Funding, Consortia & Accreditation

Funding

VHIO can and will only deliver on its goal of accelerating the pace in advancing personalized and targeted therapies against cancer thanks to the public funding it receives as well as the generous support from institutional supporters, private institutions, companies, associations, societies, and individual donors. As a direct reflection of VHIO's research of excellence, VHIO also continues to secure essential funding through several International and National Competitive Grants. Regarding the latter, we would like to also recognize the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (AECC) for its longstanding support of several VHIO groups and researchers.

Only with such continued support will the clock continue to tick in our favor - against cancer. VHIO would therefore like to express its immense gratitude to its following supporters, funding entities and agencies:


Institutional Supporters

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Public funding

International

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National

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Private funding

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Consortia



Cancer Core Europe (CCE) is a unique partnership aimed at addressing the cancer care - cancer research continuum challenge. Launched in 2014, this working consortium represents a critical mass of activity for the successful integration of all cancer care information, clinical research and outcome research, led by its founding partners and European comprehensive cancer centers of excellence: the Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus Grand Paris (Villejuif, France), Cambridge Cancer Centre (Cambridge, UK), Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), Netherlands Cancer Institute – NKI (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), National Center for Tumor Diseases – DKFZ-NCT (Heidelberg, Germany), VHIO, as well as The National Cancer Institute of Milan (Italy).

CEE promotes the pooling and exchange of expertise, research findings, common platforms and processes, and empowers researchers and clinicians to rapidly exploit this trove of biological insights and clinical data for the benefit of patients.

www.cancercoreeurope.eu

Supported by EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, last year celebrated the launch of the Cancer Core Europe Consortium’s Building Data Rich Clinical Trials (CCE-DART). Coordinated by VHIO, this innovative project (see below), aims at harnessing and incorporating powerful cutting-edge technologies, methods and platforms, to spur the design, development, and ringing in of a new generation of data-rich, dynamic studies in oncology.



The Basket of Baskets (BoB) trial is a modular, open-label, phase II, multicenter study to evaluate targeted agents in molecularly selected populations with advanced solid tumors. This study is carried out under the Cancer Core Europe (CCE) umbrella, with VHIO as trial sponsor.

This modular basket clinical trial consists of two parts: part A (iPROFILER), which includes the common procedures for tumor molecular profiling and treatment recommendation, and part B (iBASKET), which corresponds to the therapeutic portion. The purpose of part A is to assess participants’ tumor tissue in order to identify whether their respective tumors have certain mutations in cancer-related genes. This analysis provides information about potential targeted therapies that specifically attack those gene mutations. The purpose of part B is to offer participants a personalized anti-cancer treatment based on the detected gene mutations in tumors.

www.basketofbaskets.eu



The EU-funded Cancer Core Europe Consortium’s Building Data Rich Clinical Trials (CCE-DART), coordinated by VHIO, is carried out in collaboration with other leading experts from within the Cancer Core Europe Consortium (CCE). By harnessing and incorporating powerful cutting-edge technologies, methods and platforms, CCE-DART investigators will design and develop a new generation of data-rich, dynamic studies in oncology.

Building on the CCE-developed Basket of Baskets (BoB) investigator-initiated and adaptive trial which launched in 2018, CCE-DART further enhances BoB’s harmonized, molecular multi-tier profiling platform to more precisely match patients to novel anti-cancer medicines based on the genetic specificities of their individual tumors. In parallel, the researchers will continue to develop multiple treatments in genomically-selected populations.

www.cce-dart.com


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework programme research under grant agreement No: 965397.



Launched in 2019, the OPTIMISTICC Cancer Grand Challenge – Opportunity to Investigate the Microbiome’s Impact on Science and Treatment In Colorectal Cancer- is a 5-year consortium funded by Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge, led by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute-Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (USA).

Aimed at better understanding the difference between a healthy microbiome and a microbiome associated with the development of colorectal cancer, the co-investigators from the US, Canada, the UK, Netherlands, and Spain, are seeking to identify ways to manipulate this collection of microorganisms to better prevent and treat cancer. It is thanks to the Grand Challenge funding that the project partners, including VHIO, are able to pool the necessary expertise in order to establish how the microbiome influences a cancer’s response to treatment, develop new treatments that alter the microbiome, and decipher how an individual’s external environment may affect their microbiome.

www.optimisticc.org



COLOSSUS–Advancing a Precision Medicine Paradigm in metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Systems based patient stratification solutions, is a multi-center European Commission Horizon 2020-supported project powered by 14 leading clinical investigators and researchers spanning 8 European countries, with expertise in cancer immunology, systems biology, computational modelling, bioinformatics, omics analysis, clinical oncology/pathology, preclinical research, medical imaging, clinical trials, health economics and patient management.

This 5-year undertaking aims at better classifying and treating metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Focused on microsatellite stable RAS mutant (MSS RAS mt) disease – a genetically identified type of CRC with very few therapeutic options available once patients develop resistance to existing chemotherapies, the COLOSSUS team seeks to expand and refine the classification of this particular subset of colorectal cancer.

www.colossusproject.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 754923.



