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.
The biomedical use of proteins (i.e., enzymes, growth factors, hormones) has been widely explored by the biotechnological industry including enzyme replacement therapy (ERT).
One of the major bottlenecks regarding therapeutic protein treatments, such as those used in ERT to treat lysosomal storage diseases (LSD), it is to achieve a proper biodistribution and biological availability of the protein at the right tissues and organs. Conventional approaches tend to administer high doses of the protein product to obtain the desired therapeutic activity, which often leads to deleterious side effects.
The use of nanotechnology to deliver active proteins might overcome this particular concern by increasing protein stability, reducing clearance and directing the protein to specific cells. Particularly, the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs), as vehicles for biologically active proteins. EVs have been shown to be biocompatible and fully tunable, allowing the production and encapsulation of recombinant proteins inside in a single step.
The research center has generated specific IPR on the use of EV as protein delivery vehicles and tested several examples such as EVs loaded with the lysosomal enzyme alpha-Galactosidase (GLA). EVs-GLA exhibited significantly higher enzymatic activity than the reference enzymatic treatment in vitro and in vivo and proved to be an ideal system for ERT in lysosomal storage diseases.
The research center is looking to establish license, research cooperation or technical cooperation agreements with industrial partners, mainly from the Biotech and the Pharma sectors, for entering into preclinical R&D collaboration or proof of concept development.