The Antoni Caparrós award recognizes the development of a generic anti-inflammatory drug for dogs

Dr. Josep Maria Suñé Negre, director of the research group of the Drug Development Service (SDM) of the University of Barcelona, has won the Antoni Caparrós Prize awarded by the Social Council of the UB and the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation for the best knowledge, technology and innovation transfer project. The jury decided to award Dr. Suñé for the development of a generic anti-inflammatory drug approved for use in dogs.

The drug, called Firocoxib, is an anti-inflammatory drug that reduces pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, and relieves postoperative pain and inflammation associated with soft tissue, orthopedic and dental surgery in dogs. In the development of the new drug, a pharmaceutical technological innovation has been incorporated to allow adjusting the dosage according to the animal’s weight, an issue that had not been resolved until now. In addition, a product has been designed that is palatable to ensure that the dog does not reject it, and that is hypoallergenic, i.e. it has very little potential to produce an allergic reaction.

The project has been created on behalf of Livisto, an international pharmaceutical company with extensive worldwide implementation in the veterinary sector. It has also benefited from technology transfer to Lelypharma in the Netherlands, which has been responsible for the industrial manufacture of the product.

The end result is the availability of a veterinary generic for the treatment of pain in dogs with improved dosage and efficacy of the treatment. This innovative product has had high sales figures that have a very positive economic impact for the company, because it allows it to increase its portfolio of potential products and projects that could be developed by the research group of the Drug Development Service of the UB, as is currently being done.

Dr. Suñé, a long career in research

The jury has valued very positively the long trajectory of Dr. Josep Maria Suñé Negre in the field of research and development of projects in the health sector: pharmacy, veterinary, cosmetics, phytosanitary, food, medical devices and nutriceuticals.

Currently, Dr. Suñé Negre leads the Drug Development Service, a research group created in 1996 at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Barcelona and accredited by the Generalitat de Catalunya as a TECNIO group, as a technology developer of the R+D+I system of Catalonia with differential technological capabilities and with the potential to transfer them to the business world.

The members of the jury highlighted the 15.6 million euros contracted since the creation of the research group. They also pointed out that a large part of the personnel hired (technologists and researchers) have been transferred to the company.

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