New light-activatable drugs to facilitate anti-tumour treatment

A project to promote the application of new light-activated drugs to facilitate anti-tumour treatment in patients, led by Vicente Marchán, professor at the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Barcelona, will receive support from the CaixaImpulse Innovation program from the La Caixa Foundation.

The 2023 call of the CaixaImpulse Innovation program has awarded 3.3 million euros to 29 biomedical research projects, 15 of them from Catalan research canters. The aim is to contribute to transferring research results to society and the market, thus promoting the creation of new products, services and companies related to life sciences and health.

Light-activated drugs to fight diseases

Photodynamic therapy is a non-invasive technique currently used in the clinic to destroy tumours. It is based on the combination of three components: light, oxygen and a drug called photosensitizer. This technique is also used to treat some skin conditions, fungal and microbial infections, and age-related macular degeneration. However, the fact that most solid tumours have highly hypoxic (oxygen-deficient) regions limits the efficacy of photodynamic therapy since the activity of current photosensitizers is highly dependent on oxygen concentration. It is therefore necessary to develop new drugs to treat some of the hypoxic tumours with the worst prognosis, such as glioblastoma, colorectal cancer or pancreatic cancer, among others.

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Proof of Concept Grants – F2I

The University of Barcelona, ​​through its knowledge transfer office, the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation, granted a grant of 25,000 euros to the project “New anticancer agents based on metals for photodynamic therapy”, led by Dr. Vicente Marchán, from the Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry of the Faculty of Chemistry of the UB. The resources were awarded in the framework of the Proof of Concept grants of the Fund for the Impulse of Innovation (F2I) 2022 call.


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