Biomedicine

Chile has the potential to become a leader in biomedicine in Latin America. According to the 25th Annual Report on Life Sciences of Burrill & Co. (2011), our country is in the top 25 countries for clinical trials for infectious diseases and central nervous system disorders. In 2009 there were 425 studies under development, more than 30 clinical research institutions, 300 testing sites, and more than 200 researchers.

Biotechnological research and development in biomedicine conducted in our country includes research in areas of stem cells, Alzheimer’s, cancer, pain and inflammation, tissue regeneration, diabetes and vaccines.

Emblematic Examples

Medivation
In 2007, Biopharmaceutical Medivation chose Chile to set up its first lab outside the United States. The initiative, led by Sebastián Bernales, aims to develop drugs to fight diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Andes Biotechnologies
This company is developing new cancer therapies. It has a portfolio of nine patent applications in key pharmaceutical markets in the world, covering the diagnostic and therapeutic use of non-coding oligonucleotides of mitochondrial RNA that have the potential to selectively eliminate tumor cells in many cancers without harming normal cells.

This project is in preclinical stage and expects to begin human trials in late 2012 or early 2013.

Andes has received contributions of US $5 million, of which US $1 million corresponds to resources of institutions related to government. The remaining funding was provided by Austral Capital and Aurus Capital.

Proteus
This company created a new drug for the management of acute and chronic pain and a wide spectrum of pathologies (MODOL®), which is currently beginning its clinical research stage.

Proteus’ research team developed, while working with neosaxitoxin, a process of obtaining a clone of cyanophytes, from an isolated strain.
It causes a local anesthetic effect by inhibiting sensory neurons. Additionally, it generates a flaccid muscle paralysis in its effect on motor neurons.
This new drug has a prolonged effect for the management of post-surgical pain.

Clínica Las Condes
In 2011, this company opened the first mesenchymal stem cells laboratory in Chile. The laboratory focuses on the regeneration of human damaged tissue. This therapy has shown positive results on an experimental level and has been used for cartilage injuries in joints and bone tissue, as well as spinal cord injuries.

The Center for Tissue Engineering and Mesenchymal Stem Cells is under the innovative project INNOVA supported by CORFO and is led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rodrigo Mardones.

BMRC (PUC-Recalcine)

Biomedical Research Consortium-Chile was born in 2007, the result of a partnership between Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) and Recalcine Pharmaceutical Corporation (CFR), with the purpose of developing new technologies aimed at generating products or services that solve global human health problems, through the implementation of a research and development program, and the commercilization of its results.

Currently, it has several basic applied and public health research projects running, as well as equipment and infrastructure programs for research, a training program for highly qualified human resources, and a program of technology transfer and commercialization of the results of our investigations.
BMRC currently researches and develops solutions in the following areas: female reproductive tissues cancer, a kit for determining prognosis and diagnosis of thyroid cancer, modulation of the immune response, new molecular tools to promote immunity and prevent autoimmunity, and vaccines and diagnostics against Helicobacter pylori.