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26.04.2017 17:42

Renewed Commitment to GENyO.

The Andalusian government, University of Granada and biomedical company Pfizer have renewed a partnership agreement first entered into 10 years ago, reaffirming their commitment to the Genomics and Oncology Research Centre (GENyO) in the Granada Health Science Technological Park (PTS). Andalusia's Regional Minister of Finance and Knowledge, Antonio Ramírez de Arellano, and Regional Minister of Health, Aquilino Alonso, signed the new agreement to continue advancing GENyO's research and work on personalised medicine. The original agreement was signed in 2007 when the GENyO project began.

Representatives from GENyO partner organisations after the agreement was signed.

The renewed partnership agreement is for 4 years and includes a new partner: the Andalusian Health Service (SAS). The signing of the document was also attended by the mayor of Granada, Francisco Cuenca; the vice-chancellor of the University of Granada, Pilar Aranda; the managing director of the SAS, Mariano Marín; the managing director of the Andalusian Progress and Health Foundation, Ana Madera; and the country manager of Pfizer Spain, Sergio Rodríguez.

According to the Regional Minister of Health, Aquilino Alonso, in the last 10 years “GENyO has demonstrated the importance of cultivating alliances, especially for research into highly prevalent diseases with high death rates such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases or diabetes, and to try to prevent the risk factors that cause them.”

Mr Alonso went on to say that “talking about GENyO means talking about looking for and finding new key mechanisms and therapeutic targets for health problems that still pose serious challenges and that, in the most part, have a major social impact but offer little profitability.” As such, investing in GENyO means “advancing towards precision medicine, personalised medicine that makes it possible to tailor solutions to specific needs, with gains in effectiveness and efficiency.”

This focus on research has enabled the SAS to take the lead in patent registrations, becoming the Spanish organisation to file the most patents in the healthcare sector. According to a report from the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, the SAS also filed the second most patents of all public bodies (behind the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)), and the fourth most of all public and private organisations in any sector. Between 2012 and 2016, 11 patents were awarded to GENyO.

The Regional Minister of Finance and Knowledge, Antonio Ramírez de Arellano, described GENyO as “science with a capital ‘S’ and an Andalusian twist”, and said that R&D&I is “not complete if it isn't multiplied by another ‘I’ for investment, both public and private”, as is the case of GENyO, funded by public bodies as well as by Pfizer.

The vice-chancellor of the University of Granada, Pilar Aranda, said that GENyO “is a true example of the best knowledge transfer, as GENyO is home to state-of-the-art research projects on genetics and genomics, where research groups can collaborate with SAS scientists, and university students can be trained.”

The country manager of Pfizer Spain, Sergio Rodríguez, underlined Pfizer's renewed commitment “to supporting research to improve people's health, one of the company's top priorities. Collaborating with GENyO as Pfizer has done for 10 years is an example of this.”

GENyO is currently the Andalusian government research centre with the highest proportion of self-funding (61%) through its self-generated income (research services, indirect costs and research funding). For example, GENyO is home to the only Spanish group to have been awarded funding as part of the European Union's Innovative Medicines Initiative, with a budget of 20 million euros. GENyO has also received funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as part of a programme that awards grants to just 28 promising scientists around the world.