing Spain in the European initiative in Chemical Biology, EU-OPENSCREEN -funded by the European Union as part of the of ESFRI, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, programme. In this sense, another goal of Humanfarma project will be to generate a track model of this initiative.

Humanfarma will assess thousands of compounds of therapeutic interest- from Spanish academic and commercial laboratories – in GPCR targets expressed in cells in vitro, and will compare the results with their assessment in fresh cells from patients. These assays will constitute a differential factor of ChemBioBank compared to other European initiatives in Chemical Biology and will enable the assessment of new pharmacological models, such as allosteric modulators and signaling bias.