Centre for Genomic Regulation teams up with Almirall to develop new preclinical models for non-melanoma skin cancer

Global biopharmaceutical company Almirall has entered into a research collaboration with the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), an international biomedical research institute of excellence. The partnership aims to develop and characterize novel preclinical models that will help identify new treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

NMSC poses a significant health challenge, accounting for the majority of cancer cases and exhibiting a consistent increase in prevalence. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma represent 70% and 25% of NMSC cases, respectively. Through this partnership, led by Almirall’s investigators Dr. Amadeu Gavaldà and Dr. Cristina Gutiérrez, will merge the expertise of Luciano Di Croce (CRG group leader and ICREA Research Professor) and his team with Almirall’s profound knowledge in medical dermatology. Together, they will establish experimental models that enable the identification and/or validation of new therapeutic approaches and the evaluation of new drugs for these diseases.

This new research collaboration arises from the call for proposals by AlmirallShare, the company’s open innovation platform dedicated to discovering innovative therapies for skin diseases. This platform was created in 2017 to make dermatological research collaborations easier and speed up the development of new skin condition treatments. The collaboration with CRG represents another milestone in this endeavor and builds upon the eight established partnerships based on models, targets, and new therapies for dermatological diseases such as hidradenitis suppurativa.

“At Almirall, we regularly identify external collaborations that can leverage and complement our internal capabilities and research. This collaboration with CRG brings us closer to our Noble Purpose of delivering world-class solutions that make a difference in patients’ lives,” stated Karl Ziegelbauer, Ph.D., Almirall S.A.’s chief scientific officer. “It also reaffirms the success of our open innovation platform AlmirallShare as a key tool for building strategic partnerships.”

“NMSC is not an aggressive cancer, meaning it has been historically difficult to model this disease in the lab. However, important technological advances combined with multiple ‘omics’ approaches allow now to create truly functional scientific models for this skin cancer. Thus, it is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Almirall and make important advances in studying one of the most frequent types of cancer,” says Prof. Di Croce.

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