Project leaderXavier Trepat
Participating organizationsIBEC, Mind the Byte, Ferrer
To develop new therapies for cancer metastasis based on the discovery of Dr. Xavier Trepat, of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and ICREA professor (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies), who has identified how the interaction of certain proteins on the cell surface that play a key role in adhesion, cadherins, plays a part in metastasis.
The company Mind the Byte contributes computational modeling of the interactions between cadherins and the design of blocker molecules; the IBEC research center contributes expertise in mechanobiology and tests the compounds; and pharmaceutical corporation Ferrer contributes chemical, pharmacological and drug-development know-how, and will play a key role as the industrial partner in later stages.
Most significant challenges
The decision to incorporate computational design in the early stages of the project helps cut costs and time in developing a potential drug. In the cases this project studies, it is a pharmacological target that is difficult to tackle as it involves protein-protein interactions where finding a molecule to inhibit the interaction is a challenge.
The project is currently in the development stage and any results obtained so far are confidential. If molecules are obtained that effectively inhibit the metastasis processes being studied, the project members expect to protect them with a patent.