The ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation pays homage to medical researchers

 Source: the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation

Josep Baselga, María Blasco, Valentí Fuster, Maite Mendioroz, Eduard Gratacós, Bonaventura Clotet and Pedro Alonso, star in the bank’s new adverts, that envisage tripling resources intended for research up to 90 million Euros in 2019

• Isidro Fainé, president of the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, presents the entity’s new communication campaign that wishes to acknowledge the importance of research for people’s well-being and the contribution made by scientists who devote their lives to fighting diseases and looking after
one of our most precious possessions: our health.

• The ads feature some of the most important Spanish international researchers, all working closely with the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation: Josep Baselga (cancer); María Blasco (cancer); Valentí Fuster (cardiology); Maite Mendioroz (Alzheimer’s disease); Eduard Gratacós (fetal medicine); Bonaventura Clotet (AIDS) and Pedro Alonso (malaria and poverty-related diseases).

• The ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation wishes to make a direct impact on society’s well-being, and so its Strategic Plan 2016-2019 prioritises investment in research and envisages tripling its budget up to 90 million Euros in 2019.

• “For the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, publicity campaigns are so much more than advertising. We wish to use them to raise awareness and rally society. In this case, we are doing it to promote the role of research and the importance of sponsorship in the fight against the widest-spread diseases. We recognise and whole-heartedly support the essential work of our scientists,” explains the president of the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, Isidro Fainé.

Madrid, 6th September 2017.
Isidro Fainé, president of the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, and Jaume Giró, managing director of the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, accompanied by doctors María Blasco, Valentí Fuster, Maite Mendioroz, Eduard Gratacós, Bonaventura Clotet and Pedro Alonso, have presented the new ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation publicity campaign at CaixaForum Madrid today, revolving around just one concept: Crucial people. Last year, the campaign focussed on people who were crucial to social entities and this year it wishes to give a voice to outstanding people in the field of excellence in research who work on humanity’s major health challenges, with the aim of beating diseases that have the greatest impact on the world.

They have all explained the basic outline of their current research and have put particular emphasis on the importance of scientific sponsorship to be able to continue researching and crack the code of diseases that most affect society as a whole. For a country, investment in science is a factor that favours development of a knowledgebased economy.

With this approach, the seven adverts feature representatives from entities working with the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation on major issues, such as coming up with drugs against cancer, promoting cardiovascular health, discovering new ways of preventing Alzheimer’s disease, saving the lives of millions of children before they are born, finding a vaccine against AIDS or wiping out malaria and other poverty-related diseases.

By backing research programmes, the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation helps to widen our knowledge horizons, focussing its work on major challenges for humanity, many related to health, and thereby improving the lives of millions of people. This is one of the entity’s strategic lines of action.

“For the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, publicity campaigns are so much more than
advertising. We wish to use them to raise awareness and rally society. In this case, we wish to promote the role of research and the importance of sponsorship to fight the widest-spread diseases. We recognise and whole-heartedly support the essential work of our scientists,”
explains the president of the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, Isidro

The campaign — kicking off this Saturday 8 September in the written press and on TV and radio (and that will be subsequently seen on other supports such as in cinemas and on digital media such as social networks)— features several doctors: Josep Baselga, Physician-in-Chief of the Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York and president of the Internal Scientific Committee at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) ; María Blasco, director of the National Centre of Oncology Research; Valentí Fuster, director of the National Centre of Cardiovascular Research and at Mount Sinai in New York; Maite Mendioroz, director of the Navarrabiomed Epigenetic-Alzheimer Laboratory; Eduard Gratacós, director of the Fetal Medicine Centre at Hospital Clínic- Sant Joan de Déu; Bonaventura Clotet, director of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, and Pedro Alonso, founder of ISGlobal and director of the WHO World Malaria Programme.

Working with all these entities allows the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation to develop its role as a leading institution promoting private sector research in Spain. The Strategic Plan 2016-2019 intensifies this supply by tripling the research budget up to 90 million Euros in 2019. This move turns the Foundation into the second in Europe and the third in the world in terms of philanthropy.

The campaign features scientific leaders and explains the most important aspects of their research.

