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A Spanish research center offers a synthetic hydrogel for immunotherapy and 3D printing

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20200713001
Publication Date: 13 July 2020


A Spanish biomedical research networking center has developed a novel 3D (bio)printable hydrogel. They have also created the method for producing it and its use in T-cell culture for immunotherapies (particularly in cancer). The biomedical center is looking to establish license, research cooperation, or joint venture agreements.


This research networking center gathers some of the main Spanish research groups in biomedicine, located in more than 100 institutions like universities, hospitals, and technological centers distributed around the country.
Immunotherapy is a medical strategy that offers a different approach to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery in the treatment of diseases, particularly in cancer. Immunotherapy is based on employing and reinforcing the immune system of patients. The immune system protects the organisms against disease, distinguishing between self and non-self. However, cancer appears from the organism own cells, and it creates a tumor microenvironment with immune evasion and immunosuppression signals capable of avoiding the immune response. The main objective of immunotherapy is to develop different strategies able to surpass cancer immunosuppression methods, detect and eliminate malignant cells without damaging healthy tissues.
The present invention discloses a novel 3D (bio)printable hydrogel, the method for producing it and its use in T cell culture for immunotherapies. This hydrogel is based on a functionalized poly(ethylene)glycol (PEG) polymer covalently combined with heparin (Hep), which is loaded with at least one immune molecule.
The Spanish research center seeks industrial o research partners from the pharmaceutical or biotech sector to establish license, research cooperation, or joint venture agreements. The aim of this collaboration will be to perform proof of concept and drug testing.

Advantages and Innovations

The PEG-Hep hydrogel was combined with different positively charged biomolecules such as cytokines and cell-adhesive molecules to provide customized hydrogel scaffolds.
These scaffolds are able to mimic the extracellular matrix of the lymph nodes, thus showing the potential to fabricate artificial lymph nodes for therapy and research models (organ on a chip).
High immune cell proliferation parameters have been obtained, essential to produce the necessary amounts of therapeutic T cells to reach the appropriate clinical doses.
The hydrogel can be used as a bioink for 3D printing, thus finding applications in biotechnology, medicine, and tissue engineering.

Stage Of Development

Under development/lab tested

Stage Of Development Comment

In vitro validation, ready for in vivo studies and clinical proof of concept

Requested partner

The Spanish research center has a patent ready for licensing-out.

They are seeking industrial and research partners, either from the Biotech or Pharma sectors, to:

- Enter into preclinical R&D collaboration (in vitro and/or in vivo drug testing)
- Further development until clinical proof-of-concept

The specific collaboration types will be:

• Industry for further development and/or license under license agreement.
• Research organization for collaborative and innovation projects under research cooperation agreement.
• Investor for financial support and/or setting-up of spin-off company under a joint venture agreement.

Cooperation offer ist closed for requests