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Back to 20030606Acuerdo para el desarrollo de la investigación biomédica en Navarra

agreement for the development of the research biomedical in Navarre

More than 350 researchers and technicians will develop their work at CIMA, which is being built at campus of the University.

06/07/03 17:09

The Foundation for Applied Medical research (FIMA), whose purpose is to collaborate in the research activity of the University of Navarra, has formed a joint venture with a group of entrepreneurs and entities for the biomedical research and the subsequent development and exploitation of its results.

The signature of the agreement of this new mixed business took place on July 6, in Pamplona, at the University of Navarra. Among the signatory companies and institutions are: Corporación Caja Navarra, Sodena, Caja Rural de Navarra, BBVA, El Corte Inglés, Pontegadea (Amancio Ortega's company), Omega-Capital, group Masaveu and Unicaja.

FIMA is promoting an Applied Medical Center (research center CIMA ), which is being built at campus of the University of Navarra and will be operational next spring. In this center, whose first stone was laid by the President of the Government, José María Aznar, will work more than 350 doctors and researchers dedicated to four main lines: oncology, neurosciences, gene therapy in liver diseases and cardiovascular diseases. The aim is to take advantage of the synergies of this new center with the University Clinic, and the Schools of Medicine, Science and Pharmacy of the University of Navarra.

The agreement, pioneer in Spain, also contemplates the constitution of a company for development and exploitation of the results and patents derived from the research activity. The financial contribution (an estimated maximum of 152 million euros over the next ten years) will have the corresponding tax deductions provided for in the legislation for investments in research and development. This is one of the largest investments made in Spain in the biomedical research sector. The various partners have stakes ranging from a minimum of 2% to a maximum of 10%.

This innovative formula has served to channel the social commitment of this group of entities, which thus cooperate with a program of research aimed at improving people's health (the diseases that are the subject of research on CIMA cause 90% of deaths in Western countries).

The biomedical research has become increasingly important throughout the world, including Spain. Scientific advances in recent decades -such as the sequencing of the human genome- have opened up a wide range of possibilities in the field of biotechnology and biomedicine, which can be exploited if the necessary technical and human resources are dedicated. In this context, the signed agreement lays the groundwork instructions for CIMA to aspire to become an international reference letter center.

The Government of Navarra is present in project through Sodena, both in the joint venture constituted and in the company in charge of development and exploitation of patents and results derived from the lines of research. Participation in CIMA is one of the priority actions approved in the Technological Plan of Navarra. Both Sodena and Corporación Caja Navarra have a 10% shareholding.

The four lines of research of the CIMA
  • Oncology. The main goal is to investigate carcinogenesis (the study of what causes a cell to become malignant). Today, of all the people who die in the western world, between 20-25% die from cancer.
  • Cardiovascular diseases. These diseases develop as a result of genetic factors and, in particular, lifestyle (they account for between 40 and 45% of deaths in the western world). In Spain there are 7.5 million people with hypertension.
  • Neurosciences. The CIMA focuses its efforts on four great evils of our time: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, depression and schizophrenia. In Spain there are some 500,000 people with Alzheimer's disease, a disease of great social cost and which, if an effective remedy is not found in the next 10 years, could become a pandemic.
  • Gene therapy in hepatic (liver) diseases. The liver is one of the most complex organs in the human body. Due to the difficulty of liver transplants, it is necessary to search for alternatives, such as gene therapy.