The UAB leads the Neosetac project, which aims to develop a new selenium-based nano drug therapy to be used as a breast cancer treatment. The five European institutions and companies participating recently met at the UAB to begin working on this new project.

Until now, the clinical application of selenium compounds for breast cancer treatment has been limited to chemoprevention in the form of dietary supplements. The project, coordinated by Manuel Valiente, lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, aims to heighten the anti-tumour capacity of this component with the development of biodegradable nanoparticles which can take the component and release it in the specific area containing the mammary tumour. The objective is to transfer the initial promising results obtained with two powerful compounds in the production phase to the clinical trial phase.

Neosetac will also contemplate studying the functionality of nanoparticles by cancer cell and cancer stem cell in order to inprove the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy and prevent cancer recurrence after treatment. “These advantages can lead us to improve anti-cancer activities and reduce systemic toxicity”, indicate members of the consortium in the description of the project, that held their first work meeting on 22 and 23 January at the reunion hall of the Faculty of Science.

With a budget of €504,000 and a 2021 deadline, the project will be a public-private collaboration including three research institutions and two companies from Austria, Sweden and Spain. The UAB will create the selenium compounds, the Karolinska Institut will be in charge of the nanoparticles, the ACIB will take care of their directionality, the Stockholms Laens Landsting (VEC) will produce the nano drugs , AbBCN the antibodies; and the Austrian Drug Screening Center (ADSI) will be responsible for the planning and execution of the clinical trials.

Breast cancer comprises 10.4% of all the cancer incidences among women and causes more than 410,000 deaths per year overall in the world. In Europe, there is more than twice of the amount of new breast cancer cases annually than new cases of cancer in any other place.

The Neosetac project (New Selenium-based Targeted Nanocapsules to treat Breast Cancer) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 778325”.