17 Apr

Doctor Julià Panés joins the GoodGut Board of Advisors

Doctor Julià Panés joins the GoodGut Board of Advisors

GoodGut has a new member of its Board of Advisors: Dr Julià Panés, a well-known specialist in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Panés is the director of the IBD research group at the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (Idibaps) and head of the IBD Unit at Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic. His team publishes an average of 20 scientific articles a year in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet and Gastroenterology

Panés has had an illustrious career: over 300 publications, 500 conference speeches and membership of global gastroenterology organisations such as the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), United European Gastroenterology (UEG), European Chron’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) and International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IOIBD). He is also a lecturer at the University of Barcelona. In 2013 he received the Award for Professional Excellency from the Barcelona College of Doctors (Col·legi de Metges).

Panés is the fourth member of GoodGut’s Board of Advisors, alongside the doctors Antoni Castells and Fermín Mearin, and the entrepreneur Gabriel Masfuroll.

GoodGut is developing various non-invasive tests based on intestinal microbiota for early diagnosis of digestive diseases, such as RAID-CD for IBD and irritable bowel syndrome.

16 Feb

The GoodGut colon cancer test, one of the projects to be supported by the CIMTI

The GoodGut colon cancer test, one of the projects to be supported by the CIMTI

The Centre for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies (CIMTI), created in 2017 at the initiative of the Leitat Foundation with the support of the Catalan Department of Health and the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia, has selected GoodGut’s RAID-CRC test as one of the health innovation projects that will improve patient quality of life.

The RAID-CRC test is a non-invasive method which will be used to prevent and diagnose colorectal cancer more effectively and reduce the need for unnecessary colonoscopies. Positive results from the first clinical trial were recently published.

The projects supported by the CIMTI are in the development phase and have been selected “with great care, focusing on those which may have a significant overall impact on health and which are viable” explained Manel Balcells, director of the centre.

The CIMTI has a collaboration agreement with the CIMIT in Boston, one of the most important centres in the world for medical innovation and on which the CIMTI is modelled.

All of the projects selected which are already up and running were launched by public hospitals and the CIMTI will now support them to find further funding: “There are already private investors interested in funding these projects, and the CIMTI acts as an intermediary”, Balcells told us. In the case of GoodGut, a 4 million euro funding round has been opened to bring the new test to the market before the end of 2019.

For further information read the following news items on Ara (in Catalan) and La Vanguardia (in Spanish) websites.

19 Jan

GoodGut does trials on more effective test to prevent colon cancer

GoodGut does trials on more effective test to prevent colon cancer

GoodGut has presented positive results for the RAID-CRC test which will improve early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC). This test yields 55% fewer false positives than screening with faecal occult blood tests, as blood is not a specific marker of CRC and, as a result, limits the number of colonoscopies that must be given.

These conclusions are from a multi-centre study with 450 patients with symptoms pointing to CRC who had had a colonoscopy at five Catalan hospitals that are leaders in oncology: Dr Josep Trueta University Hospital, Bellvitge University Hospital, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Healthcare Institute (IAS) and the Hospital Consortium of Vic.

Currently, the main colon-cancer screening programme in many countries is the immunochemical faecal occult blood test (FIT–Kit OC-Sensor®). This test is effective and affordable, but has a low positive predictive value (8%), which means it yields a high percentage of false positives leading to unnecessary colonoscopies. RAID-CRC complements the current screening with the microbiological signature of CRC in the faecal sample.

“The results of the study prove that screening with RAID-CRC and FIT detects CRC with up to 94% sensitivity and advanced neoplasms with 80% sensitivity,” explains Dr Xavier Aldeguer, GoodGut medical director and head of the Digestive System Department at Dr Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona. Aldeguer has been researching the intestinal microbiota for more than 10 years.

Furthermore, Dr Antoni Castells, co-coordinator of the Barcelona colorectal cancer detection programme, says the new approach would “reduce the number of unnecessary colonoscopies by 32% and detect 59% of precancerous lesions“. The savings associated with colonoscopies alone would add up to more than €5.5 million per round of screening every two years and increase the sensitivity to detect precancerous lesions (diagnosing the disease in a very early stage).

Third most common form of cancer in the world

CRC is the third most common form of cancer in occurrence and mortality rate in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Each week, more than 8,600 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed in Europe and 2,500 in the United States. This is why population screening policies have been implemented to detect the disease early with non-invasive tools.

Using RAID-CRC “will have a significant positive impact on society, as the current screening system is more diagnostic than preventative,” says Mariona Serra, CEO of GoodGut. Serra also explains that the next step is validating these results in a larger sample of patents and after will allow the company to get CE marking for the test and take it to market by the end of 2019.