EUCanCAN – the European-Canadian Cancer Network, led by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Spain), comprises a total of 18 partners from 5 different countries to pursue the homogeneous analysis, management and exchange of genomic-driven oncology data to advance precision medicine in cancer.

Jointly funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Canadian Institutes of Health, this project strives to provide a functional platform for federated genome analysis systems towards efficiently analyzing, managing, sharing and reusing mass genomic data at the global level. The participating reference nodes seek to process, store and share between 30-35 thousand patient samples across various tumor types.

This consortium also promises to drive discovery into robust and clinically-relevant patterns of genomic variation in cancer, including predictive biomarkers.

www.eucancan.com

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825835.



The main objective of the EU-supported EURAMED ROCC-N-ROLL: EURopeAn MEDical application and Radiation prOteCtion Concept: strategic research agenda aNd ROadmap interLinking to heaLth and digitization aspects, is to generate a European consensus on research needs and priorities in medical radiation applications and corresponding radiation protection to optimize the use of ionizing radiation in medicine.

Led by coordinating partner, the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research, Vienna (Austria), this pan-European consortium connects a total of 29 research centers, including VHIO. Taking the lead on radiation application in oncological diseases, VHIO will work with other experts in other settings including neurovascular as well as cardiovascular diseases, and explore relevant clinical scenarios, as well as provide patients’ perspectives.

Specifically, VHIO researchers will analyze the needs of research in radiation application and corresponding radiation protection in oncology by identifying gaps and opportunities. Compile an overview of clinical situations that require the application of ionizing radiation in diagnosis and treatment, provide an outlook on envisaged future applications and trends in the oncology field.

www.cordis.europa.eu/project/id/899995

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 899995.




The EurOPDX Consortium – Translating Knowledge in Oncology, launched in 2013 to create a network of clinically relevant models of human cancer, and in particular patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models.

Connecting 18 cancer centers across 13 countries that are developing PDX cancer models, this initiative promotes the sharing and exchange of findings on promising therapeutics as well as leads multicenter preclinical studies. EurOPDX strives to reduce the duplication of efforts in oncology drug development and ultimately improve the quality of life and overall survival of cancer patients.

Supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and launched in 2018, EDIReX – EurOPDX Distributed Infrastructure for Research on patient-derived cancer Xenografts, is led by the EurOPDX Consortium counting on the research excellence of 19 entities -including VHIO- spanning 13 European countries.

The main aims of this project are to facilitate data exchange among academic and industrial preclinical and translational cancer professionals and, to spur and consolidate scientific collaborations in PDX research across Europe.

www.europdx.eu

The EDIReX project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No. 731105.




Immune-Image is a 22 stakeholder-strong consortium incorporating public and private partners across 9 countries, including VHIO and the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) from Spain.

Powered by the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking (IMI 2 JU), this initiative is led by Roche and coordinated by the Amsterdam University Medical Center (VUmC), The Netherlands. Set to run for an initial duration of five years, this project is entitled Specific imaging of immune cell dynamics using novel tracer strategies, and seeks to develop a novel non-invasive imaging strategy for assessing immune cell activation and dynamics in oncology and inflammatory disease.

Main deliverables include developing clinically validated radio-and optical immunotracers for the monitoring and measurement of immune cell presence, activation status and trafficking, and designing and implementing a ready-to-use sustainable molecular imaging platform, incorporating standardized protocols, best practices, quantitative image analyses, immune-based tracking design and development.

www.immune-image.eu



Coordinated by the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, Barcelona (Spain), the EU-funded Interreg POCTEFA PROTEOblood Consortium is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund/European Social Fund, and aims to optimize, share and exploit latest technologies for the study of protein homeostasis in two prevalent subtypes of leukaemia and lymphoma: acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (CLBCL) in the POCTEFA region (Spain-France-Andorra).

Comprising six other partners - CIC bioGUNE, IQS, CNRS, INSERM, Anaxomics Biotech, and VHIO, the investigators will use modelling collections from patient-derived studies to recreate the tumor microenvironment ex vivo, and apply innovative proteomic approaches associated with system biology analysis and small molecule design, to facilitate the complete characterization of proteopathies and development of more effective therapies that will then be validated through xenoinjerts.

www.poctefa.eu/ayudas-de-estado-y-minimis

The project has been co-financed by:

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra Programme (POCTEFA 2014-2020) – Ref: EFA360/19.

European Regional Development Fund/European Social Fund.



Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the CELAC and European Consortium for a Personalized Medicine Approach to Gastric Cancer (LEGACy) is a 4-year project spearhead by INCLIVA Health Research Institute (Spain), in partnership with 10 other members across 9 different countries including VHIO.

Focused on advancing personalized medicine against gastric cancer, this project aims to improve diagnosis and treatment by using data obtained through extensive research in four EU countries and four countries within the Community of Latin American and Caribbean (CELAC) States.

