IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques


  • 15-01-2018 - General information

    New Research collaboration agreement between the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the FDA and Chemotargets, a spin off of IMIM

    The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (FDA/CDER) and Chemotargets will work together under a 5-year Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA). The primary objective of the research agreement will be to assess the utility and performance of the Chemotargets CLARITY® intelligence & discovery platform to predict on-target and off-target activities using known pharmacology and safety data from experimental studies of small molecular entities. Evaluating in silico models for broad pharmacological profiling is of interest to CDER to predict potential adverse events of drugs in development. Additionally, insight into a chemical’s molecular target profile can help predict abuse and addiction potential, which may reduce risks associated with exposure to these substances.

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  • 15/11/2017 - General information

    Movember: researching how to improve quality of life after prostate cancer

    Each November, the Movember Foundation encourages men from all over the world to grow a moustache to raise awareness and funds for men's health research. The Healthcare Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) is the Spanish coordinator for an international study funded by this foundation, involving more than 5,000 patients from twelve different countries. The study, entitled "Prostate Cancer Outcomes - Compare and Reduce Variation" (PCO-CRV for short), focuses on men diagnosed with localised prostate cancer and has a global allocation of 4.6 million euros that Movember contributes, raised by crowdfunding campaigns around the world that are especially active during the month of November. 

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  • 09/05/2017 - General information

    How proteins find each other to form signaling complexes

    A study led by Jana Selent, head of the GPCR drug discovery group of GRIB (IMIM-UPF) and Martha Sommer (Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine in Charité Hospital, Berlin) published in the journal Nature Communications, focused on how G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and arrestin form complexes. The human GPCR family is an important class of targets for nearly half of all medicines prescribed today with the majority being involved in sensory and neuronal processes. Complex formation with intracellular signaling proteins such as arrestin is critical for many bodily processes. In this context, the published study identifies a previously unknown binding element critical to GPCR-arrestin interaction. Using a combination of computer simulations and site-directed fluorescence spectroscopy, the researchers were able to show that loops within the C-edge of arrestin are anchored to the membrane while forming pre- and high affinity complexes with GPCRs.

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  • 13/2/2017 - General information

    CompBioMed, a centre of excellence in computational biomedicine, is born

    Predictive models of diseases are gaining importance in medicine thanks to their usefulness when customizing treatments. Hence, computational methods based on human biology have become a key factor for the development of customized medicine. This scenario has led to the birth of CompBioMed project, a centre of excellence in biomedical computing that promotes the uptake and exploitation of high performance computing (HPC) in the field of biomedicine. Basic, clinical and industrial researchers will be able to participate as users in the new project, which, for the moment, will work in three different areas: cardiovascular, molecular and neuromusculoskeletal. University College of London is leading the initiative, which promotes interdisciplinary business opportunities by getting its industrial partners to participate, as well as support and facilitate modelling and simulation activities and provide education to a diverse set of communities.

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  • 24/01/2017 - General information

    Sixteen million euros injected into research on adverse drug reactions

     A new European research project has been launched, TransQST (Translational Quantitative Systems Toxicology) funded with 16 million euros, aimed at improving the understanding of adverse effects to drugs and their safety, which will provide innovative methods and software for modelling toxicological systems. Project participants include the Integrative Biomedical Informatics research group at the IMIM (GRIB, IMIM-UPF), coordinated by Laura Furlong and Ferran Sanz. Adverse reactions to drugs are unwanted side effects and involve significant cost in terms of patient morbidity, mortality and hospitalisation. TransQST will last five years, and its goal is to develop new computational methods using the best data available from both the public and private spheres to address the problems of safe drug development. It is being funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertakint (IMI 2), a public-private European initiative that aims to accelerate the development of more effective and safer drugs for patients.

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  • 17/01/2017 - General information

    Project ESCAPE-NET kicks off

    The kick-off meeting of the project ESCAPE-NET (European Sudden Cardiac Arrest network: towards Prevention, Education and New Treatment) will be held from 17-19 January, in Amsterdam. This project falls under the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme, in the area of personalised medicine and within the sudden cardiac arrest field. The project is being coordinated by the Academisch Medisch Centrum at the University of Amsterdam and involves a total of 16 scientific teams from all over Europe. These include the Systems Pharmacology Research group from the Biomedical Informatics programme at the IMIM and UPF, coordinated byDr Jordi Mestres. This group will contribute its experience and expertise in the field of predicting the mechanism of action and safety of drugs and will help develop a personalised risk score for sudden cardiac arrest based on the individual analysis of chemical and biological markers associated with cardiac arrhythmia. Sudden cardiac arrest is responsible for 20% of deaths in Europe; currently survival rates are only between 5 and 20%, so there is a pressing need to improve both prevention and treatment. So far, efforts towards this have been hampered by a lack of large patient cohorts with detailed information on the disease. 

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  • 15/07/2016 - General information

    Jordi Mestres member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Chemical Probes portal

    Recently, Dr. Jordi Mestres, coordinator of the Systems Pharmacology research group at the IMIM was elected to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Chemical Probes portal, a free internet-based tool that allows researchers to look for the most appropriate chemical probe for their project, before they start their research.Chemical probes are very small molecules that interact with multiple proteins and they have had a huge impact in biomedical research as, if they are low quality, they can generate erroneous results. Understanding the interactions of these small molecules is key in the development of safer, more efficient drugs.

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  • 01/12/2015 - General information

    New EMCDDA report explores combined mental health and substance use disorders

    The co-existence of mental illness and psychoactive drug or other substance use problems — otherwise known as ‘comorbidity’ or ‘dual diagnosis’ — is an issue which has been on the radar of the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) for over a decade. This agency aims to provide objective and reliable information concernint drugs and their consequences.

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  • 18/09/2015 - General information

    De novo genes, how are they originated?

    Some time ago it was believed that new genes originated, at least partially, from other genes; for instance, from the duplication of existing genes. But recently it has been seen that there are certain genes, those called de novo genes, that originate in genomic regions that didn’t contain any genes previously. A study published in, led by Mar Albà, the coordinator of the Group on Evolutionary Genomics from the Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) from IMIM and the UPF and an ICREA Professor, and with the collaboration of scientists from different centres at the PRBB (Barcelona Biomedical Research Park), has revealed there are hundreds of de novo genes originated in humans, many of which where unknown until now. Some of these genes are coded through small proteins that are expressed in the brain or in germinal cells. 

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  • 28/01/2015 - General information

    Project iPIE: Testing the environmental impact of drugs

    The project iPIE: Intelligence Led Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment starts on February 2015 with a kick off meeting at Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) and the participation of the GRIB research groups of Integrative Biomedical Informatics (IBI) and PharmacoInformatics (PhI) of Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM)) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). It is often ignored that any drug administered to human patients ends up in the environment, either in the original form or as a mixture of drug metabolites. Testing the environmental impact of novel drug candidates is therefore important in order to early discard potentially dangerous ones. With a budget of 10.2 million euros and a duration of 4 years, the project iPIE aims to develop a predictive framework that utilise existing information and in silico models to support more intelligent environmental testing of pharmaceuticals in development and to prioritise legacy pharmaceuticals for full environmental risk assessment and/or environmental (bio) monitoring. 

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