A comprehensive approach to develop tools for both prevention and treatment of diseases
Since vaccine and new drug discoveries are one effective means of controlling disease, IrsiCaixa studies possible new treatment strategies for a wide range of diseases that, in one way or another, are closely related to the main pillars of IrsiCaixa's research, namely, HIV/AIDS and the immune system.
Boosting the immune system
Vaccines and immunotherapeutic drugs against infectious diseases are based on the very simple principle that teaching the immune system to recognise a pathogen generates a potent immune response that eliminates it. This principle underlies both treatment (the immune system eliminates the infection once it has occurred) and prevention (the immune system ‘memory’ of the pathogen means it can prevent future infection by eliminating the pathogen before it can trigger disease). IrsiCaixa extrapolates this immune system principle to other research areas, including cancer and neurological diseases. IrsiCaixa is implementing projects to develop vaccines against HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and other infectious agents, and is evaluating the usefulness of its vaccine platform for the fight against cancer.
From laboratory to clinic
IrsiCaixa's different lines of research are aimed at providing solutions for people who are ill. These solutions come in many forms: vaccines, therapies, drugs, antibodies, disease markers, treatment guidelines, etc. All of these solutions, however, first require investing efforts in basic research for transfer to applied research aimed at demonstrating treatment efficacy and safety in people. Two IrsiCaixa spin-offs, AlbaJuna and AELIX Therapeutics, have already taken treatments to the preclinical and clinical phases, respectively.