Seeking to improve patient outcomes by applying personalized medicine at the three levels of prevention, this consortium implements a personalized medicine strategy at the first level of prevention, improves early gastric cancer detection at the second level of prevention, and improves treatment through the identification of high-risk populations.

www.legacy-h2020.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825832.



MESI-STRAT combines the expertise of 14 partners from 6 European countries to establish the interplay of breast cancer metabolism and oncogenic signaling (Metabolic Signaling) by systems medicine approaches.

Aimed at developing new models for knowledge-based STRATification of patients into subgroups with different endocrine therapy resistance mechanisms, this pan-European 57-month project, supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, represents an important forward step towards improving outcomes for these patients.

The team pioneers breast cancer metabolism as a novel approach for the stratification of patients, tracking of resistance and better guiding clinical decision-making throughout the course of endocrine therapy. Through the development of new computational models in combination with network analyses, pharmacogenomics and integrated multi-omics data, MESI-STRAT will play a decisive role in better deciphering the metabolic and signaling networks that drive resistance to endocrine-based therapies.

www.mesi-strat.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 754688.



Spurred by Horizon 2020’s European Union funding for Research and Innovation funding, MoTriColor - Molecularly guided Trials with specific treatment strategies in patients with advanced newly molecular defined subtypes of Colorectal cancer, led by VHIO, is powered by 8 clinical research centers of excellence, spanning Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium, as well as a European organization in cancer research and a diagnostic/prognostic SME.

Dedicated to conducting multi-center early phase clinical trials to establish the anti-tumor activity of novel experimental therapies for patients with metastatic or advanced colorectal cancer, patients are stratified based on their gene expression profiles according to recently established predictive signatures.

This pioneering approach identifies sensitivity of individual patients to the proposed experimental therapies towards ultimately developing more precise anti-cancer therapies for these patients.

www.motricolor.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 635342.



Funded through a grant received from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the NoCanTher–Nanomedicine upscaling for early clinical phases of multimodal cancer therapy is a multi-center–Consortium is led by IMDEA Nanoscience and represents an important forward step in utilizing nanoparticles than can better target and more precisely combat cancer cells.

This project builds on the preclinical successes reported by the former FP7-funded MultiFun Consortium that evidenced the efficacy of a multi-modal therapeutic approach based on functionalized magnetic nanoparticles and magnetic hyperthermia for the intra-tumoral treatment of breast and pancreatic tumors.

Connecting 11 leading European research centers, including industry partners, NoCanTher assesses this nano-based approach, provides preliminary data on its efficacy in humans, and aims to translate these preclinical findings into early clinical development for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

www.nocanther-project.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 685795.



The EU-funded ONCNGS project aims to tackle the common, unmet need in oncology to profile multiple tumor types at the molecular level in the broadest possible way, promoting an economically sustainable and de-centralized model that allows a secure and transparent access to sensitive data.

ONCNGS challenges the market to research and develop novel affordable solutions to provide the best NGS tests for all solid tumor and lymphoma patients. The challenge consists of providing efficient molecular DNA/RNA profiling of tumor-derived material in liquid biopsies by means of a pan-cancer tumor marker analysis kit including NGS analysis integrated with an ICT decision support system, and an analytical test for interpretation and reporting.

www.oncngs.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 874467.



ONCODISTINCT is a research network bringing together academic lead investigators sharing the same vision for innovative clinical research.

Established by several cancer centres in and outside of Europe, this network comprises a multidisciplinary group of investigators with expertise in early drug development and clinical research.

Together, they aim to address the current challenges in oncology and improve patients’ outcomes by designing and conducting innovative clinical studies, and accelerating the development of anti-cancer medicines in solid tumors, particularly in settings with unmet medical needs.

This network currently connects 25 cancer centers and university hospitals and fosters collaborations between oncologists, organ specialists, radiotherapists and scientists across the ONCODISTINCT sites, as well as pharmaceutical companies. Established seven years ago, the network is dynamically evolving as it continues to incorporate new clinical centers and think tank institutes as members.

www.oncodistinct.net



The PhD PI3K biology in health & disease network incorporates 10 academic, clinical and industrial partners with renowned expertise in research focused on PI3K signaling. Leading a unique training network, this collaboration connects complementary expertise and brings additional value, novel tools and leadership of excellence in order to train talented early-stage researchers and suitably equip them for leading roles in cancer science and drug discovery in European industry and academia.

This research training program not only represents unparalleled educational opportunity for these young scientists, but also aims to increase the international competitiveness of European research in PI3K discovery and drug development.

www.pi3k-phdproject.eu



PROMISE - BioPrinted hydrogel MicrofluidicS to mimic patient-specific tumor mEtastatic microenvironment is a project coordinated by IBEC (Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya) that wants to put 3D bioprinting at the service of improving the survival of cancer patients.

