Aptadel Therapeutics received a European Eurostars grant to develop the first targeted therapy against childhood cancer Ewing’s Sarcoma, based on RNA nanoparticles.
Ewing’s Sarcoma is a rare type of cancerous tumour that grows in bones or soft tissue. It mainly affects children and young people, but is also seen in adults. These tumors are very aggressive, they tend to reappear and develop metastasis after chemotherapy. ES is the second most diagnosed form of primary bone cancer in children and young adults. Due to the lack of effective treatments, the survival of patients with pediatric sarcoma that present metastasis at the time of diagnosis is barely 20%.
Aptadel Therapeutics is a preclinical company co-founded by IDIBELL focused on developing a new platform for targeted therapy against cancer. This platform consists of nanoparticles loaded with therapeutic agents, such as RNA molecules or chemotherapeutic drugs, targeted to different tumors. This strategy permits the release of the therapeutics agents only where is needed, thus avoid side effects and improve therapy effectiveness. Specifically, this grant aims to develop a treatment directed at the EphA2 receptor, thus reducing the ability of cancer cells to metastasize.
Dr. Óscar Martínez-Tirado, IDIBELL researcher and co-founder of the spin-off, points out that: “We are very excited to have been awarded such a competitive grant. The Eurostars project will boost the development of Aptadel’s first asset to the clinic to treat paediatric cancer.”
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).