This Spanish research networking center gathers some of the most important Spanish research groups in biomedicine, located in more than 100 institutions like universities, hospitals, and technological centers distributed around the country.
In recent years, nanomedicine has substantially evolved aiming to achieve great advances in diseases treatment and diagnosis. Among the wide range of nanometric vehicles used for drug delivery polymeric micelles have been proved as efficient nanosized (approximately 20 to 200 nm) polymeric self-assembly systems for encapsulating drugs and gene (gene therapy).
In this context, gene therapy has appeared as a promising alternative for an effective and more specific treatment of cancer and other complex diseases with an important genetic background. However, the in vivo delivery of oligonucleotides (OGN) has precluded the clinical use of gene-based therapies mainly due to its vulnerability to enzymatic blood degradation, poor cellular uptake, and rapid renal clearance. Therefore, the greatest challenge for a successful clinical application of gene therapy relies on the development of vectors able to condensate negatively charged OGN and to effectively deliver them into the cytoplasm and/or nucleus of target cells.
Nowadays, viral vectors are still considered the most efficient, being the most commonly used for gene transfer in both pre-clinical and clinical research, however, the well-known drawbacks related with viral-based vectors such as their immunogenicity, mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, limited cargo loading, and time-consuming/high-cost procedures, boosted the development of safer vehicles using a wide range of lipids and polymers (non-viral vectors).
In this sense, the research center has developed new and innovative nanoparticles (micelles) as non-viral vectors which are able to deliver into cells compounds of different nature (drug, gene, other compounds), to be used for therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes.
The center is looking to establish license, research cooperation or technical cooperation agreements with industrial partners.