IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 15-01-2018 - General information

    New Research collaboration agreement between the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the FDA and Chemotargets, a spin off of IMIM

    The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (FDA/CDER) and Chemotargets will work together under a 5-year Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA). The primary objective of the research agreement will be to assess the utility and performance of the Chemotargets CLARITY® intelligence & discovery platform to predict on-target and off-target activities using known pharmacology and safety data from experimental studies of small molecular entities. Evaluating in silico models for broad pharmacological profiling is of interest to CDER to predict potential adverse events of drugs in development. Additionally, insight into a chemical’s molecular target profile can help predict abuse and addiction potential, which may reduce risks associated with exposure to these substances.

    Més informació "New Research collaboration agreement between the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the FDA and Chemotargets, a spin off of IMIM"

  • 04/12/2017 - Press release

    Genes identified that distinguish mammals from other animals

    What distinguishes Homo sapiens from other living beings? And the group of mammals? What makes them different? These are the questions that researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have been trying to answer, together with the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). To do this, they analysed the already-sequenced genomes of 68 mammals and identified 6,000 families of genes that are only found in these animals. These are genes with no homologues outside mammals, in other words, they are not present in other hairless species. In humans, it is estimated that they represent 2.5% of the genes that code for proteins. The work was led by Dr. José Luis Villanueva-Cañas, a member of the IMIM's Evolutionary Genomics research group, and currently a researcher at the Evolutionary Biology Institute (UPF-CSIC), and Dr. Mar Albà, an ICREA researcher at both the IMIM and the Biomedical Informatics Research Programme (GRIB). The study also involved Dr. David Andreu's group from the UPF's Department of Experimental and Health Sciences. It has been published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.

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  • Institutional news

    Open innovation improving drug safety evaluation

    The Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) have just published a comment in the prestigious journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery where they explain the excellent results from eTOX, a project that has facilitated a new model for collaboration among pharmaceutical companies, as well as between these and academia, where data and knowledge are shared for the purposes of improving the toxicological evaluation of drugs. Apart from the results obtained, which are extremely valuable, the project is a model of Open Innovation, where various public and private stakeholders join forces and actively collaborate. In addition, it has confirmed the enormous value of the data obtained in the regulatory studies conducted by the pharmaceutical industry, and has verified the fact that exploiting these requires a significant effort in terms of extraction, standardisation, and integration.

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  • 13/09/2017 - Press release

    40 Million EUR European project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research.

    The five-year project, Enhancing Translational Safety Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management (eTRANSAFE), aims to develop an advanced data integration infrastructure together with innovative computational methods to improve the security in drug development process and is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI 2) together with the pharmaceutical industry. The eTRANSAFE consortium is a private and public partnership of 8 academic institutions, 6 SMEs and 12 pharmaceutical companies, and is coordinated by the Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) and led by the pharmaceutical company Novartis and Bayer AG. The eTRANSAFE project aims at improving the safety assessment across the drug discovery and development process by applying bioinformatics approaches to shared preclinical and clinical data to systematically analyse the translatability of effects. Thus, enabling the optimisation of resources and the development of safer medicines.

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  • 01/06/2017 - Institutional news

    The Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute and Chemotargets sign collaboration agreement

    The Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute announced today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Chemotargets, an IMIM's spin-off. The aim of the collaboration is to further understand the mechanism of action of some active hits in leukemia discovered at IJC, and exploit this information to identify new chemical entities with improved pharmacology and safety profiles using Chemotargets’ precision modeling platform. The acute myeloid leukemia (AML) research group, directed by Dr. Ruth M. Risueño, recently published a study in which the importance of serotonin receptor subtype 1 (HTR1) in AML was highlighted (Etxabe et al. Leukemia 2017). “We observed that AML cells differentially expressed HTR1 compared with healthy blood cells and the most primitive hematopoietic fraction; in fact, HTR1B expression in AML patient samples correlated with the clinical outcome”, said Dr. Risueño. “Based on these results and other projects developed in the group, we discovered some active hits on HTR1 and other receptors with antileukemia effects; these represent excellent starting points for a drug discovery program and Chemotargets’ platform will be of great help in this process”.

