Pharma Mar S.A. (PHM)

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PharmaMar is a biopharmaceutical company with headquarters in Madrid (Spain). Founded in 1986, with the vision of exploiting the great potential of the oceans as a source of novel medicines for improved cancer treatment, PharmaMar has a unique collection of 100,000 marine organisms obtained from expeditions around the world. 700 new chemical entities have been discovered in the company and 30 new families of compounds have been identified. PharmaMar has one agent in the market: Yondelis® (trabectedin) for the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas (STS) and ovarian cancer.

PharmaMar also has currently other 5 compounds in clinical trials and 3 molecules in advanced preclinical development. The drug discovery programme is based on the study of marine invertebrates and microorganisms as source of new chemical entities with bioactivity.


Contact person: Fernando de la Calle ( )



Role of PHM in MaCuMBA:

The main activities for MaCuMBA will be antitumoral screening of samples from cultures, clones (or pool of clones), compounds, or any extract/fraction with potential trace of cytotoxic activity. Isolation and molecular characterization of actinobacteria associated to marine samples. Culture of pure strains or clones, pool of clones, GMO or any microorganisms selected by PCR for harbouring PKS or NRPS gene clusters. Chemical dereplication by HPLC/MS using our own data base of known cytotoxic/anticancer compounds of the active samples. Scale-up & Recovery of active cultures to 50L fermentors. Bio guided chromatographic steps for discovery new antitumoral compounds. In addition, PhM will contribute actively in WP2 (isolating rare biodiversity), WP3 (efficiently culture of microorganisms), WP4 (offering our marine library), WP5 (detecting cell to cell communication key factors for improving isolation and expressing of new metabolites, WP7 (antitumoral screening) and IPR issues.


Profile of staff engaged in the project:.

Fernando de la Calle

Dr. Fernando de la Calle. Head of Marine Microbiology. R&D. Drug Discovery Area. Executive MBA and Ph.D in Sciences (Molecular Microbiology) at the University Autonóma of Madrid 1998. He joined PharmaMar in 1988. Since 1999, he has had been Head of the Marine Microbiology R&D Department. He is one of the authors of the current manufacturing process of Yondelis, a marine derived compound recently approved by the EMEA for the treatment of soft- tissue sarcomas (2007) and recurrent ovarian cancer in combination with Caelyx® (2009). Principal researcher in more than 10 funded national and local projects.
 Carmen Schleissner Dr. Carmen Schleissner. Project & Team Leader of Microbiology R&D Department. Ph.D in Biochemistry by the Leon University 1997. She joined the CNMVIS in 1987. In 1989 she moved to the pharmaceutical industry with Antibióticos in León, where she held positions in the area of R&D. In 1992 she was promoted to Head of Cell Culture Laboratory, conducting research on the production of the anticancer taxol®. She joined PharmaMar in 2001 as senior researcher at the Microbiology R&D Dpt., taking on her position of Team Leader.
 Luis F. Garcia-Fernandez Dr. Luis F. García. Head of Cell Biology & Screening Department. Luis F. García received his PhD in Molecular Biology in 1996 from the Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain. He joined PharmaMar, S.A. in 2000, where he is currently Head of the Cell Biology Department. He has over 20 years of research experience on intracellular signalling pathways mediating malignant cell transformation and identification of candidate targets for antitumor.

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