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News

  • 11/07/2018 - Press release

    A new computational method for exploring the reuse of drugs

    Researchers led by Emre Guney of the research programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), a joint programme of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), have developed a new computational method to reuse drugs that target biological pathways common to more than one disease. A significant percentage of marketed drugs are not effective in patients due to the complexity of the biological processes involved in diseases and genetic differences between people. Despite recent technological advances, the discovery of new effective treatments takes a long time and continues to be expensive. For this reason, the reuse of medicines, i.e., the use of existing drugs for other diseases, is a very interesting alternative to reduce the costs of drug development.

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  • 10/07/2018 - Institutional news

    Jordi Mestres elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

    On June 8th, Dr Jordi Mestres, coordinator of the IMIM Systems Pharmacology Research Group, was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry of the United Kingdom. Achieving this status is an important milestone in a researcher's career as it indicates scientific quality and is one of the most important recognitions a chemist can receive. The Royal Society of Chemistry is a non-profit organisation that is more than 175 years old and has more than 54,000 members across the world. Its aim is to advance excellence in the chemical sciences, investing in the education of future generations, creating and maintaining standards, encouraging innovation, and advising governments.

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  • 07/06/2018 - General information

    EU-wide network explores sudden cardiac arrest causes to help prevention and treatment

    Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) continues to be a major public health challenge, accounting for about 20% of all natural deaths in industrialised countries. Although there has been a substantial decline in overall coronary heart disease mortality rates in the past 30 years, SCA rates have fallen to a lesser extent. Some 50 % of all cardiovascular deaths are caused by SCA, a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. With survival rates ranging between 5 % and 20 %, there's a need to improve SCA prevention and treatment. To address this issue, a European public-private consortium is now working on the creation of a joint, harmonised database by analysing SCA victims and DNA samples, along with detailed clinical and medication use information. unded by H2020 Programme of the European Union, the team of scientists contributing to the ESCAPE-NET project, including the System Pharmacology group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) led by Jordi Mestres, summarised the objectives of their research in the 'European Heart Journal'.

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  • 19/04/2018 - Institutional news

    The 3rd European Conference on Translational Bioinformatics brings together more than 130 experts

    The 3rd European Conference on Translational Bioinformatics (ECTB2018) was held on April 16th-17th at the premises of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) with the attendance of more than 130 European scientists, developers, and entrepreneurs, interested in translating genomics and bioinformatics research into healthcare tools and services. The conference aimed to give the participants a unique experience and a forum for discussing fresh scientific results in the translational domain. The conference brought together world-leading scientists in the area which highlighted on their presentations the recent advances in information technologies that are facilitating translational research and precision medicine. Some of the topics addressed were Big Data integration and analysis, Personalized Medicine, Genome Sequencing initiatives, etc, delivered by scientists from Europe, Canada and the USA.

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  • 06/03/2018 - Press release

    First genetic study of primate hibernation in their natural environment

     The Evolutionary Genomics research group at the IMIM, led by Mar Albà, has just published an article in the journal Molecular Ecology providing the results of a study that has identified which genes participate (change their expression) in the hibernation state of hairy-eared dwarf lemurs, which belong to the only group of primates that has the ability to hibernate. These small mammals store fats in their tails, allowing them to survive the months of shortage, and which they use as fuel during hibernation. Hibernation is a response to the lack of resources we normally associate with winter, but which can occur in other conditions of scarcity, such as in desert areas or, for example, during the dry season in Madagascar. “The genes involved in hibernation are present in almost all mammals, including humans. It is a question of when and how they are expressed that makes the phenomenon of hibernation possible. As they are primates, lemur genes are relatively similar to those in humans, so it is even more interesting to study this species”, explains José Luis Villanueva-Cañas, a researcher from the IMIM's Evolutionary Genomics group.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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