INL and RUBYnanomed get support from La Caixa Foundation for research against cancer

July 24, 2020


INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and its spin-off RUBYnanomed have just been awarded the prestigious Caixa Impulse Consolidate funds to help the fight against cancer. The project, led by Lorena Diéguez, intends to build an automated system for non-invasive diagnosis and patient monitoring. 

Metastasis is responsible for 90% of the annual 9.6 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. This is because early cancer dissemination goes often undetected with existing technologies, such as tissue biopsies to confirm cancer subtype, which cannot be performed regularly, and drugs are not effective in 75 % of the cases. 

INL and RUBYnanomed solution is to provide non-invasive patient monitoring using our technology for a liquid biopsy that automatically isolates and classifies cancer cells that are in circulation. These circulating tumour cells, or CTC’s, are responsible for the metastasis process, and their analysis provides real-time information about cancer progression, enabling the prediction of disease aggressiveness and resistance to therapy.

The researchers have already tested the prototype with success in patients, demonstrating higher sensitivity than existing technologies, and even getting to detect metastasis 6-months to 1-year earlier than is currently possible in the clinic. 

The support of CaixaImpulse Consolidate will allow INL, together with RUBYnanomed, to finalize a large clinical trial and demonstrate the clinical utility of the system, pushing forward the development of this product towards CE certification. 

The technology is licensed to INL’s spin-off company RUBYnanomed, founded in 2018 and led by a team of young women scientists, that are passionate about bringing research outcomes to the benefit of patients. 

Reacting to this award, Lorena Diéguez says that “we feel privileged to see our project recognized by the prestigious CaixaImpulse Consolidator program. This support is a unique opportunity to move forward our technology, improve our product, grow our company, and ultimately bring our technology closer to the patients”

A total of three Caixa Impulse Consolidate projects were awarded in this call. Two from Catalunya and the one attributed to INL (International), headquartered in Portugal. 

More info here.