Innovative initiatives and projects to move forward


“What would have happened if Alexander Fleming had not investigated the action of penicillin about some infections; if Ignaz Semmelweis, as a doctor, had not paid attention to puerperal fever; Or if Louis Pasteur had ignored observations on anthrax and rabies?” they ask in a scientific journal. Elsevier. Of course, we would not have made the progress that we have today.

All methodological and cognitive advances in medicine have been the result of research and innovation. in this area, since both actions contribute to the generation of new knowledge and, therefore, have a positive impact on people’s health.

Scientific research in the clinical field gives us tools for mastering various disciplines and medical specialties which are then applied to the population and translated into better treatments and more individualized therapies for patients.

Research and innovation in biomedicine has enabled great progress that the Foundation ”la Caixa” wants to recognize and continue to support through various programs and initiatives. It is for this reason that the foundation has made it its mission to build a better world for all and supports researchers who work every day to improve the health of society.

research support

The ”la Caixa” Foundation works for provide support to the people and teams that are investigating achieve important goals such as cancer treatment, prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases or control of emerging infections.

In this sense, the foundation has included in its roadmap the promotion of various advances in biomedicine and healthcare from a transversal and interdisciplinary perspective; It was found cooperation agreements with universities, research centers and hospitals promote various research and innovation projects; He also promoted the education of the most potential students and researchers through scholarships so that they can study in the best faculties and schools.

Research and innovation in biomedicine has led to great clinical advances, so their social contribution must be recognized.

Selected research and innovation projects

“Tomorrow’s health depends on today’s research,” emphasizes the la Caixa Foundation, which, guided by this premise, launched a corporate campaign, appreciates the work of researchers. This initiative, involving Dr. Manel Juan, Head of Immunology Services at the Hospital’s Biomedical Diagnostic Center and Head of Immunotherapy Research at CaixaResearch, further demonstrates the company’s commitment to people’s present and future: “We focus on those programs that have the most transformative impact. Because progress is only progress if we all progress.”

The aim of this project is to emphasize the absence of notoriety among professionals who, despite great scientific achievements, remain anonymous for society. The situation occurs during a taxi ride; the host listens to the radio while the announcer announces “encouraging news”: a groundbreaking therapy has been developed that successfully fights multiple myeloma cancer. The journalist names its author, but the listener admits her ignorance, which she regrets: “Many investigate strange things and do not even know them.” “There should be a monument built for all these people, right?” he asks his passenger, who later turns out to be Dr. Manel Juan.

It was he who led the research team that made it possible to achieve the achievement they announce in the media. CAR-T is a type of cell and gene therapy in which the patient becomes his own donor. The cells in your immune system are the ones that will fight the cancer cells. Treatment consists of modifying the patient’s T-lymphocytes so that they have the ability to attack tumor cells and are effective in people who have already exhausted other therapeutic options.

Results obtained with this immunotherapy show great promise and have been confirmed in blood tumors such as leukemia or lymphoma. and in the future it is expected to be used against other types of non-hematological tumors. In fact, it is beginning to be tested in solid tumors such as glioblastoma, sarcoma, or breast, ovarian, testicular, and gastric cancers, as well as other diseases such as autoimmune pathologies and transplant rejection.

The La Caixa Foundation values ​​the work of researchers.

The La Caixa Foundation values ​​the work of researchers.

Alliances with Social Impact

Through this campaign, La Caixa aims to emphasize the enormous social impact that research can have today in our health tomorrow. For now, it should be remembered that in 2019 a strategic alliance was signed with the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona to promote innovative research with great impact and improve healthcare. This agreement, which was renewed in July this year, created Europe’s first CAR-T (ARI-0002h) for the treatment of multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer.

In addition, throughout its history, the foundation has applied six times to support various research projects in the field of biomedicine and health care. In this edition, as in previous editions, CaixaResearch aims to identify and promote promising initiatives of scientific excellence and potential value and social impact, both in basic and clinical or translational research, and which are related to the topics of neurology, oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, infectious diseases and all assistive technologies applied to them.

The projects selected this year will be announced in autumn and will have a financial contribution of no more than 500,000 euros if they are individual, and a grant of up to one million euros if they are group. In the latest edition, ideas such as rapid diagnosis of coronary heart disease to prevent early death, New therapeutic nanotechnology could halt the progression of Parkinson’s disease or a new way to treat brain metastases in breast cancer.

The La Caixa Foundation has a decade of research support and this year he will focus on his social work because, they insist, his work today is our health tomorrow.

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