Spin-off from CIÊNCIAS invested by Portugal Ventures

29 Abril, 2021

A spin-off from CIÊNCIAS, led by Professors Maria Helena Garcia and Andreia Valente from the Chemistry Department, received recently (last February) 100k € of investment from Portugal Ventures to continue the development of RuPharma Project.

The RuPharma project aims the treatment of metastatic cancers, in particular, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) which is the most aggressive among all types of breast cancer and for which there is no specific or effective treatment yet. The major problem associated with the treatment of these types of cancer is due to the ineffectiveness of drugs against metastases. It is in fact the occurrence of metastases that is associated with high mortality from cancer. In this context, the discovery of an effective drug for the treatment of metastases will undoubtedly constitute the great revolution in chemotherapy.

The drug being developed is in the process of obtaining proof of concept about its efficiency against triple negative breast cancer metastases. The proof of concept for the drug’s precursor has already been obtained: extreme efficacy against metastases in the main organs (heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys) and reduction of the main tumour to half its volume. The ‘RuPharma medicine/drug’ is destined for the world market and it was estimated that in 2018 the costs of therapies for breast cancer were around 16 228 million USD.

The promoters of this projects Professors Helena Garcia and Andreia Valente left us the following comment “Something in Hands – Investigação Científica, Lda. is a new Spin-off from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, which was born in January 2021, following the funding obtained through Call INNOV-ID from Portugal Ventures to promote access to finance risk capital to scientific and technological projects.

It is a new company focused on the development of innovative metallopharmaceuticals for targeted cancer therapy. Our main area of expertise is metastatic cancers, for which there are very limited therapeutic options.

The capital from Portugal Ventures contributes to the development of our triple negative breast cancer project, which is already in the consolidation phase of proof of concept for one of our metallodrugs protected by an international patent.”

Call INNOV-ID was launched last year with the purpose of promoting access to venture capital financing for projects with a scientific and technological scope, in the Pre-Seed, Seed or Early-Stage phases. Projects that were already developing technology, but were still in the prototype phase, proof of concept or in product-market-fit validation.

The call INNOV-ID was materialized through a venture capital fund managed by Portugal Ventures, in partnership with ANI – Agência Nacional de Inovação, with PME Investimentos and StartUp Portugal, with tickets varying between a minimum amount of 50 thousand euros, up to a maximum of 100 thousand euros. Portugal Ventures received 117 applications in just 1 month. These applications were submitted in a joint effort between entrepreneurs and the partners of the Portugal Ventures Ignition Partners Network, of which Tec Labs is part.

Tec Labs will be continuing the support to this project whenever needed. Congratulations to the team.

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