Farma-Biotech, an initiative launched in Spain by Farmaindustria in 2011, has analyzed, since that year, more than 600 biomedical research initiatives, from which a total of 125 projects were selected, 57 of them driven by Spanish startups and 68 by research centers and hospitals.
This collaboration program also addressed advanced projects for the development of more than 40 new molecules of therapeutic interest. Forty-two companies and 31 research centers and hospitals participated in the meetings, which are held periodically, and more than 44 pharmaceutical companies interested in the projects presented were represented. In total, more than a hundred agents from the public and private sectors.
The last event was devoted entirely to research projects on potential treatments developed in different laboratories of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), in a demonstration of the increasingly necessary collaboration between the public and private sectors to promote the progress of biomedical research.
With the endorsement of “the good figures” produced by this program, Farmaindustria took stock of this decade of work by approaching research centers, startups, and companies, which at some point were part of this project, to analyze its trajectory.
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This is the case of Patricia Zorrilla, who is a member of the Research Results Transfer Office (OTRI) of the Marqués de Valdecilla Research Institute (Idival) in Santander, Cantabria. “The Farma-Biotech program is of great help in trying to bring and transfer research results to the pharmaceutical industry. Technology transfer and innovation are unfinished business in our R&D&I system and, without a doubt, programs like this one help to reduce the gap between clinical research and the market,” she explains.
Patricia Zorrilla reports that the company she represents participated in Farma-Biotech with two projects (one related to a new immunotherapy for cancer and the other to a bacterial vaccine) and, “although we have not yet been able to materialize a license or strategic alliance with a specific pharmaceutical company, the program has given us the opportunity to contact international R&D centers and advance our projects on their way to the market.
A similar view is held by Katrin Beyer, who is a member of the Department of Pathology at the Germans Trias i Pujol Health Sciences Research Institute (IGTP) in Badalona, Barcelona, who works on the detection of dementia with Lewy bodies through the identification of biomarkers and who also participated twice in Farma-Biotech.
Farma-Biotech is a useful program for pharmaceutical companies
“For me, it was very useful to be part of a program of this type, because it allows us, researchers, to reach out to industry. In addition, even if no projects materialize at the time, it helps us to understand what the companies want and what steps we have to take to get our products to market,” said Katrin Beyer.
Farma-Biotech is also a useful program for pharmaceutical companies. “It is a pioneering initiative to solve the major problem of biomedical research in Spain, which is the lack of translation. It provides a meeting point between the projects that emerge in the innovation ecosystem and the pharmaceutical companies, which are the potential investors that would allow these research projects to advance towards patients. Farmaindustria also carries out preliminary work to ensure that the fundamental points of interest for the companies are covered,” said Antonio Gómez, associate director of Alliance Management at the pharmaceutical company Janssen.
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First published in acta sanitaria, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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