10 Oct

GoodGut moves to new premises at Science and Technology Park of Girona

GoodGut moves to new premises at Science and Technology Park of Girona

GoodGut has moved to a new space at Science and Technology Park of Girona: equipped with the latest technology, such as class II biosafety cabinets, it makes for easier interaction among the team of scientists and business development professionals.

This change comes at a key moment for the biotechnology company, which is getting ready to present the clinical results of its pipeline of non-invasive systems for improving early diagnosis of colon cancer, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, among other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). GoodGut is aiming to have these products on the market by 2019.

GoodGut was created in 2014 as a spin-off of University of Girona and Biomedical Research Institute of Girona Dr Josep Trueta by Mariona Serra, Xavier Aldeguer and Jesús Garcia-Gil. “It is very important to us to work in a scientific and business environment in a city as attractive as Girona and be at the heart of an internationally-recognised life sciences cluster like the BioRegion of Catalonia” says Mariona Serra, CEO of the company. Today there are over 140 companies, research groups and institutions based at the UdG Park.

10 Oct

GoodGut launches a new website with its digestive health pipeline

GoodGut launches a new website with its digestive health pipeline

Digestive diseases have a high incidence rate and have a chronic and serious impact on the daily life of sufferers. GoodGut has just launched a new website (www.goodgut.eu), with the slogan Enhancing Digestive Health, on which it presents its pipeline of non-invasive and prebiotic systems for improving the diagnosis and treatment of conditions including colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. These products are in the clinical trial phase, with plans for them tol be put on the market in 2019.

This intuitive new website provides the user with full corporate information: the company; mission, vision and values; Management and Board of Advisers; strategic and scientific partners; social responsibility, and a page dedicated to careers.

It also includes two update sections: the latest news from the company and a blog to disseminate knowledge of the research and development of GoodGut and digestive diseases in general.

Innovation based on intestinal microbiota

GoodGut’s know-how is based on the study of the intestinal microbiota of individuals, a determining factor in the immune system of the intestine and the development of digestive diseases. The company offers pioneering technological solutions for obtaining a faster, more reliable and cheaper medical diagnosis than using existing methods, and treatments to improve the quality of life of patients with compromised digestive health.

GoodGut was created in 2014 as a spin-off of University of Girona and Biomedical Research Institute of Girona Dr Josep Trueta by Mariona Serra, Xavier Aldeguer and Jesús Garcia-Gil. The company is based in the Science and Technology Park of Girona and forms part of CataloniaBio, the Catalan association of health and life sciences companies.

17 Mar

GoodGut to take part in a panel discussion on microbiota at BIO-Europe Spring 2017

GoodGut to take part in a panel discussion on microbiota at BIO-Europe Spring 2017

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GoodGut will be an active participant in the eleventh edition of BIO-Europe Spring, to be held in Barcelona from 20th to 22nd March. BIO-Europe Spring is the most important European conference for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, this year expecting to welcome over 1,400 companies from the sector, with over 2,400 participants. The 2017 event is organised by EDB Group with the collaboration of Biocat and ACCIÓ.

The Medical Director of GoodGut, Dr Xavier Aldeguer, and the CEO, Dr Mariona Serra, will take part in the panel discussion Key Considerations in Microbiome Partnering, on 20th March at 4 pm, with Michel de Baar from MSD, Eric de La Fortelle from Seventure and Mike Ward from Informa Pharma Insights.

The human microbiome is garnering research interest across the globe and industry is responding to the growing possibilities of therapeutic developments in a variety of ways, a key aspect of which is partnerships. The current state of play means emerging companies are often looking for specific expertise or experience in their partners, often influenced by the variety of approaches under different regulatory jurisdictions or financial structures. Join this panel to hear how emerging microbiome companies identity their preferred partners and what pharma companies and funders are able to bring to the panel discussion.

GoodGut considers intestinal microbiota to be a determining factor in the appearance of digestive diseases and the focus of its research and the new non-invasive tests (in clinical trial phase) which will help to improve early diagnosis.

Over the three days, GoodGut will also take the opportunity to hold private 30-minute meetings with other international executives and business developers. The conference is expected to lead to 12,500 meetings of this type.

Barcelona previously hosted the conference in 2010 and 2013 and the fact that it is doing so again reasserts Catalonia’s strategic position as a pioneering international business centre for the life sciences and healthcare.

