The company from Santiago de Compostela is searching for antibodies against cancer, while the multinational is working on animal welfare.

The Center for Innovative Services for Biotechnology Companies (CSIEB), which starts up Biopolo Sionlla, sees the activity of the first two companies to be installed there. They are the multinational Zinpro and SunRock Biopharma from Santiago de Compostela, which yesterday completed its transfer from its previous headquarters in Emprendia with the aim that next Tuesday, May 2 “we will start working in A Sionlla”, explains its manager Juan Buela. He adds that there are already seven people working there: three doctors in Biology, a doctor in Pharmacy and another one in Physics, together with himself and an administrative assistant, although his intention is to “continue growing in the coming years until we have a staff of ten doctors”.

A forecast that will be fulfilled to the extent that their research into the development of therapeutic antibodies for cancerous tumors that currently lack specific treatment achieves positive results. This is the work they will continue from May 2 at the biopole, and Buela points out that one of their main research projects “is well advanced. If all goes well, we hope to reach our second licensing agreement with it this year,” which will likely lead to a new line of research that would involve adding more staff to their facilities at CSIEB.

SunRock’s manager explains that this project (for which they are already negotiating the licensing agreement) concerns antibodies for some subtypes of lung and triple-negative breast cancer, which do not respond to conventional therapies. And with the advantages that therapeutic antibodies bring: “Far fewer side effects than chemo or radiotherapy, since they directly attack cancer cells, without affecting healthy ones”.

Community-building project

Buela highlights the advantages that the company will have in its scientific work with the installation in the building of the biopole: “Everyone is in their own laboratory, but sharing common spaces, and a community is created in which knowledge, capacities and ideas are shared; from there projects and collaborations emerge that can be very interesting, and a joint entity is formed, in which, for example, when applying for projects it is very easy to find a partner”. He adds that on an international level it will be a seal of quality in the future when presenting to interlocutors who “will know the biopolo of A Sionlla and other firms located there: it will favor synergies and will give us an entity that perhaps individually, each one at its own headquarters, would not have”.

He has no doubt that new companies will soon start to set up in the CSIEB, although he qualifies that “the A Sionlla project is not a sprint, but a medium and long term project”.