Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)
Three projects, seven minutes of exhibition for each plus a private room to discuss them, exchange knowledge and pursue partnerships. The first edition of Translation Together Connect Series, last Friday (May 28), was a sort of pilot program for the webinars that are expected to become monthly, in an attempt to bring together members of this global alliance and boost projects in the field of translational science. Three Fiocruz researchers, Nicolas Carels, Lysangela Alves and William Provance, had the chance to present their research projects.
The webinar is a spin-off of Translation Together, a consortium that brings together various relevant institutions all over the world. In addition to Fiocruz, other members are Eatris (European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine), AdMare Bioinnovation (Canada), LifeArc (United Kingdom), NIH NCats (United States), Amed (Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development) and TIA (Therapeutic Innovation Australia).
“There is some good expectation of fomenting opportunities of international partnerships within this network, which consists of relevant institutions. They can add value not only when it comes to scientific expertise to help our projects move forward, but also indirectly, with international financing”, explains Marco Túlio Castro, lawyer of the Innovation Office of the Center for Technological Development in Health (CDTS/Fiocruz). “A project in partnership with an institution that is part of Eatris, for instance, can be benefitted by the application of certain European funds to which we have no access”, he adds.
Fiocruz adhesion started with an invitation by Eatris, which brings together more than a hundred science institutions in 14 European countries and with which the Foundation signed a partnership in September last year. Coordinated by the Center for Technological Development in Health (CDTS/Fiocruz), the initiative boasts the participation of various units, such as Farmanguinhos, Bio-Manguinhos, Carlos Chagas Institute and René Rachou Institute, among others.
All institutions that participate in Translation Together focus on translational science, an area that has the goal of turning basic research into new products (such as drugs and vaccines), in addition to policies and services.
This pilot relied on the participation of Nicolas Carels (CDTS) with the study Molecular profile of solid tumors; Lysangela Alves (Carlos Chagas Institute) with Control of super fungi: molecular study associated to antimicrobial resistance and treatment on Candida auris; and William Provance (CDTS) with Rapid generation of proteins with multiple epitopes to fight emerging pathogenic infections. They were selected from among 41 research groups of the Foundation that showed willingness to participate. The next ones will also include members of other countries.
In this first edition, participants showed willingness to initiate discussions on possible partnerships, incidentally one of Nicolas Carels’s goals. His work attempts to find a more personalized, less toxic oncologic treatment. A group from Italy has also manifested interest.
“Our proposal is to use specific drugs to improve this context in which treatment often weakens the patient. The problem with these drugs is that they are often costly, and, as they are new, many physicians do not trust them and prefer a more classic approach. This is why we are looking for partners for clinical trials”, he says. “At an international level, there is much discussion on personalized oncology.”