3D bioprinting enables the generation of three-dimensional cell models that imitate the human physiology to test new therapeutic strategies in the laboratory. These models can accurately mimic the patient’s specific tumor and its surrounding environment.

This project, which combines 3D bioprinting and advanced liquid biopsy techniques in an organ-on-a-chip device, seeks to provide physicians with new tools to understand and monitor disease evolution in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer aimed at improving survival rates.

VHIO participates in the clinical validation of this microfluidic platform based on hydrogels that mimic the tumor microenvironment on cells derived from patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. We will validate this technology in specific patient cohorts.

www.fundacionlacaixa.org/en/caixaresearch-health-call-2020-project-bioprinting



RAD51predict – Patient stratification based on DNA repair functionality for cancer precision medicine is an ERAPerMed funded project led by VHIO. It aims to establish the prevalence of functional HRR deficiency (HRD) and its predictive value for personalized treatment with platinum salts and PARPi in breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and endometrial cancer using the RAD51 immuno-assay and genomic assays.

This project seeks to perform an economic evaluation of selecting patients for PARPi treatment based on the RAD51 assay, genomic assays, or the current selection criteria to provide functional validation of germline/somatic genetic variants of unknown significance (VUS) using patients’ data, cell lines and assessment of HRR markers in the tumor; integrate functional HRD data into existing public genomic databases; transfer the RAD51 assay as a predictive test in the clinic, and develop multiplexed protocols, automatization of image analysis, and real-time monitoring in circulating tumor cells.

This project is supported by the ERAPERMED2019-215 award, granted by Fundación Científica de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (AECC FC) and by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) through the Acción Estrategica en Salud (AES) 2019, both within the ERA PerMed framework.



Incorporating a network of 27 research entities spanning 10 countries, SPECTAcolor - Screening Platform for Efficient Clinical Trials Access in Colorectal cancer, is an initiative within the framework of the research program of the EORTC, supported by Alliance Boots.

Launched in 2013, this is the first prospective fully annotated tumor samples Biobank and Biomarker analysis platform for the genetic profiling of patients suffering from advanced colorectal cancer.

https://www.eortc.org/blog/category/spectacolor



RADprecise - Personalized radiotherapy: Incorporating cellular response to irradiation in personalized treatment planning to minimize radiation toxicity, is supported by funding received through ERAPerMed’s co-funded Joint Translational Call 2018 and was founded in 2019 by 7 leading organizations from Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

This 3-year project seeks to render radiotherapy more precise by incorporating data from finely tuned predictive models to pre-identify toxicity based on insights from multiple biomarkers of radiosensitivity in individual patients. Led by colleagues at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Germany, project partners apply findings at the clinical level by integrating a treatment planning system.

Using parametric models and machine learning, clinical investigators from academia and health research, in collaboration with small and medium enterprises as well as patient advocates, apply new biological data as well as readily available genomic data to develop models that can more precisely predict adverse effects from radiotherapy, to be validated in independent samples.

www.erapermed.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 779282



The Spanish Association against Cancer (AECC), and the Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII) through the ERA-NET: Aligning national/regional translational cancer research activities awarded VHIO with two TRANSCAN-2 projects funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 framework program in 2017.

Supported through the TRANSCAN Joint Translational Call on Minimally and non-invasive methods for early detection and/or progression of cancer, the first establishes non-invasive prognostic markers for resected early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by assessing the role of circulating and exosomal miRNAs and free circulating DNA (fcDNA); as well as characterizing blood-based tumor-educate platelets (TEPs) for the evaluation of patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors using novel sequencing technologies.

The second project focuses on the early detection of relapse in advanced colon cancer patients by longitudinally following a personalized molecular signature by liquid biopsy. This proof-of-concept, prospective, multi-center study primarily seeks to evaluate the clinical feasibility of tracking tumor progression by dynamically detecting a molecular and personalized signature from a blood test.

www.transcanfp7.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 643638.



UpSMART Accelerator seeks to improve experimental cancer development across the UK, Italy, and Spain, by providing early-phase clinical teams with digital healthcare products (DHP) for the real-time access to a wealth of patient data, and thus enable faster decision making. The UpSMART Consortium consists of 23 participating institutes across Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) in the UK, and Early Drug Development Units (EDDUs) in Spain and Italy. The program will test existing digital tools at these 23 phase I Units.

UpSMART will develop and provide all clinical sites with free to use access to new digital healthcare technology tools and improved approaches in trials that enable patients’ access to tomorrow’s medicines today. This project promotes the wider scale sharing and implementation of digital healthcare products as well as training in digital healthcare product approaches.

www.upsmart.digitalecmt.com

The program was awarded a CRUK Accelerator Award.



Announced in 2018, one of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer (IMPaCT) Awards, funds a three-year collaborative partnership to advance precision medicine against metastatic prostate cancer (mPC). This coalition counts on the multidisciplinary expertise of investigators at VHIO, the Spanish National Cancer Research Center – CNIO (Madrid, Spain), and the University of Washington (USA).