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  • 09/05/2017 - General information

    How proteins find each other to form signaling complexes

    A study led by Jana Selent, head of the GPCR drug discovery group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) and Martha Sommer (Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine in Charité Hospital, Berlin) published in the journal Nature Communications, focused on how G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and arrestin form complexes. The human GPCR family is an important class of targets for nearly half of all medicines prescribed today with the majority being involved in sensory and neuronal processes. Complex formation with intracellular signaling proteins such as arrestin is critical for many bodily processes. In this context, the published study identifies a previously unknown binding element critical to GPCR-arrestin interaction. Using a combination of computer simulations and site-directed fluorescence spectroscopy, the researchers were able to show that loops within the C-edge of arrestin are anchored to the membrane while forming pre- and high affinity complexes with GPCRs.

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  • 02/03/2017 - Institutional news

    Chemotargets, one of the five top Biotechs at BIO Europe Spring 2017

    From 20th to 22nd March, Barcelona will host the most important European partnering conference in the biotech and pharma sectors. The aim of this International Conference is to bring together pharmaceutical, biotechnology and financial firms to form alliances and partnerships for achieving common goals. More than 1,400 companies from 45 countries are expected to participate, with more than 2,400 people attending. In this edition, Chemotargets, the IMIM spin-off dedicated to developing software for predicting the mechanism of action and safety of new drugs, directed by Dr. Jordi Mestres, Coordinator of the Systems Pharmacology research group at the GRIB (IMIM-UPF), is one of the 5 biotech companies from Barcelona invited to take part.

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  • 23/02/2017 - Press release

    New role of cholesterol in regulating brain proteins discovered

    A study led by researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine in Charité Hospital, Berlin, published in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates that the cholesterol present in cell membranes can interfere with the function of an important brain membrane protein, through a previously unknown mode of interaction. Specifically, cholesterol is capable of regulating the activity of the adenosine receptor, by invading it and accessing the active site. This will allow new ways of interacting with these proteins to be devised that in the future could lead to drugs for treating diseases like Alzheimer's. The adenosine receptor belongs to the GPCR family (G Protein-Coupled Receptors), a large group of proteins located in cell membranes, which are key in the transmission of signals and communication between cells. GPCRs are therefore involved in the majority of important physiological processes, including the interpretation of sensory stimuli such as vision, smell, and taste, the regulation of the immune and inflammatory system, and behaviour modulation.

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  • 13/2/2017 - General information

    CompBioMed, a centre of excellence in computational biomedicine, is born

    Predictive models of diseases are gaining importance in medicine thanks to their usefulness when customizing treatments. Hence, computational methods based on human biology have become a key factor for the development of customized medicine. This scenario has led to the birth of CompBioMed project, a centre of excellence in biomedical computing that promotes the uptake and exploitation of high performance computing (HPC) in the field of biomedicine. Basic, clinical and industrial researchers will be able to participate as users in the new project, which, for the moment, will work in three different areas: cardiovascular, molecular and neuromusculoskeletal. University College of London is leading the initiative, which promotes interdisciplinary business opportunities by getting its industrial partners to participate, as well as support and facilitate modelling and simulation activities and provide education to a diverse set of communities.

    Més informació "CompBioMed, a centre of excellence in computational biomedicine, is born"

  • 24/01/2017 - General information

    Sixteen million euros injected into research on adverse drug reactions

     A new European research project has been launched, TransQST (Translational Quantitative Systems Toxicology) funded with 16 million euros, aimed at improving the understanding of adverse effects to drugs and their safety, which will provide innovative methods and software for modelling toxicological systems. Project participants include the Integrative Biomedical Informatics research group at the IMIM (GRIB, IMIM-UPF), coordinated by Laura Furlong and Ferran Sanz. Adverse reactions to drugs are unwanted side effects and involve significant cost in terms of patient morbidity, mortality and hospitalisation. TransQST will last five years, and its goal is to develop new computational methods using the best data available from both the public and private spheres to address the problems of safe drug development. It is being funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertakint (IMI 2), a public-private European initiative that aims to accelerate the development of more effective and safer drugs for patients.

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