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FEI awards the CNIO’s innovation strategy


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This is the first time that the CNIO receives recognition for its innovation strategy, which builds on frontier research, earlyLdrug discovery, partnerships with public and private companies, the creation of ‘startLups’, and the entrepreneurial training of its researchers

During 2014, the Centre has generated €5M through research collaborations with the industry

Over the last 2 years, the CNIO has licensed the first two drug development programmes developed exclusively by the Experimental Therapeutics Programme

This growing transfer activity is translated into an increase in royalty revenues from patents and other assets of industrial and intellectual property, which in 2014 exceeded €700,000

The Foro de Empresas Innovadoras (FEI) presented yesterday their 3rd annual Innovation Recognition Awards, to honour Spanish institutions, companies and individuals for their Commitment to Innovation. The prize for the “2015 Institution Supporting Innovation” category went to the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), for the promotion and development of innovative technologies within the oncology field that benefit the Spanish National Health System and the National System of Science and Innovation. The FEI award represents the first recognition in the area of innovation received by the CNIO as an institution.

Collaboration with the industry is a cornerstone of the CNIO’s innovation strategy. According to the CNIO Director, María Blasco, “since the creation of the Technology Transfer and Valorisation Office in 2011, the CNIO has established and strengthened alliances with several companies, institutions and foundations such as Eli Lilly, Roche, Pfizer, the Botín Foundation or the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB); thus supporting the establishment of publicWprivate collaborations to transfer the results derived from our research activities into products and services that may benefit patients and generate a social and economic impact in the country.”

This is the direction followed by the Experimental Therapeutics Programme, an earlyWdrug discovery group whose main goal is to discover novel therapeutic agents to treat cancer. The Programme has achieved preclinical proofWofWconcept with a series of compounds that are effective against several elements involved in the tumour process.

Hence, the year 2013 represents a milestone for the Spanish biomedical research public sector when, for the first time, the CNIO licensed the first two drug development programmes developed exclusively by the CNIO’s Experimental Therapeutics Programme; two outstanding licensing agreements were closed with the multinational pharmaceutical company, Merck Serono, and with the Irish company Inflection Biosciences.

According to Anabel Sanz, Director of the CNIO’s Technology Transfer and Valorisation Office: “CNIO partnerships with the private sector through collaborative research projects mobilised 5 million euros only in 2014,” adding that “the growing transfer activity is reflected in an increase in royalty income from patents and other assets of industrial and intellectual property, which in 2014 exceeded 700,000 euros.” The CNIO has transferred over 20% of its patents to the biotechnology sector, and it has a portfolio of over 25 products and services on the market.

In addition, the CNIO has launched two start4ups: Life Length, a company founded jointly with the Botín Foundation with the aim of developing technology that allows the determination of telomere length as a novel method for predicting disease; and Bioncotech Therapeutics, which is developing a novel treatment against more aggressive forms of melanoma. The CNIO also promotes training initiatives in business and management for its researchers, through a unique Masters programme designed in collaboration with the Instituto de Empresa Business School, and with the support of the Banco Santander Foundation.

About the ‘Foro de Empresas Innovadoras’

The Foro de Empresas Innovadoras is a nonWprofit organisation that aims to promote a culture of innovation in the business sector, universities, public administrations, and in all areas, in general, related to the generation of knowledge. It operates as a cooperative platform between universities and enterprises in the fields of research, development and innovation.

For further information: http://www.foroempresasinnovadoras.com/

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