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Inauguration of biotech firm for developing innovative antibiotics

By 5 de March de 2008November 18th, 2020No Comments
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Inauguration of biotech firm for developing innovative antibiotics

The Catalan biotech firm Omnia Molecular, a new spin-off company whose main objective is the discovery of novel drugs to fight infectious diseases, has today officially opened its new facilities at the Barcelona Science Park.

The advantage that Omnia Molecular has over other companies in the field is that it uses sophisticated cell culture techniques that speed up and reduce the costs of the traditional drug development process. As the director and founder of the company, Lluís Ribas de Pouplana, explains: “The experimental strategies used to develop drugs have evolved very little in recent years, and therefore the technology we have developed may give a significant boost to pharmaceutical firms. In this regard, the resistances built up by many antibiotics have seen this research area regain importance within the pharmaceutical industry.

The company, which has just received an investment of €600,000 from the venture capital firm Caixa Capital Risc (linked to the Spanish bank ‘la Caixa’) and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), has announced that a research line is already underway aimed at developing new drugs to combat more effectively infections by Helicobater pylori. This micro-organism is found in the digestive system of almost 50% of the world’s population and is linked to various diseases such as chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer (gastric and duodenal), and the development of stomach cancer (lymphomas and gastric adenocarcinomas). Treatment of this infection is currently complex as it involves the combined administration of several types of drug. Moreover, it is not always effective and can produce side effects and resistance. In Spain it is estimated that a high proportion of the adult population (30%) may be infected even though they do not always show symptoms.

The company is also investigating new compounds to treat bacterial meningitis and aspergillosis, a fungal disease linked to the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to AIDS. Other diseases that may be treatable through the new compounds being developed by Omnia are tuberculosis, yeast infection (candidiasis) and toxoplasmosis.

The official opening of its new headquarters at the Barcelona Science Park was attended by the Park’s director, Fernando Albericio, the director of the Biomedical Research Institute, Joan Guinovart, the director of the Bioregion of Catalonia, Montse Vendrell, and representatives of the Spanish bank ‘la Caixa’, as well as other researchers, collaborators and representatives of various organisations and institutions with links to the company’s activity.