Aimed at more precisely gauging response in patients to standard therapies, the team is developing new, more effective and tailored treatment strategies, as well as designing a clinical trial to assess the performance of a DNA damaging platinum chemotherapy, carboplatin, that is already used to treat other tumor types including ovarian and breast cancer.

https://cdmrp.army.mil/pcrp



WIN - Worldwide Innovative Networking in personalized cancer medicine, initiated by the Institut Gustave Roussy (France) and The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center (USA) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization incorporating 39 leading organizations representing all stakeholders in personalized cancer medicine covering 21 countries and 4 continents, united by their vision to deliver on the promise of effective, personalized cancer medicine to patients worldwide.

Under the tagline WINning together, WIN was formed on the premise that members can accomplish more together than each organization can achieve working alone. Aimed at improving cancer patients’ survival and quality of life, WIN members also collaboratively design and carry out global studies designed to achieve breakthroughs for cancer patients across the globe.

www.winconsortium.org



New Consortia – officially launched in 2021


IMPaCT – Infraestructura de medicina de precision asociada a la ciencia y tecnología, is a collaborative structure for the genomic medicine implementation in the Spanish National Health System, coordinated by CIBER.

VHIO participates in Work Package 4, focused on cancer, and leads the unknown primary tumors part. WP4 aims to establish genomic methods to analyze the tumors, create a portfolio of diagnostic services, standardize laboratory protocols and sample processing methods in order to establish variant interpretation guidelines and agree on a clinical report model.

A network of high-capacity genomic analysis centers based on existing centers will be established. This infrastructure will focus on rare diseases, cancers of unknown origin, and pharmacogenetics. This is a national program aimed at establishing standardized procedures to guarantee equitable access to genomic analysis. The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Barcelona, will be responsible for the centralization of samples.

Convocatoria Infraestructura de Medicina de Precisión Asociada a la Ciencia y Tecnología - IMPaCT. Ref: IMP/00009, Coordinator: the CIBER network. This Project is funded by the Subdirección General de Evaluación y Fomento de la investigación dentro del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo



PERSIST-SEQ is a public-private partnership funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), with representation from academic institutions, small- and medium-sized enterprises, public organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

The PERSIST-SEQ five-year international collaboration, led by the Oncode Institute (Utrecht, The Netherlands) and AstraZeneca, comprises 18 partners including VHIO and aims to provide the cancer research community with a new gold standard workflow for single-cell sequencing by developing and validating best practices as well as generating and analyzing high-quality FAIR data.

Empowering the scientific community to unravel therapeutic resistance and develop smarter therapeutic strategies to better treat cancer and prevent drug resistance, PERSIST-SEQ will employ an open access model to build and sustain its benchmarking procedures and centralized European data infrastructure. This model reduces duplication of efforts, thereby promoting collaboration across disciplines and ensuring efficient adoption of state-of-the-art single cell technologies.

www.persist-seq.org

PERSIST-SEQ is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No. 101007937. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research an innovation programme and EFPIA.



Other collaborations:


The AstraZeneca/MedImmune – VHIO Alliance drives advancements at the preclinical, clinical and translational research levels across AstraZeneca's oncology portfolio. Combining VHIO's strengths in promoting cancer discovery through the integration of translational science and clinical research with AstraZeneca's promising early-stage oncology pipeline, the alliance focuses on areas including DNA damage repair, drug resistance, new drug combinations and molecular profiles for patient selection.

In 2020, AstraZeneca/Medimmune announced its Partner of Choice Network, comprising nine of the world’s most renowned research centers and institutes in oncology to accelerate research against some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers. Selected partners of choice are the Cambridge Cancer Center (UK), Institut Gustave Roussy (France), Johns Hopkins University (USA), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (USA), Oregon Health and Science University/Knight Cancer Institute (USA), Peter MacCallum Cancer Center (Australia) Princess Margaret Cancer Center (Canada), University of Navarra (Spain), and VHIO.

This network serves a forum for data sharing and cancer discovery in real-time. Scientific insights and findings generated through clinical studies are exchanged among partner institutions for the development and implementation as best practices in oncology. AstraZeneca will support selected clinical and non-clinical research proposals from the partners’ investigators to expedite novel scientific research and innovative clinical trial design aimed at developing new strategies in precision medicine against cancer.

www.astrazeneca.com



The SCITRON Consorcio público-privado de Investigación Científica y Translacional en Oncología (Consortium for Scientific Translational Research in Oncology) is a scientific program which was established in collaboration with Novartis in 2017.

As a new model of R&D collaboration, this initiative connects experts from Novartis and VHIO in applied and translational research to increase the impact of basic research in clinical practice. The specific areas of interest include the development of a technology platform that analyses tumor clonal evolution and resistance mechanisms to targeted immunotherapy.

www.novartis.com



Launched by Roche in 2016, the imCORE - immunotherapy Centres of Research Excellence Network is a 27 partner-strong collaboration that aims to advance discovery in cancer immunotherapy. It connects internationally renowned scientific and clinical experts in immune-based therapeutic strategies in oncology who work together to assess and advance the most promising novel treatment approaches.

