New potential immunotherapy drug for advanced head and neck cancers

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The incidence of head and neck cancers (HNCs) is increasing worldwide, and there are still no effective therapies available on the market. This project aims to fill this gap in healthcare through a new cancer immunotherapy focused on an innovative mechanism of action (MoA), which combines a cytotoxic effect in malignant cells with an enhanced antitumor immune response.


  • Developing an innovative immuno-oncology drug to treat advanced HNCs.

Problem to Solve

Cancers that are detected in advanced stages frequently have a poor prognosis. HNCs, glioblastomas and pancreatic cancer constitute some examples of cancers that are generally diagnosed in their late stages. Current treatments rely on conventional chemotherapy, the effects of which are not sufficient to heal patients. In addition, these oncologic diseases lack effective targeted therapies, making it even harder to establish a proper treatment plan for patients.


The possibility of using a single drug with a dual beneficial effect, such as cancer cell selective cytotoxicity and enhanced antitumor immune response, breaks new ground in terms of developing advanced therapies for oncology patients. This new drug is being designed to inhibit a novel regulator of translation which selectively affects the expression of key oncogenic and inflammatory pathways in tumoral cells.

Level of Innovation

This potential immunotherapy drug will be unique, as the MoA has not previously been targeted. This new class of drugs targeting translation are hoped to have a stronger impact, with fewer side effects than existing therapies.


Project Leader. Research Associate.

Gonzalo Fernández Miranda

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona

Project leader

Group Leader and ICREA researcher

Raúl Méndez

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona

Research Assistant

Chiara Lara Castellazzi

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona

Technology Transfer Officer

Alba Olivares

Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona


CEO at Aelix Therapeutics

José Luis Cabero

Aelix Therapeutics & Symbiokraft


Obra social “la Caixa”
Caixa Capital Risc
CI.V 17

Scientific Area

Cell biology

Business area


Research center

Fundació Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona