Biotechnology, artificial intelligence and innovation have been the main poles of debate in one of the discussion tables on Tuesday afternoon at the Spanish Economic Forum The Galicia that comes, organized by Invertia, EL ESPAÑOL, Quincemil and Treintayseis. The director of the Innova Campus of the Universidade da Coruña (UDC), susana barks; the CEO of Milbrait and ambassador of Wids Coruña, Christina Gil; the COO and co-founder of Libera Bio, Desiree Teijeirothe president of Noso Capital, Antonio Couceiro; the CEO of Diversa Technologies, Mary of the Fountain and the CEO of Itelsis Group and treasurer of the Galician ICT Cluster, Gerardo Garcia.
Ladra, from the Campus Innova of the UDC, has detailed that this project consists of “a commitment to the specialization and digital innovation, technology and humanities of the university” focused on three large areas of specialization: Innovation ICT, Innova TEC and Innovate Humanitas. In the first of them, the goal is to become “a Galician and international agent in cybersecurity, data analysis and management, communication infrastructures and artificial intelligence”. In this line from Innova you can also walk in the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology and new diagnostic therapies.
Innova was defined by Ladra as “a open innovation club where they will receive proposals from companies with some technological challenge related to digital or biotechnological transformation and offer solutions from the university”, which he assured that it fits in with the launch of the ICT City.
For her part, the CEO of Diversa Technologies, María de la Fuente, directed the conversation towards medicine since it is part of the first spin-off of the Galician Health Service (Sergas). “Thanks to nanomedicine we were able to obtain vaccines in record time because there was in-depth knowledge of the technology and we are offering tangible results. We want to transform the medicine of the present and the future,” she advanced.
His main work focuses on “associate a molecule and take it to its place of action in the organism”, specific. “We are in a reality in which precision and personalized medicine influence and with these tools it is possible to understand the molecular basis of the disease, that is, targeted therapies with the ability to act only on a specific mechanism, a group of people or of characteristics,” he explained. To avoid problems, the professional pointed out that they want “molecules to become medicines”, something they do using nanoparticles made up of biodegradable materials that can be applied to the body. “Our ambition is to get to see our products in the clinic,” she summed up.
New improved cancer therapies
The COO and co-founder of Libera Bio, Desirée Teijeiro, focused her presentation on the relevance that Libera Bio, a biopharmaceutical company in the preclinical phase and spin off of the University of Santiago (USC), is involved in the development of nanotechnology-based anticancer drugs and has its own platform. It is intended to create new improved therapies and more effective treatments through several axes, which focus on selectively delivering the chemotherapeutic drug to the tumor or lymph nodes with metastatic cells and acting as the first nanotechnology to demonstrate that it is possible to reach cells with molecules such as monoclonal antibodies (there are several in the market against cancer and other diseases today).
This research is primarily aimed at pancreatic cancer (where 90% of patients have mutations that are tried to quell with monoclonal antibodies) and lung. From Libera Bio, his representative confirmed that they have recently signed an agreement in this way with a pharmaceutical company from the world’s top 10.
Next, the CEO of Milbrait, a consulting firm specialized in technology and ambassador in A Coruña de Wids (Stanford University event to value women who are dedicated to data science), conveyed the importance of attracting and retaining talent. “People want recognition and good working conditions”acknowledged, while encouraging progress in retaining professionals in Galicia, for which he called for “an evangelization campaign”, that is, “to know what is being done and what can be achieved with projects, a real connection between the needs of companies and the university”, he said.
On financing in this area, the president of Noso Capital, Antonio Couceiro, intervened, who reported that at the beginning of 2022 they had the “enormous opportunity to cover a first sectoral fund in the biotechnology sector thanks to the support of two great professionals : Santiago Dominguez de MestreLab (bioinformatics company whose software used by 96 of the 100 most advanced universities in technology and used by Pfizer or Astra for the coronavirus vaccine), and the Zendal GroupPablo Álvarez (deputy general manager of a hub of artificial intelligence aimed at the primary sector in biotechnology, a world leader in veterinary products and since 2007 they have been developing products for human health).
In this sense, Noso Capital has a capitalization target of between 30 and 50 million euros that was created “to address a pending issue in the sector, which is the talent acquisition and retentionapart from contributing to private savings to help companies develop and internationalize”, according to Couceiro, who clarified that “Galicia is the second community in Spain after Catalonia with more weight in the biotechnology sector and that it will create 10 new companies in 2021 “.
Currently, he anticipated that “the great challenge will be fall in love with private capital so that part of the funds are dedicated to a sector with a high growth capacity and profitability expectations” and clarified that some 37 projects are currently being analyzed for which to start investments after the summer.