Mind the Byte has created a consortium together with the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute to work on the development of potential treatments for the T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T- ALL), which is an orphan disease with very poor prognosis. It has between 4 and 5 new cases per million population each year and represents a 15% of all cases of leukemia.
The project will be based on previous studies developed by the Leukemia Stem Cells Group at the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, led by Dr Ruth Risueño. These studies have discovered the therapeutic effect of several molecules, but their mechanism of action remains unknown.
In a first phase, which will begin shortly, Mind the Byte will computationally investigate the interactions and specific molecular targets of those candidates. “Discovering the mechanism of action of these potential drugs can lead to the improvement of their efficacy and safety,” says Dr Risueño.
The combination of the different bioinformatics tools developed by Mind the Byte will help accelerate the project and potentially get to the clinical phase faster. At this point, Leukos Biotech, a spin-off founded by the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute and Dr Risueño, will be an important ally thanks to its previous experience in clinical trials.
According Dr Alfons Nonell-Canals, CEO of Mind the Byte: “This kind of collaboration offers us the possibility of getting more involved in basic research and helping this knowledge benefit society”. Following this line, Mind the Byte began a year ago a similar partnership with Ferrer Group and the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). On that occasion, the goal was to develop treatments against the metastasis of certain types of cancer.
Dr Risueño’s group has already transferred projects to the center’s spin-off before: “Basic research generates important knowledge to cure diseases but then you need companies that make the investment to reach the market”, explains Dr Risueño.