Photo: BIO-Europe Spring Barcelona 2013 – Biocat

11 Mar

Mariona Serra, one of the many inspiring women behind Catalunya Emprèn

Mariona Serra, one of the many inspiring women behind Catalunya Emprèn

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Dr Mariona Serra, co-founder and CEO of GoodGut, is one of the women who inspired the work of Catalunya Emprèn in 2016. Her contribution was mentioned within the scope of FemTalent Fòrum 2017, at a round table held on 20 January in Barcelona and led by Montserrat Sànchez, programme communication manager at Catalunya Emprèn; Almudena Castillo, programme management manager at Catalunya Emprèn and Maria José Blanco, manager of the Barcelona Activa Women Entrepreneurs School. Two of the other guests were from the field of health and life sciences: Dr Teresa Tarragó of Iproteos and Raquel Riera of Biocat.

Female talent is becoming a force to be reckoned with in Catalonia. According to figures from Xarxa Emprèn, a public-private business start-up advice and support network, for 2015, out of all the entrepreneurs advised, 50.21% were women and 49.79% were men. And out of the businesses created, 46.73% were the initiative of women.

Mariona Serra, who has a doctorate in pharmacology, started her entrepreneurial life after a post doctorate degree at Biomedical Research Institute of Girona (IDIBGI), then later an Advanced Management Programme at Iese to complement it. In 2014, Serra founded the biotechnology company GoodGut with Dr Xavier Aldeguer and Dr Jesús García-Gil. She is currently also a member of the Social Council of the Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona, where she chairs the University-Business Committee. Her motto, as she explains in this Biocat interview, is “do business in a team and create your own virtuous circle”.

15 Sep

GoodGut to participate in Biospain 2016 in Bilbao

GoodGut to participate in Biospain 2016 in Bilbao

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Forging bonds with future industrial partners for the innovative non-invasive system for early detection of colorectal cancer (RAID-CRC) is the goal GoodGut has set for their time at Biospain 2016, as well as at other events in the sector over the coming months.

Biospain, which will be held from 28 to 30 September in Bilbao by the Spanish Association of Biotech Companies (Asebio), has become the meeting point for biotechnology firms in Spain, attracting more than 850 companies and investors from 37 countries.

Clinical study begins at five hospitals in Catalonia

RAID-CRC has recently received funding through the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness 2016 ‘Retos’ programme. It will also begin clinical validation this September with 500 patients at the Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital, Bellvitge University Hospital, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Vic University Hospital and Santa Caterina Hospital in Girona. “We will analyse different risk groups and that will allow us to better establish who the product targets,” explains Mariona Serra, CEO of GoodGut. The company has also begun the national phase of PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty).

The current screening method is the faecal occult blood test (FOB), but it isn’t as effective as it is less specific and doesn’t detect pre-symptomatic CRC adenomas. The new system being developed by GoodGut is based on bacterial markers in faeces and will allow doctors to pre-diagnose colon cancer and determine risk levels in the early stages.

Schedule a meeting and we’ll tell you all about our product (partneringONE®)

26 Jul

GoodGut gets €175,000 CDTI Neotec grant

GoodGut gets €175,000 CDTI Neotec grant

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Just days after the good news that the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness had granted GoodGut €1.1 million under the 2016 Retos programme, the company found out that it will also receive support from the 2015 CDTI Neotec grants: €175,000.

In this case, the funding will not go to developing a specific project but be used to consolidate the company’s research lines and its laboratory located at the University of Girona Science and Technology Park.

The Neotec grants are among the most competitive in the science/business arena in Spain. More than 500 SMEs participated in this call for proposals. The aspects that the CDTI gives the most weight are that the business strategy be based on technological development, as a competitive factor to set the company apart, and that it has its own lines of R&D.

19 Jul

Girona Regional Council supports GoodGut innovation

Girona Regional Council supports GoodGut innovation

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GoodGut is one of 14 companies that have been selected under the Girona Regional Council business support program, which will create some 40 jobs throughout the province this year.

“We want to encourage the hiring of new personnel and drive actions to improve issues associated with innovation and technology within companies,” highlighted Josep Antoni Frias, regional councillor for Economic Promotion and DIPLAB in the Girona Regional Council. Frias met with representatives of the companies receiving this support on 28 July. CEO Mariona Serra attended on behalf of GoodGut.

The Regional Council valued the cutting-edge research being carried out at Goodgut in the field of digestive diseases, as well as the team’s history. This biotechnology firm was created in 2014 by Dr. Xavier Aldeguer, head of Digestive Medicine at Hospital Josep Trueta; Dr. Jesús García-Gil, Microbiology Chair; and Mariona Serra, PhD in pharmacology.  Afterwards, the team was joined by Jaume Amat as a strategic consultant through the Bioemprèn programme (he is also on the CataloniaBio Board of Directors). Goodgut currently has a team of five working at its facilities in the University of Girona Science and Technology Park – Girona Emprèn.

Photo: Martí Artalejo