Both organizations have created the ESTEVE-PCB Joint Research Unit with the aim to coordinate and advance in different research projects in the discovery of new chemical compounds for pain management

ESTEVE and the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) have decided to strengthen their collaboration in the field of Discovery of new molecular compounds with analgesic properties through the creation of the ESTEVE-PCB Joint Research Unit. This Unit based at the PCB, at the University of Barcelona campus, is intended to potentiate synergies in the field of chronic pain, a medical need that is not yet fully covered by currently available therapies.

Both entities have been working closely since 2003, when ESTEVE established the first research facility at the PCB. This collaboration became even closer and became an strategic alliance in June 2012, when ESTEVE established its Center for Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development at the new Cluster Building at the PCB. This R & D center, with top facilities occupying more than 2,300 sq meters, materializes the commitment of both organizations to sustainable R & D in an environment of open innovation that favors the search for synergies and public-private partnerships.

The creation of the new ESTEVE-PCB Joint Research Unit vindicates and reinforces the alliance. It centers its activity in the area of medicinal chemistry and including the design and synthesis of new drugs for the treatment of pain. The joint unit be co-directed by Drs Carmen Almansa, Director of the Chemistry Department at ESTEVE, and Miriam Royo, Head of the Combinatorial Chemistry Unit of the PCB.

For Dr. Miriam Royo, "collaborating with STEVE results in a profitable synergy for both institutions. With this new project, we hope to move forward on various aspects related to the discovery of new chemical entities in a therapeutic field as exciting as is the treatment of pain."

On the other hand, Dr. Carlos Plata, ESTEVE's Scientific Director stated "This new joint unit represents an enhancement of synergies between PCB and ESTEVE's Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development team for the design of new chemical entities applicable to modulation of therapeutic targets relevant in relieving chronic pain of various causes, a medical necessity of the utmost importance as indicated by the clinical epidemiology".

The aim of the projects carried out under the Joint Unit is to design and synthesize new compounds directed to novel therapeutic targets with the available state of the art tools at both centers to discover and, subsequently, develop effective treatments for chronic pain conditions, an unmet medical need.

This line of research is a priority for both organizations and for the health system according to the Health Plan of Catalonia, the Interest Group on the Brain, Mind and Pain of the European Parliament and patient organizations members of the Pain Alliance Europe. Currently, it is estimated that one in five Europeans who suffer from chronic pain, that is, about 75 million citizens in the European Union, and that chronic pain is the most common cause (15-20%) of visits to the doctor. However, in many cases, available treatments provide only partial improvement, often accompanied by reduced tolerability.

The inauguration event of the ESTEVE-PCB Joint Research Unit was attended by representatives from ESTEVE, Dr. Carlos Plata, scientific director; Dr. José Miguel Vela, director of Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development; Dra. Carmen Almansa, director of Chemistry and Dr. Antoni Torrens, head of collaborative Chemistry and Strategic Alliances. Representing PCB, the event was attended by Pilar Gil, general manager; Montserrat de Luna, director of Scientific Services Management and Miriam Royo, head of the Combinatorial Chemistry Unit. Also present were the researchers that integrate the unit Joan Carles Fernández, Alba López, Marta Caba and Noemí García-Delgado.

During the gathering, delegates from ESTEVE and PCB were able to visit the premises of the new Joint Research Unit at PCB.

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