The Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology Research (VHIO), Novartis Farmacéutica, the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), all institutions with knowledge and technological expertise, signed on December 2008 a cooperation agreement named Translational Biomedicine and Oncology Research Consortium (CIBOT), to open new ways for the fight against cancer. José Baselga, VHIO director, said on this agreement “this is a model to follow in all its aspects, as it is proof that public-private cooperation is possible, and because it combines a transversal and multidiscipline approach that can improve on the knowledge of cancer and its weak spots”.
It is the first time in Spain that this kind of agreement is signed, a pioneer in bringing together the academic environment, basic research, clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry. This should allow for the exchange of knowledge among these environments, one of the short-term challenges for oncology research to improve and energize projects so that they reach cancer patients as soon as possible, a key in defeating the disease.
For this reason, CIBOT aims to follow a translational research strategy, that is, build bridges between basic science and clinical medicine. The Consortium has the goal of defining and developing oncology research lines to determine the mechanisms that cause cancer, new diagnosis and therapy targets, and investigate the therapy potential of new agents that inhibit tumor growth.
To carry out the project, it is expected that Novartis Farmacéutica, that has increased national oncology clinical research in a 255% since 2003, offers to the CIBOT funded projects and oncology research lines, and that VHIO offers the research and specialized support personnel, as well as the premises and needed infrastructure. Also, VHIO will design, document and carry out the defined projects, the UAB will support the training activities related to CIBOT and the HUVH will give support to the research activities made.