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University receives funding for 82 research projects in health and personalised medicine

The funds come from public and private sources, corresponding to the latest calls for proposals from national and international organisations. Almost half of the funds are earmarked to tackle cancer.


21 | 01 | 2022

The University of Navarra, the Clínica Universidad de Navarra and the Cima have recently received funding for 82 health research projects, in addition to other projects already being developed by the academic centre in the field of bio-health. The approach to personalised medicine - with special attention to cancer, rare diseases and palliative care - is part of the University of Navarra's Strategy 2025.

The funds obtained come from national and international calls for proposals from various institutions. Among the public bodies funding these projects are the European Commission, the State Research Agency, the Carlos III Health Institute, the Government of Navarre and the Basque Government. Private entities in Spain include the Cris Foundation, the AECC and La Caixa Foundation, and in the United States: Chadthought Defeat Dipg Foundation, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research.

According to the Vice President of research of the University of Navarra, Icíar Astiasarán, "these grants are a strong boost for the area of research in health of the 2025 Strategy of the University of Navarra focused on the care of people through Personalized Medicine". Likewise, the Vice President has expressed her gratitude to the public and private institutions that trust in the work of the University's researchers, and has highlighted that "this year 2022 thus begins as a great opportunity to achieve new medical advances, thanks to the financial aid recently received and to the work that our research groups will be able to carry out"."Good science needs focus, external financial aid and collaborative work ; factors that, maintained over time, undoubtedly provide great benefits to society," he concluded.

In search of a cancer vaccine

The approach to cancer and the finding of new therapeutic targets is the focus of most of the projects and receives almost half of the grants awarded, whether from public or private sources.

Among others, Cima coordinates project BLANCA, a multicentre collaboration that develops genomic technology to find a vaccine against cancer. This study, which involves researchers from the Clínica, together with the Hospital Universitario de Navarra, Navarrabiomed, Aditech, Bionanoplus SL and Asociación Saray, is funded by the Government of Navarra with a contribution of 917,177 euros.

The Clinic will address the development immunobiotherapy against paediatric osteosarcoma. This and other projects presented by the Clinic and Cima open up new avenues of research into multiple myeloma, colon cancer, solid tumours and immunotherapy biomarkers, lung cancer, breast cancer and glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive brain tumours. 

La Caixa Health Research is contributing 873,850 euros to two other projects being carried out at Cima that focus on predicting which tumours will respond to immunotherapy and on finding new therapies for colorectal cancer. The CRIS Foundation is also funding with 1.6 million euros two research projects being carried out at Clínica Universidad de Navarra and Cima on a novel method for diagnosing haematological diseases and on the combination of immunotherapy and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

The Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) has obtained more than one million euros to develop six projects of the Clinic and the Cima focused on research into kidney cancer, melanoma, multiple myeloma, diffuse glioma in children and breast cancer

The research map to be developed is completed by other projects seeking new treatments for sclerosis, chronic heart failure, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, ischaemia, leishmaniasis, infectious diseases, Hailey-Hailey disease and hepatobiliary diseases.