IMPACCT and MycoVAP projects both will receive ERC PoC grants to explore potential clinical applications of their recent results on breast cancer and pneumonia respectively.
CRG group leaders Miguel Beato and Luis Serrano have both been awarded ERC Proof of Concept grants, worth €150,000 each. These grants are aimed at bridging the gap between pioneering basic research and the challenges during the early phases of its commercialisation. For example, to explore new business opportunities, prepare patent applications or verify the practical viability of scientific concepts for further development.
Exploring a novel targeted breast cancer medicine regime
IMPACCT (Improved Patient Care by Combinatorial Treatment), a project led by CRG group leader Miguel Beato and postdoctoral researcher Roni Wright, proposes to prove and develop novel inhibitor compounds to determine not only patient risk and treatment options but also provide an exciting new avenue for the combinatorial treatment of breast cancer.
This grant will allow researchers to test this new targeted cancer medicine based on their previous research findings within the 4D-Genome ERC Synergy grant, in more translatable in vivo model systems. They will focus on a key nuclear energy-generating enzyme, which is essential for changes within the 3D chromatin structure, gene regulation and proliferation of cancer cells.
Fighting pneumonia with engineered bacteria
ICREA research professor Luis Serrano and staff scientist Maria Lluch will conduct MycoVAP (Bacterial chassis for treating ventilator-associated pneumonia). This project aims at using engineered bacteria to eliminate bacterial biofilms present in human lungs in patients suffering from the disease, that cannot be treated successfully with conventional therapy, with special focus on ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP).
MycoVAP continues to work on the several ERC projects received by Prof. Serrano and, in particular of the ERC Advanced grant Mycochassis. Scientists will test their engineered non-pathogenic bacterial chassis to perform pre-clinical trials using different animal models in order to advance this new treatment strategy for ventilator associated pneumonia. A disease which represents a high unmet medical need. Their innovative approach will also reduce the requirement for patitent antibiotic treatment therefore also contributing to reduce risk of ever increasing antibiotic resistance.