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CNIO and PharmaMar have signed a collaboration agreement to identify new anti-tumour therapies from the marine environment

Madrid, 21 March, 2017

Both entities will join efforts, knowledge and resources to research new compounds that can be used to combat cancer

The Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and PharmaMar (MSE:PHM) have signed a collaboration agreement which consists in the implementation of new screening tests to characterise potential anti-tumour compounds of marine origin.

This agreement was presented at a ceremony held at the CNIO headquarters in the presence of Dr María A. Blasco, CNIO Director; Ms Carmen Vela Olmo, Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, and President of the Board of the CNIO; and Mr José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, Chairman of PharmaMar, as representatives of the signatory institutions.

In the words of María A. Blasco, Director of the CNIO, "this agreement with PharmaMar, a leading company in the sector, highlights the CNIO's commitment to collaborating with industrial partners to transform research results into products and services that benefit patients and, consequently, the National Health Care System." To this end, the CNIO will make available knowledge and tools developed by several of the Centre's research groups, and in particular the Experimental Therapeutics Programme, aimed at the early detection of drugs and whose task is to identify new therapeutic agents capable of treating cancer.

On the other hand, José María Fernández, Executive Chairman of PharmaMar, pointed out that "Spain is among the top ten countries in the world in the fight against cancer. For us to invest in R&D is key in order to advance scientific knowledge. Signing a partnership agreement with the CNIO, a leading international centre in the research against cancer, means one more step that will enable us to remain in a leading position and to be able to respond to unmet medical needs that require a solution."

As part of this agreement, studies will be carried out based on the use of cellular models from various types of tumours as well as the CNIO's platform of tumour stem cells. An important part of the study will deal with phenotypic screening and the modulation of therapeutic targets previously identified by the CNIO.

To carry out this programme, PharmaMar shall place at the disposal of the CNIO access to its data and scientific material, its pure compounds, and its library of marine organisms so that both entities can work together to detect new therapeutic targets regarding various types of tumours.


From left to right, Carmen Vela, Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, and President of the Board of the CNIO, María A. Blasco, CNIO Director, and Mr José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, Chairman of PharmaMar./ CNIO

About the CNIO

The CNIO is a Spanish public institution dedicated to the research, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It is among ten leading cancer research centres in the world (Scimago Report; Nature Index) and caters for the entire R&D road map, from basic research to clinical tests, to transfer the results obtained quickly and efficiently to the Health Care System and to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology market. In 2016, the CNIO's collaboration with companies accounted for 10% of its budget (4-4.5 million euros), a figure that has almost tripled since 2010. In addition, the CNIO generates revenue by marketing licences and assets, thus doubling this source of income since 2011 and reaching a total of 650.000-750.000 euros a year. The CNIO has also generated three spin-off companies, which have allowed patients to benefit from the centre’s developments. These data reflect the Institution’s commitment to innovation and the transfer of technology, and illustrates the importance of public-private cooperation to advance in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. 

About PharmaMar

PharmaMar is a biopharmaceutical company based in Madrid; a world leader in the discovery, development and marketing of new anti-tumour drugs of marine origin. PharmaMar has an important clinical portfolio of compounds and a powerful R&D programme. The company develops and markets YONDELIS® in Europe and has three other compounds in clinical development for solid and haematological tumours: plitidepsina, PM1183 and PM060184. PharmaMar is a global biopharmaceutical company that is present in Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the USA. PharmaMar also holds majority stakes in other companies: GENOMICA, the leading Spanish company in the field of molecular diagnostics; Sylentis, dedicated to researching the therapeutic applications of gene silencing (RNAi), and two companies in the chemical sector, Zelnova Zeltia and Xylazel. For more information, please visit our website: www.pharmamar.com

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