Dr. María J. Vicent is head of Polymer Therapeutics Laboratory at Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF, Valencia Spain) since 2006. Currently she is also the responsible of the Screening Platform and the Advanced Therapies Program Coordinator at CIPF. She also coordinates the Valencian Community Strategy on Innovative and Precision Medicine. Her research group focused on the development of novel nanopharmaceuticals, in particular Polymer Therapeutics, for different therapeutic and diagnostic applications and has been funded by national and European grants (several acting as coordinator including an ERC Consolidator grant-MyNano). Maria has received several prizes and awards one on her pioneer work on polymer-based combination therapeutics or directly related to a novel platform capable to cross the blood brain barrier with application in neurodegenerative disorders. María co-authored >85 peer reviewed papers and 7 patents, 2 of them licensed to the pharmaceutical industry and a third one used as foundation of the spin off company ‘Polypeptide Therapeutic Solutions SL’ in 2012.
Polymer conjugates are nanosized hybrids that covalently combine a bioactive agent with a polymer to ensure not only its efficient release to the required intracellular compartment, but also its availability within a specific period of time. Clinical proof of concept for these multi-component constructs has been already achieved as anticancer agents, both as single agents or as elements of combinations. The fast evolution of polymer chemistry and bioconjugation techniques and deeper understanding of cell biology opened up exciting new opportunities. However, many challenges still lay ahead providing scope to develop this platform technology further. Delivery of new anticancer agents focusing on novel molecular targets and their combination, development of both new and exciting polymeric materials with defined architectures and treatment of diseases other than cancer, in particular looking at promoting tissue repair, are the most exciting and promising areas, and therefore, are the driven research lines in the Polymer Therapeutics laboratory at CIPF.
Our research lines to be discussed during the presentation include the design of novel polymer-based nanoconjugates for the treatment of metastatic tumours as well as the development of novel polymeric carriers and conjugates for neurodegenerative diseases with inherent capability to cross the BBB.
•General Concepts in Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery and in particular Polymer Therapeutics allowing a rational design.
•I believe all could be apply depending on the particular delivery problem encountered or unmet clinical need to be treated.