Working in collaboration with scientists from Roche and Genentech, researchers and physician-scientists in cancer immunotherapy from across the globe aim to drive the application and extension of immune-based strategies to more tumor types, as well as advance insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms modulating immune response to cancer.

This network was designed to significantly advance anti-cancer immunotherapeutics and accelerate discovery towards benefiting patients who may stand to gain from novel immune agents as mono therapy or in combination.

www.roche.com



The OCTC - Oncology Clinical and Translational Consortium, a collaborative scientific research network comprised of 6 renowned comprehensive cancer centers, was launched by GSK in 2013.

While GSK gains OCTC's expertise in preclinical, translational and clinical development of novel anticancer therapeutics, the participating centers have access to studies with GSK's early-stage oncology pipeline and opportunities to accelerate and advance the next generation of novel oncology therapeutics.

www.gsk.com

Accreditation


IIn 2017 VHIO underwent evaluation for accreditation of the Institució CERCA–Centres de Recerca de Catalunya (CERCA Institute of Research Centres of Catalunya) for the period 2013–2016.

In recognition of VHIO's progress, performance in knowledge transfer activities and management of excellence, VHIO was awarded the maximum qualification of an A grading.

www.cerca.cat/en/



The European Commission’s Human Resources for Research (HRS4R) strategy enables research institutions of excellence to actively implement and uphold the requisites of The European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers for their HR policies and practices.

VHIO’s comprehensive analysis and action plan was officially approved by HRS4R assessors in 2018 and our Institute was consequently granted permission to use the HR Excellence in Research Award logo as demonstration of its stimulating and favorable work environment.

www.vhio.net/about-vhio/hrs4r/

Also reflective of our dedication to excellence and the quality of our services and procedures, VHIO’s Cancer Genomics and Molecular Oncology Groups are both ISO-accredited for their testing methods and technologies.



VHIO continues to meet the high standards in quality and procedures in the audit of our clinical trials Units, carried out by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia). Our Research Management is also endorsed by ISO 9001 Certification.

New funding and projects in 2021

Institutional Supporters


Departament de Salut: Budgetary support
Departament d’Empresa i Coneixement: Budgetary support


VHIO’s CELLEX Building & Infrastructure


Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Program (DIAMAV), and other VHIO investigators, groups and projects


Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) – CaixaResearch, and CaixaResearch Advanced Oncology Research Program


Comprehensive Program of Cancer Immunotherapy & Immunology (CAIMI)


Center of Excellence Severo Ochoa


International Support


H2020-JTI-IMI2-2020-20-two-stage– International Consortium
Building a reproducible single-cell experimental workflow to capture tumour drug persistence– PERSIST-SEQ
Ref: 101007937
PI VHIO: Héctor G. Palmer
Stem Cells & Cancer Group


National Cancer Institute
Overcoming Drug Resistance in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Ref: 5R01CA244601-02
PI: Joaquín Arribas
Growth Factors Group


Translational/Clinical Research Fellowship
Integration of genomic testing and patient expectations into prostate cancer treatment decision-making
Granted to Pablo Cresta
Mentor: Joaquin Mateo
Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group


European Moleular Biology Organization (EMBO) Postdoctoral Long Fellowship
Ref: ALTF 293-2021
Granted to Gonçalo Rodrigues
Mentor: Joan Seoane
Gene Expression & Cancer Group


Breast Cancer Research Foundation Grant
Immune Senolysis Against Breast Cancer
Ref: BCRF-21-008
PI: Joaquín Arribas
Growth Factors Group


National Funding


Ajuts per a la incorporació de personal investigador postdoctoral al sistema català de ciència i tecnologia dins del programa Beatriu de Pinós
Advancing magnetic resonance imaging against liver cancer
Ref: 2020 BP 00117
Granted to Francesco Grussu
Project Director: Raquel Perez-López
Radiomics Group
Co-funded by the H2020 Programme - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND (BP3, Ref: 801370)  

Ajuts per a la contractació de personal investigador novell – FI Predoctoral
Non-invasive, personalized, T-cell therapies targeting recurrent hot spot driver mutations in cancer
Ref: 2021 FI B 00365
Granted to Anna Yuste
Project Co-Directors: Josep Tabernero & Alena Gros
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group
Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy Group


DEPARTAMENT DE SALUT
Ajuts per Investigadors en Formació (PIF-Salut)

Desenvolupament de teràpies cel·lulars personalitzades no invasives focalitzades en atacar el mutanoma tumoral en pacients amb càncers d'endometri metastàtic
Ref: SLT017/20/000131
PI: Alena Gros
Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy Group

Ajuts per Investigadors en Formació (PIF-Salut)
Imatge de precisió i intel.ligència artificial per una millor caracterització de la resposta del càncer a immunoteràpia
Ref: SLT017/20/000080
PI: Raquel Perez-Lopez
Radiomics Group

