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Candidate drug for the treatment of the most lethal urological cancer wins Bluepharma| University of Coimbra 2021 Innovation Award

23 june
Bluepharma Innovation Award | University of Coimbra 2021
Bluepharma Innovation Award | University of Coimbra 2021
© UC | Paulo Amaral

The project, led by Marta Costa, from the School of Medicine of the University of Minho, is the winner of the Bluepharma Innovation Award | University of Coimbra 2021, and consists in a new solution for cancer patients, a less aggressive treatment with the potential to increase the survival rate of these patients.

The treatment is based on the SM001 molecule, which has an innovative action mechanism, different from all other cancer drugs currently in use, and has shown remarkable activity in aggressive cancers with poor prognosis, such as renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

SM001 has been tested in animal models and inhibits the growth and invasion capacity of malignant cells, including those resistant to therapy, and induces their death. This molecule significantly reduces the size of tumours and the blood vessels that support them, presenting an excellent safety profile.

The research group from the University of Minho, which includes researchers Fátima Baltazar (School of Medicine) and Maria Fernanda Proença (School of Sciences), believes to have discovered a safe and effective molecule, with an innovative action mechanism, which has the potential to increase survival and improve the quality of life of cancer patients.

The winning project will receive a prize money of 20 thousand euros, which in the future may still translate into an additional investment of 30 thousand euros. The jury of the Award, composed of some of the best researchers in the country, highlights its originality, innovation and potential creation of value for society, which is why it was awarded first place among the 13 competing projects.