Dr. Miguel Fernandes & Professor Eduardo Salido, from Centre for the Biomedical research of the Canary Islands, University of La Laguna, Spain, have been selected as winners of GlaxoSmithKline plc’s (GSK) 2015 Discovery Fast Track Challenge, which is designed to accelerate the translation of academic research into novel therapies. Dr. Miguel Fernandes & Professor Eduardo Salido will partner with scientists in GSK’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team to screen the target against GSK’s compound collection. Active compounds could then form the basis of full drug discovery programme that may ultimately lead to innovative medicines for Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1.

Dr. Miguel Fernandes & Professor Eduardo Salido, from University of La Laguna, Spain are one of six challenge winners, chosen from 378 entries submitted from 21 countries across Europe and North America. Research between University of La Laguna and GSK will focus on Primary Hyperoxaluria type I (PH1), a rare disease, whose patients’ livers fail to detoxify glyoxylate and eventually progress to end-stage renal disease. The only effective treatment available for PH1 patients is liver transplant. Dr. Fernandes said "to treat PH1, we propose the use of small molecules which, if successful, would produce a cheaper, faster and more convenient alternative to liver transplant. At ULL we have produced a preclinical proof of concept, using a mouse model, which complements nicely other existing evidence and shows promise to deliver an effective treatment to suffering PH1 patients".

About Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc)

Launched by GSK in late 2010, DPAc harnesses the deep biological and disease expertise of academia and the drug discovery know-how of GSK to form integrated teams that in partnership can discover new medicines for patients. GSK and the academic partner share the challenges and reward of innovation where GSK funds activities in the partner laboratories, as well as provides in-kind expertise and resources, to progress a programme from idea to medicine.

About the Centre for Biomedical Research of the canary Islands (CIBICAN)

CIBICAN was created through a collaboration between the University of La Laguna (ULL), the "Cabildo Insular de Tenerife" (Local Tenerife Council) and the Canary Islands Government, to strengthen the international presence of the ULL's research groups active in the fields of biomedicine and health sciences. The main goal of CIBICAN is to achieve international recognition for excellence in translational research and to become a leading institution at the national level. The work of the centre will focus on the study of chronic diseases, age-related immune conditions that affect quality of life, and rare genetic diseases. The centre will promote innovation in biomedicine and technology transfer through the effective integration of research in medicinal chemistry with studies of human biology at the molecular, cellular, systemic and organic levels

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