GRIB. Research Unit on Biomedical Informatics

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Judith Pérez, winner of the collaborative poster session at the 2nd DCEXS PhD students' symposium

Congratulations to Judith Pérez, predoctoral researcher of the Integrative Biomedical Informatics Group of GRIB, awarded for the poster entitled "ResMarkerDB: a database of biomarkers of response to antibody therapy for breast and colorectal cancer". ResMarkerDB aims to promote the identification of existing and new actionable biomarkers of drug response in cancer and acts as a centralized repository that gathers information of biomarkers of response to therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for breast and colorectal cancer. Indeed, it integrates information from available public repositories and new data extracted and curated from the literature. Furthermore, ResMarkerDB allows exploration, visualization and prioritization of biomarker data and its response to therapy in a specific cancer type according to the evidence supporting their association and potential clinical usefulness. More information of this resource at

The poster session was part of the 2nd PhD students' symposium of the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) held last 22&23rd of November in the PRBB. The DCEXS holds every year this symposium featuring leading topics in biomedical research, such as quantitative biology, genetics or neuroscience. Last year it was focused on doctoral students and this year it has been organized by a committee with representatives from all collectives.

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Optimizing collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry to improve the toxicological evaluation of drugs

Researchers Manuel Pastor, Jordi Quintana and Ferran Sanz have published an article in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology in which they share their experience gained in the transfer of computational predictive models from academic to industrial environments. This experience was acquired in the already concluded eTOX project, funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). The main results of this project pave the way for a new model of collaboration by the pharmaceutical industries among themselves and also between them and the world of academia, by sharing data and knowledge in order to improve the toxicological evaluation of compounds for potential use in drugs.

"In this article we have shared our experience in the adaptation of computational tools for drug discovery generated in academia for use in the pharmaceutical industry. It is an aspect that is often overlooked in this type of projects", says Manuel Pastor, head of the GRIB's Pharmacoinformatics group. "We have described some of the problems identified and the solutions we apply to solve or mitigate them", he adds.

In the project, the pharmaceutical companies contributed data generated and stored internally to train predictive models. One of the problems encountered was the need to share confidential information, such as the structure of compounds under development. Given that such data are highly sensitive, the companies were opposed to letting this information out of their internal repositories.

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The project eTRANSAFE: Enhancing Translational Safety Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management, aims to develop an advanced data integration infrastructure together with innovative computational methods to improve the security in drug development process. The project is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI 2) together with the pharmaceutical industry for the period 2017-2022 and is coordinated by the GRIB.

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