Ajuts per Investigadors en Formació (PIF-Salut)
Búsqueda de biomarcadores predictivos de respuesta a inhibidores de PARP y quimioterapias basadas en platinos en cáncer de mama y ovario hereditario
Ref: SLT017/20/000081
PI: Violeta Serra
Experimental Therapeutics Group


Proyectos I+D+i Retos de Investigación. Mining the molecular determinants of the personalized antitumor T-cell response in cancer patients to develop more effective immunotherapies (PersImmune)
Ref: PID2020-118529RB-I00
PI: Alena Gros
Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy Group
Grant funded by the European Commission European Development Fund: A way of making Europe

Proyectos I+D+i Retos de Investigación.
Targeting synthetic lethality in Chromatin Regulatory Genes for gastrointestinal cancer treatment (ChromSynthLeth)
Ref: PID2020-115097RA-I00
PI: Jose Antonio Seoane
Cancer Computational Biology Group
Grant funded by the European Commission European Development Fund: A way of making Europe

Proyectos de I+D+i en líneas estratégicas, en colaboración público-privada
Using MYC inhibition to overcome immunotherapy resistance in KRAS-driven NSCLC with diverse mutational profiles (MYCOMBIO)
Ref: PLEC2021-007959
PI: Laura Soucek
Models of Cancer Therapies Group
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)

Proyectos de I+D+i en líneas estratégicas, en colaboración público-privada
Early molecular nanoDIAGnostics of Brain tumors using Immune-PET (DIAGBI)
Ref: PLEC2021-008034
PI: Joan Seoane
Gene Expression & Cancer Group
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)

Ayudas para Contratos Ramon y Cajal
Ref: RYC2020-029098-I
Granted to Tian Tian
Chromatin Dynamics in Cancer Group
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)

Ayudas Contratos Juan de la Cierva Formación
Ref: FJC2020-046226-I
Granted to Joan Frigola
Project Director: Enriqueta Felip
Thoracic Tumors & Head and Neck Cancer Group
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)

Ayudas contratos Predoctorales para la formación de Profesores Universitarios
Ref: FPU20/04812
Granted to Iñigo González
Project Director: Laura Soucek
Models of Cancer Therapies Group


VHIO projects managed through the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Acreditdo Institut de Recerca (Accredited Research Institute - Vall d'Hebron)


Proyectos de Investigación Clínica Independiente Multi-target approach including anti-angiogenic agent to overcome treatment resistance in BRAF mutant metastatic colorectal setting (BRAVE)
Ref: ICI21/00097
PI: Elena Élez
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)  

Proyectos de Investigación en Salud
Genomic evolution of advanced prostate cancer under selective pressure from novel therapeutic strategies
Ref: PI21/00430
PI: Joaquin Mateo
Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group
Grant funded by the European Commission European Development Fund: A way of making Europe

Proyectos de Investigación en Salud
CtDNA in breast milk for early detection of pregnancy associated breast cancer
Ref: PI21/01020
PI: Cristina Saura
Breast Cancer & Melanoma Group
Grant funded by the European Commission European Development Fund: A way of making Europe

Proyectos de Investigación en Salud
PRECISION: Deciphering colon cancer heterogeneity with machine learning and precision imaging
Ref: PI21/01019
PI: Raquel Perez-Lopez
Radiomics Group
Grant funded by the European Commission European Development Fund: A way of making Europe

Proyectos de Investigación en Salud
Transcriptomic and (epi)genetic hallmarks of CNS-tropism in diffuse large B cell lymphoma
Ref: PI21/01190
PI: Marta Crespo
Experimental Hematology Group
Grant funded by the European Commission European Development Fund: A way of making Europe

Proyectos de Cooperación Conjunta Internacional
A Machine learning approach to Identify patients with Resected non-small-cell lung cAnCer with high risk of reLapsE (MIRACLE)
Ref: AC21_2/00052
PI: Enriqueta Felip
Thoracic Tumors & Head and Neck Cancer Group
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)  

Proyectos de Desarrollo Tecnológico en Salud
First-in-class small drug activtors of TET2 for the treatment of cancer
Ref: DTS21/00169
PI: Héctor G. Palmer
Stem Cells & Cancer Group
Grant funded by the European Commission European Development Fund: A way of making Europe

RICORS
RICORS Terápias Avanzadas
Ref: RD21/0017/0035
PI: Francesc Bosch
Experimental Hematology Group
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)  

Proyectos de Investigación de Medicina Personalizada de Precisión
Integrative genomic, digital imaging and clinical information towards Precision Oncology Optimization – INGENIO
Ref: PMP21/00107
Grant funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU/Planes Nacionales de Recuperación, Transformación y Resilencia (PRTR)  

Ayudas para la Intensificación de la Actividad Investigadora
Ref: INT21/00076
Granted to Jaume Capdevila
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group

Ayudas para Contratos Rio Hortega
Ref: CM21/00099
Granted to Mara Cruellas
Project Director: Judith Balmaña
Hereditary Cancer Genetics Group

