medicine

Independence “not an issue” in European Medicines Agency fight

May 24, 2017 05:58 PM | CNA

The Spanish Minister of Health, Dolors Montserrat, defended on Wednesday that the current political debate in Catalonia, where the government plans to hold an independence referendum in autumn, does not damage Barcelona's candidacy to host the European Medicines Agency. In comments to the press from Brussels, where she held meetings with the Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis and the Secretary-Generals of the Commission and the Council, Montserrat said that “no one” had raised the issue of independence. “We are the government of all Catalans and we want the EMA in Barcelona. I am strongly convinced that (the independence debate) does not affect this at all. No one has asked me about it,” she insisted. Montserrat said that the Catalan capital is already “ready” to host the 900 EMA staff members at the iconic Torre Agbar building and said that Barcelona “fulfills” all the criteria.

European Medicine Agency employees prefer relocation to Barcelona

May 2, 2017 09:51 PM | ACN

Barcelona is one of the cities which has presented a proposal to host the European Medicines Agency, which will have to relocate from London due to Brexit. Moreover, it is the preferred option of its nearly 900 employees, who say they will be happy to relocate here. “This makes our candidature the only one which could guarantee that the essence of the EMA will remain the same, since its employees and therefore the talent will maintain,” explained Catalan Minister for Health, Toni Comín. He was one of the main speakers this Tuesday in London at the presentation of Barcelona’s candidacy to host the EMA. He was accompanied by Spanish Minister for Health, Dolors Montserrat and Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni, who emphasized that the three levels of administration are “working together” to bring the EMA to the Catalan capital.

Catalan scientists discover that saturated fat fuels the spread of cancer

December 8, 2016 06:52 PM | ACN

A group of scientists from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology have identified a population of oral tumour cells which may feast on fats to spread throughout the body — a process called metastasis. According to the study, published this Wednesday in the prestigious scientific magazine ‘Nature’, some of these cells expressed high levels of a molecule called CD36, which helps cells to take up lipids from their environment. The research shows that applying antibodies that block CD36 and eliminate its interaction with fatty acids resulted in a reduced number of metastatic focus and also reduced their size by around 80% to 90%. “If we cut the lipids supply to those cells which generate metastasis they are practically unable to spread”, the leader of the IRB ‘Cancer and Stem cells’ team, Salvador Aznar Benitah, explained. 

Ophthalmologist Joaquim Barraquer dies at 89

August 26, 2016 04:24 PM | ACN

He was the director of the prestigious ophthalmologist clinic Barraquer in Barcelona, founded in 1947 by his father and world-renowned doctor Ignasi Barraquer. Joaquim Barraquer was Professor of Eye Surgery at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Honorary Professor and Doctor Honoris Causa at several other universities. He was a specialist in corneal transplants and eye surgery to treat cataracts, glaucoma and myopia.

Catalonia offers to house European Medicines Agency

June 30, 2016 06:46 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government will offer to host the European Medicines Agency’s headquarters, which is currently in London. The body, which is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU, is looking for a new location after ‘Brexit’ and the Generalitat will defend Catalonia’s “potential in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sector” for Catalonia to become the agency’s new home. Indeed, in the nineties the Catalan Government already presented a “very solid portfolio” to house the European Medicines Agency, which was ultimately located in London’s Canary Wharf financial district. According to sources interviewed by CNA, Catalonia is now “racing” with other countries which have also presented their candidacies, such as Sweden, Denmark and Italy.

The first Centre of Chinese Traditional Medicine outside Asia to be created in Barcelona

February 2, 2016 05:03 PM | ACN

The initiative will set up Catalonia as a point of reference in Europe regarding this kind of medicine. The agreement between the Catalan government and a consortium led by the Beijing government also includes actions in the fields of higher education, research, health and culture. For example, an official master’s degree in Chinese traditional medicine will be taught in collaboration with two Catalan universities, the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), and alongside with Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. The project has been promoted by the Catalan Ministry for Business and Knowledge, through the area which focuses on attracting foreign investment, ACCIÓ – Catalonia Trade & Investment, and the Secretary for Universities and Research.