– Dr. Baselga: “Nowadays, for the first time, we understand what cancer is.”

– Dr. Blasco: “We want to accelerate the discovery of new drugs to fight

– Dr. Fuster: “There are two key aspects to promoting cardiovascular health:
science and education.”

– Dr. Mendioroz: “We only have one tool to beat Alzheimers: research.”

– Dr. Gratacós: “Fetal medicine and surgery helps save the lives of thousands
of children before they are born.”

– Dr. Clotet: “The fight against AIDS could take huge steps over the next few

– Dr. Alonso: “Malaria claims the lives of almost half a million people every

They all agree on the importance of scientific sponsorship to help science make progress and at the same time, aid development of a knowledge-based economy and progress in societies.

Crucial people for health and quality of life for millions of people

This campaign would like to pay homage to researchers who devote their talent and hard work to finding solutions and treatments for diseases that affect many people. The figures speak for themselves and explain why these researchers are crucial. Cancer is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in the world today.

According to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 8.8 million deaths related to this disease were recorded in 2015. It is predicted that this number will rise by 70% over the next 20 years. According to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), it is estimated that one in every two men and one in every three women will have some form of cancer during their lifetime.

Cardiovascular diseases are the primary cause of death throughout the world. According to the WHO, in 2015 over 17 million people died due to causes related to cardiovascular diseases. Of them, 7.4 million died due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 due to strokes.

Babies that have problems in the uterus have a greater risk of developing a disability or cardiovascular or metabolic issues for the rest of their lives. According to the WHO, it is estimated that around 15 million babies are born throughout the world each year before the 37th week of pregnancy, meaning that 10% of births are premature. In 2015, more than one million of these premature children died due to complications in labour. Premature birth is the prime cause of mortality for children under five years old.

In the case of AIDS, in 2016 the WHO estimated that 1.8 million people were infected with HIV and that 1 million people died from AIDS-related diseases. According to the Carlos III Health Institute, there are 10 new HIV diagnoses in Spain every day.

Regarding infectious diseases, according to the WHO 212 million cases of malaria are detected throughout the world every year, the majority among children under 5 years old living in Africa. And every year, 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis are revealed that lead to 1.8 million deaths; this is the ninth cause of mortality in the world.

This homage to research centres through their leaders also wishes to acknowledge professionals that anonymously devote their daily work to improving other people’s lives, from junior researchers joining major teams to students getting their first break as interns, without forgetting the crucial work of anonymous people who volunteer for cohort studies or clinical trials to find new ways of curing diseases.

The ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, over 30 years boosting research

The ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation’s commitment to our well-being has been a continuing theme at the bank since it was set up in 1904 and it is still going strong. Its main aim is to help build a better, fairer society, giving opportunities to whoever needs them the most, intending to consolidate and intensify the Foundation’s work. This commitment can be seen in an increase of its budget up to 510 million Euros in 2017, compared to 500 million in the previous 9 years. Overall, it promoted around 50,000 initiatives in 2016 helping over 10.5 million people.

The Banking Foundation has been supporting excellence in research for over 30 years. Over these three decades, the bank has put aside over 380 million Euros towards supporting research through 352 projects; it has awarded 4,348 excellence grants to promote training for young people at around one hundred Spanish universities and centres and it has promoted 1,629 clinical trials on new treatments for cancer, AIDS or malaria patients among other diseases. In addition, in 2016, it helped to contract more than 650 researchers, bringing in new staff for research centres.

Technical information on the campaign

Designed by the La Resistance agency, the campaign revolves around the featured scientists, in line with the honesty and transparency that has characterised the bank’s communication policy from its origins to the present day. It begins with a coral piece lasting 45 seconds, launching the concept and showing all the entities within the campaign. The specific piece on each entity comes in the form of 7 ads lasting 20 and 30 seconds. To reinforce the idea of solidarity and understanding that was already used in the first Crucial people campaign with social entities, it has kept the song With a little help from my friends (John Lennon and Paul McCartney), as a guiding thread through all the pieces.


The ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation Communication Area:

Juan A. García: + 34 913 307 317 /

Irene Roch: + 34 934 046 027 /

Multimedia Press Room:


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