Ayudas para Contratos Predoctorales de Formación en Investigación en Salud
Ref: FI21/00279
Granted to Paula Romero
Project Director: Ana Vivancos
Cancer Genomics Group


Private Funding


Health Research "la Caixa" Project
BioPrinted hydROgel MicrofluIdicS to mimic patient-specific tumor mEtastatic (PROMISE)
PI: Elena Élez
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group

Ayudas Predoctorales InPhinit Retaining
Deciphering spatial and temporal cancer heterogeneity with machine learning and precision imaging
Granted to Olivia Prior
Mentor: Raquel Perez-Lopez
Radiomics Group

Ayudas Predoctorales InPhinit Retaining
OncoPeptides: mining the secreted microproteome for novel regulators of PDAC biology
Granted to Marion Martínez
Mentor: Maria Abad
Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group

Ayudas Predoctorales InPhinit InComing
Armouring a p95HER2 CAR T for the controlled secretion of antitumor agents upon T-cell activation
Granted to Ariadna Grinyó
Mentor: Joaquín Arribas
Growth Factors Group


Beca FERO en Investigación Oncológica Traslacional
Exploitng therapy-induced senescence in a synthetic lethal approach to treat advanced Prostate Cancer
PI: Nicolás Herranz
Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group
––––––
Biopsia líquida en cáncer cerebral pediátrico: Análisis de ADN circulante en el líquido cefalorraquídeo de pacientes pediátricos con meduloblastoma para ayudar a la detección caracterización y tratmiento del tumor cerebral en la recaída
PI: Joan Seoane
Gene Expression & Cancer Group
Uso de nuevas tecnologías para la identificación de marcadores de sensibilidad y resistencia a terapias dirigidas en Cáncer Colorrectal Metastásico
PI: Josep Tabernero
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group


Grupos Coordinados AECC- NATIONAL CONSORTIUM
Tumoral senescence induced by anti-cancer therapies constitutes a novel prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target
PI VHIO: Maria Abad/ Joaquin Mateo/Raquel Perez-Lopez
Cellular Plasticity & Cancer Group
Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group
Radiomics Group

Clínico Junior AECC
CtDNA in breast milk for early detection of pregnancy associated breast cancer
Granted to Carolina Ortiz
Project Director: Cristina Saura
Breast Cancer & Melanoma Group

Investigador AECC
Deciphering the molecular mechanisms of tumour cell resistance to cancer therapies
Granted to Isabel Puig Borreil
Project Director Héctor G. Palmer
Stem Cells & Cancer Group

Postdoc AECC
Overcoming cancer immunotherapy resistance: new combinatorial strategies to improve immunotherapies
Granted to Enrique Javier Arenas
Project Director: Joaquín Arribas
Growth Factors Group


Projectes de Recerca Sobre la COVID
Microbiota composition as risk predictor in cancer patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
PI: Paolo Nuciforo
Molecular Oncology Group


Programa Joves i Ciència. Premio Pedrera Talents
Granted to Iosune Baraibar
Co-Mentors: Elena Élez & Joan Seoane
Gene Expression & Cancer Group
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group


Becas SEOM para Proyectos de Investigación en Cáncer de Mama
ADNtc en leche materna para la detección precoz de cáncer de mama asociado al embarazo
PI: Cristina Saura
Breast Cancer & Melanoma Group

Becas SEOM para Proyectos de Investigación en Cáncer de Mama
Impacto de la microbiota mamaria e intestinal en el pronóstico y en la respuesta al tratamiento con inhibidores de checkpoint inmunitario en cáncer de mama
PI: Mafalda Oliveira
Breast Cancer & Melanoma Group


Programa CRIS Talento Clínico
Prostate cancer genomic evolution and signatures of DNA damage repair deficiencies.
PI: Joaquin Mateo
Prostate Cancer Translational Research Group


Becas Junior GETNE Proyecto de Investigación 2021
Estudio de la expresión de antígenos como posibles dianas de conjugados anticuerpo-fármaco en tumores neuroendocrinos
PI: Alejandro García
Project Director: Jaume Capdevila
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group


Premios a la Investigación en Cancer de Mama Metastásico
Identification of response biomarkers of a novel HER3-topoisomerase I inhibitor antibody drug conjugate (U3-1402) using breast cancer patient-derived xenoimplant models
PI: Violeta Serra
Experimental Therapeutics Group


Premio Mutual Médica
Beca identificación y validación de mecanismos de resistencia y respuesta a terapias dirigidas para pacientes con cáncer colorrectal metastásico BRAFV600E mutado
PI: Javier Ros
Project Director: Elena Élez
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group


Ayudas TTD a Proyectos de Investigación en Tumores Digestivos
New biomarkers for monitoring the acquisition of resistance to BRAFV600E inhibitors in metastatic colorectal cancer
PI: Elena Élez
Gastrointestinal & Endocrine Tumors Group