02.03.2016

The Ministry of Science promotes the development of oncological immunotherapies

Dr. Lino Barañao, the head of the portfolio, attended the signing of a patent FIL-CONICET license agreement between INIS Biotech and a private laboratory for the development of immunotherapies for cancer treatment.

The Ministry of Science promotes the development of oncological immunotherapies 1

The minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Dr. Lino Barañao, attended the signing of a license agreement between INIS Biotech, the technology transfer division of the Leloir Institute Foundation and Unleash Immuno Oncolytics, the company that develops oncological immunotherapies using oncolytic viruses for the cancer treatment. 

Dr. Barañao was pleased with the realization of the agreement and stressed “the process of legitimization of the transfer and linking processes related to placing science in society’s popular imagination. Its counterpart is the daily commitment of a researcher to identify that which might be useful to his fellow citizens in his everyday work”.

Minister Barañao was accompanied in the ceremony by Dr. Mariano Mayer, secretary of Pyme (SME) and Entrepreneurs of the National Ministry of Production; Dr. Alejandro Ceccatto, head of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET); Dr. Osvaldo Podhajcer, head of the Cellular and Molecular Therapy Laboratory of the Leloir Institute Foundation, CONICET senior researcher and the Argentine Consortium of Genomic Technology director; Daniel Katzman, Unleash CEO; Dr. Marcelo Yanovsky, head of INIS Biotech and Paula Prados, general manager of INIS Biotech. Jorge Aguado, undersecretary of Politics in Science, Technology and Productive Innovation and Dr. Sergio Matheos, undersecretary of Institutional Coordination of the Ministry of Science also participated in the event.

Dr Barañao was pleased with the realization of the agreement and stressed “the process of legitimization of the transfer and linking processes related to placing science in society’s popular imagination. Its counterpart is the daily commitment of a researcher to identify that which might be useful to his fellow citizens in his everyday work”. Likewise, the Minister warned “this change will create employment for the next generations” and that the future development model “involves the creation of technological base companies that guarantee this continuity because part of the industrial process occurs in somebody’s brain”.

For his part, Dr. Podhajcer thanked the Ministry support through the policies implemented throughout time and stated: “The whole path was supported by the State which for me is an unavoidable responsibility in the so-called technological association. Argentine science is at a stage where it is essential to support it”. As regards the development that originated the patent which consists of an oncolytic virus designed to attack both the malignant cells as well as the stromal ones associated with the tumor, he explained: “Being able to attack the malignant stromal cells, represents a significant change of paradigm on the current cancer treatments”.

For his part, Dr. Ceccatto congratulated Dr Podhajcer research group and claimed: “Nowadays, it is a challenge for the CONICET that society recognizes us for how knowledge is used originating from it. My commitment is to deepen the application of knowledge generated in the institution so that society recovers that investment it is making”.

 

About oncolytic immunotherapy

The (therapeutical) oncolytic viruses are adenoviruses (which cause the common cold) modified by genetic engineering to launch a selective attack against tumors. Specific proteins that recognize receptors in the surface of the malignant cells are introduced in their surface. Once they enter “as Trojan horses”, the viruses start to multiply and eliminate malignant cells avoiding the attack to the normal ones. Likewise, these viruses act as therapeutical vaccines since they carry genes that stimulate the immunological system. These genes help the immune system to detect the presence of the tumor by stimulating the production of specialized lymphocytes (white cells) to destroy it.    

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